FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- New England Patriots safety Devin McCourty was holding court with reporters on Thursday afternoon when he was asked three straight questions that produced essentially the same response.
Do distractions bother you?
“We have a game Saturday," he answered.
As an older player on the team, does he take younger players under his wing when it comes to off-field issues?
"We're just preparing for Saturday."
"Just preparing for Saturday," he said.
McCourty then added, "This is going to be nice!" -- figuring he was coming close to a YouTube-worthy moment like coach Bill Belichick had with his "on to Cincinnati" mantra in 2014.
Soon enough Thursday, those questions subsided and McCourty discussed how he never takes playoff football for granted. Also, he doesn't believe in the concept of momentum, even as the Kansas City Chiefs enter Saturday's game against New England having won 11 in a row.
"The Packers, they lost two straight [to finish the season]," he said, pointing out their convincing win over Washington in the wild-card round of the playoffs. "Even here, they won 16 games [in 2007] and lost in the Super Bowl. I don’t think there is better momentum than that, not losing a game. Bill says it all the time, ‘You have to win the one game in front of you. You have to play your best football in that one game, and if you don’t, you can lose and your season will be over.'”
Along those lines, McCourty likes what he's seen in practice this week.
“I think the team is energetic, ready to play," he said. "Postseason, there’s no tomorrow. The weather gave us some real cold days to make it even better. It really feels like postseason now. We have enough older guys that have been in this situation to understand the urgency. I think that’s what was great about this week; the older guys led off, coming out to practice early. Being ready [and] locked in on everything. Everybody else just fed off it.”