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Belichick with high praise for McCourty

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – Bill Belichick is now in his 36th NFL season, which means he’s scouted and watched film with thousands of prospects over the years.

A select few players stand out to him when watching film as those who simply know everything about the game -- not just their own responsibilities, but also their teammates’ duties on each play.

“You think back to over the number of times I’ve done that and some of the guys that really stand out, there are a handful of them,” he said. “You really remember those.”

Belichick puts Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis and former Patriots safety Lawyer Milloy in that category, and he surprised reporters Wednesday by saying that rookie Patriots cornerback Devin McCourty would also be part of that group.

“The guy started telling me what the nose [tackle] is supposed to do on a particular stunt when he’s playing corner, you usually don’t get that,” Belichick said.

McCourty, drafted 27th overall, has played every defensive snap for the Patriots this season.