McCourty: Greg Schiano tougher than Bill Belichick


Devin McCourty has played for two of the most hard-nosed coaches of the last 20 years. One is among the greatest coaches of all-time. The other is Greg Schiano.

But when McCourty was asked on NESN Live which coach -- Schiano or Bill Belichick -- was tougher, McCourty didn't hesitate.

"Ooh, Greg Schiano," McCourty said. "Toughest coach I've ever played for. ... He's more of a yeller and a screamer. He'll get right in your face. Bill's more sarcastic. Both can be pretty brutal, but I'm gonna go with Coach Schiano."

That isn't a huge surprise. McCourty played under Schiano in college, where coaches generally treat players like kids. (Then again, Schiano's tendency to treat professionals like kids is one reason why his pro career didn't last long.)

Despite his grumpy reputation, most ex-Patriots speak of Belichick as a different sort of "player's coach." He's learned how to help players like McCourty succeed, and that's ultimately what they remember most.

McCourty had some other interesting nuggets during his interview:

» According to McCourty, Julian Edelman is a tougher player to cover than Wes Welker.

"We don't ever root for any Broncos around here," McCourty said.

Watch "The Top 100 Players of 2014" every week at 9 p.m. ET on NFL Network as we count down to the top player in the NFL. "The Top 100 Players of 2014 Reactions" airs Wednesdays at 10 p.m. ET.

» McCourty prefers to play safety over cornerback. Look for the Patriots to hand him a long-term deal to make sure he's playing safety in New England for a while.

» One of McCourty's favorite things to see in practice: Tom Brady getting angry.

"Yeah, if we turn on the film and see him throw a ball into the ground or slam a helmet, that means we had a good day," McCourty said last week. "If (the Patriots offense) has a bad day, Tom's mad in the locker room. That's one good thing that I love about being on this team since I've gotten here.

"It's always been that competitive edge where both sides of the ball through the spring and through training camp and until we start playing other teams, it's offense verses defense and neither side wants to give. It's really competitive, and that's how you get better as a team."

In the latest episode of the "Around The League Podcast," the guys discuss Rob Gronkowski's expected return to action and Cordarrelle Patterson's potential rise this season.