DeVante Parker’s been a punching bag this week, with New England Patriots fans and pundits decrying the veteran receiver over his in- and postgame performance last Sunday.

But Devin McCourty made a good point Thursday in defending Parker, who dropped a potential game-changing pass from Mac Jones in Sunday’s loss to the Las Vegas Raiders and showed zero accountability afterward.

“As a player, no I don’t care what he says to the media,” McCourty said when asked about his former teammate during a WEEI appearance. “How is he in the locker room? What is he saying? What’s his actions? Like that’s way more important than what you decided to do when there’s a bunch of cameras in your face.

“Everybody’s different when it comes to answering questions and talking to the media. So, I wouldn’t necessarily take that as the golden standard of what he said in front of the camera. I would take how he acts, what he does in the locker room, more seriously.”

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Parker agreed with McCourty’s assessment while speaking Wednesday with Sophie Weller of A to Z Sports.

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“He’s 100% right,” Parker told Weller. “Sometimes you don’t tell it all, everything, to the media. So, you just move on, really move on and really look forward to next week. You just forget about it. It’s over with. Next week. Next game.”

Does Parker now have extra motivation to make a big play when his number’s called?

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“Yeah, I’ll say so,” he said.

In a separate conversation with MassLive, Parker insisted he hadn’t seen any of the online criticism directed at him.

“I’m good,” he told Mark Daniels. “I haven’t been on Twitter or nothing, so I don’t know what’s going on. I haven’t seen nothing. People haven’t said nothing (in person). I’m just looking forward to a new week, new start.”

Ultimately, McCourty is right. If Parker was accountable while speaking with teammates, that’s all that matters. Some players aren’t comfortable in front of reporters, especially after a tough loss. And Parker, one of the Patriots’ quieter players, definitely falls in that category.

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Still, there’s something to be said for owning up to your mistakes publicly when representing the team you play for. And if you slip up the first time in a tough situation, just get it right the second time. No big deal.

To that end, we’ll leave you with this video of Parker from Thursday’s locker room availability:

Featured image via Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports Images