Jason McCourty Sees Room For Improvement After Patriots Preseason Debut

FOXBORO, Mass. — Early in Jason McCourty’s postgame media scrum Thursday night, he was asked about the second-quarter touchdown he allowed to Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Shelton Gibson.

Before the veteran cornerback could answer, another, nearly identical voice chimed in from a few lockers over.

“Mhmm, I told you, you’re in Boston now,” the voice said. “(Expletive) different.”

The voice was McCourty’s twin brother, Devin. As someone who’s played under the region’s harsh sporting spotlight for nearly a decade, Devin wasn’t surprised that one of the first questions Jason received was about his biggest in-game mistake.

Welcome to New England.

Thursday’s game, which New England won 37-20, was Jason McCourty’s first with the Patriots, the team he joined via trade five months ago. He sat out last week’s preseason-opening win over the Washington Redskins and didn’t start against the Eagles, but he was on the field for the majority of the first half.

McCourty relieved starting corner Eric Rowe after the Patriots’ first defensive series. He played opposite Stephon Gilmore for one possession, then teamed up with Rowe later in the half while Gilmore, a locked-in starter, watching from the sideline.

New England’s No. 2 cornerback to begin the season almost certainly will be either Rowe or McCourty. The former has received the vast majority of first-team reps since training camp began last month, but both have fared well in practice.

McCourty’s Patriots debut was a largely uneventful affair, save for one highly visible miscue. With the Eagles facing a third-and-goal from the 4 midway through the second quarter, McCourty bit on a slant by Gibson, leaving him flat-footed when the wideout broke outside.

Quarterback Nate Sudfeld immediately spotted the error and floated a pass over McCourty’s head for an easy six points.

That touchdown was the only reception McCourty allowed in the game. He was targeted just twice and did not record a tackle.

“I’ve just got to make that play, got to do better,” he said. “(Gibson) ran an inside move, (and) I broke hard to it. Just got to do a better job of staying on my man and being able to get a hand in there to try to make a play.”

Thursday’s game was the first the McCourty twins had played together since Jason’s final year at Rutgers in 2008. He spent eight seasons with the Tennessee Titans and one with the Cleveland Browns before finally reuniting with his brother earlier this year.

“It is a great feeling getting to run off the field together,” Jason McCourty said. “It is not so much game days right now, but more times throughout the week where we get to walk out to the practice field together or even being able to talk about family issues. It is great to have our connection and be so close. He even is my Uber driver to the games, as well, which works out pretty well.”

Thumbnail photo via David Butler II/USA TODAY Sports Images

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