Needless to say, Jason McCourty is rather pleased with the way his offseason has turned out so far.
After spending the 2017 season with the winless Cleveland Browns, the veteran cornerback last week was traded to the New England Patriots, the NFL’s most dominant franchise. After failing to even reach the playoffs in any of his first nine NFL seasons, McCourty now will be suiting up for a Patriots team that hasn’t lost before the AFC Championship Game since 2010.
But while the prospect of practically guaranteed postseason football surely is exciting for the 30-year-old, it pales in comparison to the real benefit of joining the Patriots: the opportunity for McCourty to play alongside his twin brother, Devin, for the first time since 2008.
During his introductory conference call Tuesday, Jason McCourty said he’s thrilled to see how he and his brother have grown as players during their nine years apart. The two played together through Pop Warner, high school and college at Rutgers but have yet to do so at the NFL level.
“That’s probably one of the most intriguing parts of us teaming back up at this point,” Jason said. “We went through all those years of playing football together, and now you’re almost a decade later. Through different experiences, you’ve seen the game over the last nine years through two different lenses. So it’s going to be really interesting, I think, for both of us to see — sitting in meeting rooms, being on the practice field — how we see things and how differently we see them or how much alike. I think that’s probably going to be intriguing for the coaches, as well.
“And I think the one really cool thing is we’re probably each other’s biggest fans and biggest critics, so I’m very interested to see how much we can push each other to become better leaders (and) better players.”
Naturally, the twins are incredibly close and had hoped for years to engineer an NFL reunion. They’ll still dish out their fair share of smack talk, though, like when Devin joked during an NBC Sports Boston interview following the trade that he’s the better player of the two.
“I don’t want to get people’s hopes up too much,” the safety deadpanned. “Whatever you think of me, think a little less of him.”
Jason sent a few barbs back Tuesday while responding to Devin’s claim that he’s the more physical defender.
“For some reason, he thinks he’s more physical than me,” the newly acquired Patriot said. “So I kind of let him have that one. I’m definitely faster than him. … And then we can have the debate on who gives the better pregame speeches. He already told me — don’t come in there thinking that I’m going to take over the pregame speeches. That’s his thing. So I may just have to sneak in for a game or two.”
With Malcolm Butler now in Tennessee, Jason McCourty will compete with Eric Rowe this summer for a starting spot opposite Stephon Gilmore.