McCourty left with bitter taste

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Patriots cornerback Devin McCourty’s impressive 2010 season included seven interceptions, two votes for defensive rookie of the year, fractured ribs, one Pro Bowl berth and a bad taste left in his mouth.

He’d like to see a different ending in 2011.

“Watching the Super Bowl, not being in it, is no fun,” McCourty said Tuesday night at the Patriots Hall of Fame, where he spoke with approximately 150 fans as part of a ticketed event. “You know another season is coming and you know that feeling, so like everybody else, you’ll be working hard to avoid that feeling again.”

McCourty also could do without the piercing pain he felt Dec. 12 in Chicago when he injured his ribs while forcing a fumble. McCourty explained that he was diagnosed with a fracture, but the injury didn’t linger beyond a few weeks and he played through it. He had the ribs examined again after the season and received a clean diagnosis.

McCourty didn’t require any type of offseason surgery, so he’s been mixing rest with a workout regimen that is designed to help him build off his rookie season. He plans to spend time at Rutgers, working out with a bunch of former Scarlet Knights who also play in the NFL.

While offseason programs could be cut short if owners and players don’t reach a collective bargaining agreement, McCourty expressed confidence that it wouldn’t stunt his development.

“Whatever happens, I feel like when we do get back here and we’re able to get back in our normal routine, we’ll be ready to go,” he said, adding that training with his brother Jason is also a benefit. “Having someone else to be able to go out there and attack and get better with, I’m confident I’ll be able to get better next year.”