BOSTON (CBS) — Devin McCourty has seen a lot throughout his 11-year NFL career. But given that his career has taken place in New England, a lengthy losing streak was never one of those experiences.

But there’s always a first for everything, and McCourty and the Patriots have spiraled their way a four-game skid. It’s New England’s first four-game losing streak since 2002, when McCourty was just starting high school.

When McCourty arrived in New England in 2010, the Patriots had three Super Bowl titles and an aura of excellence that surrounded the franchise. New England has since added three more Lombardi Trophies to its collection, with McCourty not only an imperative part of those winning seasons on the field, but as a powerful voice in the locker room.

Now that the team is scuffling, they need McCourty’s voice to be even stronger. The veteran captain continues to step on his soap box and urge his teammates to be better, and now that they’re sitting at 2-5 on the season, he’s urging them to keep living up to the same standard that was set in place for the Patriots organization a long time ago.

“I think we’ve got to continue to have a standard that was set before I got here, before I played my first game. That standard was set by the men before me,” McCourty said after Sunday’s 24-21 loss to the Bills in Buffalo. “I think we’ve got to continue to demand out of each other even though all the games aren’t going how we want. We’re 2-5. We can’t let the culture change. We can’t let our standards or expectations change. We’re going out here trying to get wins and I think that’s how you continue to build as we go through this season and also get ready for the future.”

McCourty understands that at 33, his own opportunities are starting to dwindle. But just because the current team finds itself in an uphill fight doesn’t mean they are going to roll over and quit.

“This is all I got. I’m in year 11. There’s no down the road or this or that. For me, each opportunity I get to go out there and play football is a golden chance,” said McCourty “I don’t really know how many I have left at 33 years old. So I’m going to continue to have that same passion and fire to go out there and play the game and I’m going to push guys to do the same as a leader on this team.”

With the NFL trade deadline fast approaching, there is a chance the Patriots may hit the reset button and make moves for the future. The Patriots did show some fight in Sunday’s loss, making a second-half comeback before Cam Newton fumbled away any chance at a game-tying field goal or game-winning touchdown, but McCourty said there are no moral victories at this piont.

“We lost, so. … I don’t think anyone in this building doubts we’re going to play hard,” said McCourty. “We have to win.”

The Patriots will look to get back into the win column next Monday night when they visit the 0-8 New York Jets.


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