Devin and Jason McCourty spoke with the Patriots media today, and to no surprise, they joked around with the media a lot. Having a set of brothers on a team is a dynamic in itself; the fact that they are twins makes it that much more interesting. This is an entertaining interview. Enjoy!
PATRIOTS DEFENSIVE BACKS DEVIN AND JASON MCCOURTY
May 8, 2018
Q: How does it feel to be a Patriot?
DM: Feels good.
JM: Going into, what, my ninth year here. Excited. Happy to be here.
Q: You can’t trick us. We know you’re Jason [McCourty].
DM: Anne [Noland] gave the rundown.
JM: But I’m excited to be here. Going into my tenth year, obviously. Talking to Dev [Devin McCourty] throughout the years, knowing a lot about this organization and what they’ve done, I’m just excited for the opportunity that lies ahead.
Q: Jason, being in the NFL a lot is asked of any player but have you noticed already that more is asked of players here than maybe the other organizations you’ve played for?
JM: It’s so hard to compare one organization to another, just because there’s a different way of doing things. I would never say more is done here or more is done there – maybe just a different way to attack the same thing. Here, obviously, there’s a high expectation. Each and every year there’s an expectation of how the team’s going to do and the one thing about any organization that you’re a part of, the offseason is about work. So I’ve stepped right in here with that same expectation and those have been the same things that have gone on. We work extremely hard here to get better each and every day to put ourselves in a position to win games when the season starts.
Q: What was your expectation outside the building, following your brother here, and what it’s actually like?
JM: I’d probably say it’s [probably been spot on just because me and him talk just about every day so over the past eight seasons of just talking to him each and every day of what it’s like of maybe game plan different opponents, of talking about those things, hearing him complain, hearing him celebrate, all those things. I think I had a good idea of what was to come opposed to maybe another person whose come here and has no idea what to expect and you only know what you guys say about it. I kind of had an inside scoop with that.
Q: There has been a difference in team success between the two of you. Devin has been to the playoffs and Super Bowls and you’ve not been to the playoffs yet. Is that kept quiet among the two of you?
JM: No, I mean it’s not like a banter or trash talk, but it’s just kind of more the reality of the situation. Sometimes if he’s complaining I can say, ‘hey remember I was 0-16 last year’ or whatever the case may be. I think it’s just more of us talking about it, acknowledging, or just maybe talking about some different things they do, or maybe that’s what it takes to get there. For me it’s been exciting to be here in the offseason just to see kind of how they train, what things they do and from talking to him over the years for me to actually go through it and kind of just show everybody I’m just as good as him. I’ve been excited to do so.
Q: You guys are approximately the same age. Why were you drafted a year earlier?
JM: Coming out of high school he was –
DM: No, you don’t explain that. That’s in the research, man. That’s your job.
JM: That’s his job. That’s a good point. But he redshirted our freshman year of school. Some people aren’t good enough starting off. He’s made his strides in the back half.
Q: With Mother’s Day coming up and just being here together, what are your plans for Mother’s Day and how nice will it be?
DM: I’m trying to convince him to come back. He’s trying to go to New Jersey. I just have the kids so we’ll be here. I don’t even know. It’s probably bad that we don’t have plans for Mother’s Day.
JM: She can watch the kids?
DM: Yeah, that’s what we’re going to do. We’re going to let them watch all five grandkids. That sounds fun to me.
Q: It’s a special day in terms of what your mom has done for you. How would you describe that as?
JM: Mom, I guess for us, has been number one from day one. Our father passed away when we were young so mom was the mom and the dad. Sacrificed everything to help us get to where we’re at today, along with our older brother as well. For her kids, I think Dev said it to me before, she’s just always said she’s never looked at it as anything special. Just as a parent you sacrifice and you do whatever it takes to help your kids succeed and she’s done that our entire lives.
Q: Are you guys identical or fraternal twins?
Q: Is there like a telepathy thing between you? Do you think alike?
DM: Been together for a while.
JM: We’ve been together so long, but –
Q: You just thought ‘probably’ and then he said that.
JM: Yeah, I guess there’s some similarities to us, but we just shared the eggs.
DM: It’s similar like how I am with Bill [Belichick]. We’ve been together for a while.
JM: So I guess him and Bill are fraternal twins.
Q: Did you guys ever play tricks on people?
DM: You’ll see.
JM: We just tried. We’re zero for maybe 10 I guess throughout our lives.
Q: We all know Devin but we don’t really know you. What do we need to know about Jason McCourty?
JM: I guess the same thing Dev said when I got here. Anything you think about Dev, just think of better and you think of me.
Q: How often did you guys talk about playing on the same team in the NFL together, even going back to your youth?
JM: Those were the dreams. When you sat there, whether it was basketball or football for us growing up, you always envisioned we’re going to play on whatever team, we’re going to play together your whole careers. I mean you’re a kid so you think that’s easily possible and that’s your plan but obviously when we got into the league some years ago, there were times when you thought ‘maybe’ but kind of towards the end it was just, ‘I don’t know it it’s going to happen.’ Mostly for our family, this has been really exciting and cool for them just to have the opportunity. Our mom, older brother who’s kind of watched our careers our whole lives, so to see us come together at this level is just kind of a special thing.
Q: With the success that Devin has had, did you always have a sense of pride or was there a touch of professional envy as you watched him throughout his career?
JM: Yeah, I think when you don’t make it to the playoffs and you’re watching those games, I think there’s envy in every game you watch. As you’re watching other teams, whether it’s Dev as my twin brother or maybe a team you beat throughout the season or a team you came close [to beating] or you just missed the playoffs and they got in and you watched them take the field on that Sunday in those playoffs, there’s definitely professional envy because you want to be there. That’s what you train all offseason for. That’s what the tough days in camp are for, to get to that postseason and be able to make your run. So, definitely throughout our careers, anybody that’s at that point – playoffs, Super Bowl – you always want to be in that position as a player and as a team.
Q: What’s been the biggest surprise for you being in this system the last month or so?
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JM: There really hasn’t been any surprises yet. I think, at this point, it’s laid back. We’re not competing, we’re just kind of learning, going through things. I think, for me, the most special thing has been just going to Dev’s house with all the kids – his two kids, my three kids – of just being able to watch them all interact. This has been different for us because, since we’ve started our families, we’ve always been separate, [except] for maybe a week or two in the offseason. So, that’s probably been the best – not surprise – but the most special thing so far.
Q: Are you living there?
JM: At his house? No, there’s not enough room for five kids.
Q: Devin, when you came out a year after Jason and were drafted in the first round, you credited him for a lot of your success. Why is that?
JM: Did you? Because I still haven’t seen a check or anything.
DM: I just think because, you know, when you get twins, people always assume they’re the same. I think, quite naturally, he goes in the sixth round, I think many people evaluated me and probably thought I was a sixth-rounder, too. And then me having a good season but then him having a really good season at the professional level showing he could play, starting three games – not the greatest three games you want to start. He was a part of 59-0 score here. But, I think people saw that and they kind of assumed that, ‘Well, maybe this guy will be better than we thought because his twin brother did really well.’ So, he did a small part in helping me gain first-round status.
JM: I’d like a small payday then.
DM: I don’t have it.
Q: Devin, is there anything you have to learn at this point in your career about playing and communicating with him?
DM: I mean, I would say a lot, just because we haven’t played together since we were in college. Communicating was different in college. We didn’t do as many things as we do at the professional level, and then we were on opposite sides of the field. I think now my role here is always in the middle of the defense, a lot of times communicating to both sides, so seeing how he plays, seeing how he likes people to talk to him, that’s what I’m always trying to do when we get new corners in here. So, I think I’ve just been trying to go through that same process talking to him a lot off the field, whether it’s in and out of meetings, whether it’s at home, always just going over multiple things so when he’s out there, it’s the same communication like when E. [Eric] Rowe’s out there and Steph’s [Stephon Gilmore] out there, J. [Jonathan] Jones is out there. I think we just need to continue that with not just him but every new guy we get in our secondary.
Q: Devin, you once said you’re better looking than your brother. That is subjective, so can we take a measurable? Who is faster?
DM: I am.
JM: You can look that up. I’m not going to debate it.
DM: We can’t tell you our times from the offseason training, but I am. Maybe we’ll race.
JM: I’m in year 10. Racing’s not …
DM: We can raise some money for charity. You guys should start up a fund – a media fund.
Q: Is Jason the replacement for Malcolm Butler?
DM: I wouldn’t say that. You can’t replace guys that, whether it’s Malcolm, Nate [Solder], Dion [Lewis] – like those guys were a huge part of our team success over the last couple years. You just don’t pick a – no offense to Jason – but we just don’t bring a guy in here, whether it’s a veteran or rookie, and think they’re just going to take over a huge role that those play. So, we can’t replace those guys with just one guy. But, I think the thing you learn in the NFL is each year your team is different, so we’ll have to find different ways to win games without the Malcolm’s, without the Dion’s, the Nate’s. So, that’s the challenge of every offseason of trying to come together as a team.
Q: How do you see your brother helping and contributing to this team?
DM: That’s the good thing – I just play safety. I don’t see him contributing in any way possible until the coaches decide that, but it always comes down to competing and playing. I’m very confident that he puts in a lot of work like the rest of the guys.
Q: Jason, how do you see yourself contributing to this team?
JM: For right now, it’s just doing what’s asked of me. Obviously, throughout the offseason workouts, right now in Phase 2 of us learning the playbook, us going out there in our individuals learning the DB drills and stuff and the different techniques that they want to use and how they do that. As we go on to Phase 3 it will be competing throughout the OTA’s, learning the system, and I think also as a guy in year 10 I’ll just be continuing to get to know the rest of the corners and kind of being a veteran presence in the room. Competition is competition. However all of that works its way out, it works its way out. For me, there’s no designated role that I see myself filling. Whatever the coaching staff puts me in the positon to do, I’m going to give it my all and see where that puts me at the end of the day.
Q: Do you feel more ahead right now because you have Devin to lean on as opposed to some of the other circumstances you’ve played in?
JM: Definitely an advantage for me personally because me and him communicate so well. Being able to get the iPad and maybe go home and look over a defense and shoot him a text real quick and say, ‘Hey, when ya’ll play this defense, what usually happens or how does the safety usually see it?’ Just the positons we play helps us out a lot because a lot of communication from a cornerback a lot of times is to the safety to his side. So, it’s one thing to look over a playbook. It’s another thing to talk to somebody that’s been in the system for the past eight years, so it’s definitely an advantage for me to be able to lean on him and be able to ask him questions and learn just from a playing experience. Him, Duron [Harmon], [Patrick] Chung, all of those guys – it’s been cool just to kind of ask them questions and learn from them.
Q: How did you get Duron to give up No. 30?
JM: He actually was on the verge of wanting to switch numbers, as well. So, just in our Rutgers way, we were able to work it all out and everybody walks away happy.
Q: Have you seen the picture of Tom Brady and the outfit he was wearing last night?
DM: I haven’t. I haven’t seen it. I stay out of the media.
JM: You would assume he looked good, though.
DM: That’s what he does, man.
Q: Devin, what was your reaction when you found out your brother was coming to play here?
DM: Well, I’m the one that actually did the – No, I was excited. Just like he said earlier, it’s something we always dreamed about, kind of thought would happen, but you know, you kind of second guess that and think maybe not. Just to have this opportunity, I know he’s been a good player throughout his career, aside from us being twins or any of that, he’s just been a good veteran player now. I thought he had a good year in Cleveland that helped him and I thought a change of scenery might help him here. Coming here, I think he has an opportunity to help us, like he said, as a veteran, a guy that’s played a lot of football, been in different circumstances. So, he brings leadership that I think we don’t have on this team, really – you know, a guy that’s been on some losing teams, some winning teams. He knows how to deal with adversity, but I think that’s the biggest thing. You know, sometimes we get in a routine, we’ve won a lot of football games, and it’s always good to hear a different perspective of what it takes so you’re not kind of getting worn down or thinking we’re working hard, this is too much. You get a perspective from him of going 0-16 – like he always tell me, “Last year, worst year ever.” And I think hearing that motivates you and lets you know you’re doing the right things that pushes you, so I’m excited to have him here.
Transcripts are provided by the Patriots media relations department as a courtesy to the media.
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