Jason McCourty embraces mentor role for Dolphins and Jevon Holland

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Miami Dolphins defensive back Jason McCourty is in the middle of a battle at training camp. Not for a roster spot, but instead on whether or not he will claim the title of ‘starting free safety’ for the Miami Dolphins ahead of their Week 1 contest against the New England Patriots. His primary competition is the Dolphins’ future in that role: second-round rookie Jevon Holland out of Oregon has wowed through portions of camp with his nose for the football.

But Holland is currently banged up and, understandably, still working on his communication and checks of what goes into playing the “communicator” role in Miami’s secondary. That’s a lot to ask for anyone.

But the position battle isn’t something that prevents McCourty from seeing things for what they are: he’s here to help the team in any way that he can, even in the sense of helping Holland in every way that he can; presumably to eventually take McCourty’s snaps at free safety. And, according to McCourty, it isn’t hard, either.

“No, it’s not hard. I would say no because I can remember the specific guys my rookie year that poured into me. Cortland Finnegan who was here, Chris Hope, Vinny Fuller, so many guys took the time to pour into me. They were all defensive backs as well and we were all competing. For me, it’s a blessing. I’m blessed to just be able here my 13th year, whether my role is prominent and I’m playing every play of the game, or if my role is 15 plays here or five plays there. Whatever it is, I’m fortunate to be out here,” said McCourty earlier this week.

“I think as a older player you realize that not matter if you want to help a guy or not, that’s the natural progression. A young player that can play ball, and knows what he is doing, he’s going to find his way on the field. I think what makes it easy is the type of player and the type of person Jevon is. He’s very serious about his job, he is very serious about football. He puts in a ton of work, not just physically out here, but mentally making sure he knows what to do, knowing his checks. It’s been fun kind of joking and getting to know him and helping him along on the football field.”

Since arriving in Miami, McCourty has impressed as a “big picture” guy. This is a great example of that from a long-time veteran player who has been around the block a time or two and has literally seen it all. He’s been to the top of the mountain as a Super Bowl champion and is entering Year 13 despite being a 6th-round draft choice back in the day.

Perhaps the final notch in his belt, aside of hopefully another Super Bowl, would be the successful grooming of a young star in Holland to eventually take his place.