Identical twins face off as Pats open at Titans
NASHVILLE, TENN. (AP)
The time has come for the NFL debut of the McCourty brothers' family
Devin and Jason have been competing, pushing and fighting each other
since birth in the way only identical twins can.
They will play against each other for the first time - not counting
pickup basketball and video games - when Jason's Tennessee Titans host
New England in the regular-season opener Sunday.
Let the record show Devin is the oldest by 27 minutes. But Jason played
first at Rutgers and beat Devin into the NFL by a year, though Devin
got the edge back as a first-round draft pick in 2010.
Jason cheered on his brother as the Patriots won the AFC championship
in January, but says this will be their biggest battle yet.
''It's going to be a unique opportunity,'' Jason said. ''To grow up
with a guy and we were always playing on the same team, so at this
level to be able to face off, will be something special that we won't
realize after the game, but probably years from now.
A victory is only part of what's on the line.
''I'd say each one of us is trying to stake a claim for who the family
should root for more throughout the season,'' Devin said. ''I think
he's felt a little edged out with him just seeing us be in the playoffs
my first three years with him coming and rooting on with the family.
He's probably trying to make sure he gets a win.''
Being identical, the brothers from Montvale, N.J., are so very similar
with the NFL finding some differences. Each is a starting cornerback
for his team. Jason gets a 2-inch edge on height listed by the Titans
as being 6-foot, while Devin is 7 pounds heavier at 195 according to
They played together at St. Joseph's High School in New Jersey and
Rutgers University. Devin redshirted though, so they only started
together in the secondary for two seasons. Jason says he won all their
basketball games, prompting Devin to joke Wednesday his brother must
have had a concussion.
''He probably forgets that I won most of those battles,'' Devin said.
''We don't remember many of the scores, but we just know he usually
Jason says he's the better cornerback. Who's faster? Devin acknowledges
Jason ran the faster Pro Day time, while he prefers the last 40-yard
dash each ran at Rutgers.
''I ran a 4.31, he ran a 4.32,'' Devin said.
Coaches who've looked at the brothers on video say they look and play
alike on the field. Jason, a sixth-round pick in 2009, has started 24
of his 42 games with four career interceptions, while Devin has started
30 games and already has nine interceptions. The Patriots even moved
Devin over to safety some last season in a pinch.
Jason made up for not being drafted as high as his brother last month
when the Titans gave him a deal worth $44.3 million keeping him under
contract through 2017.
Tom Brady has been studying Jason and sees a fast, tough, physical
''He's got a lot of strengths,'' Brady said. ''So you've got to be
careful with the ball around him. He's a very tough player, and he
really forces the receiver to run good routes and for the quarterbacks
to make good throws because he can capitalize when it's a bad throw by
The brothers share a Twitter account (at)McCourtytwins, appeared
together in a print ad campaign last season, bought their mother a
house last year and held their first football camp together at their
high school this offseason. They've been looking forward to this game
since the schedule was announced in April.
Titans coach Mike Munchak got to watch his friend and now offensive
line coach Bruce Matthews play against his own brother, Clay. He thinks
it'll be a little easier on these brothers since both play defense.
''It's exciting for them, and I know it's a big weekend for their
family and it's something that's obviously very unique,'' Munchak said.
The brothers aren't talking this week, agreeing to lose each other's
number. They will have about 20 family members on hand at LP Field,
including their mother, who will be wearing a joint Patriots-Titans
shirt. Jason, who took care of the tickets so his family has better
seats, said his mother better root for the Titans if she's staying at
Jason also knows the perfect outcome will be a Titans' victory.
''He'll get over it,'' Jason said of his brother.