McCourty taps brother for Colts tips

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- With larger than normal media crowds on hand at Gillette Stadium this week in advance of the Patriots' first playoff game of the season, the team has had several players address the media from the podium that normally is used just for Bill Belichick and quarterback Tom Brady's press conferences.

On Wednesday, safety Devin McCourty and left tackle Nate Solder were among the talkers, and below are some of the highlights:

McCourty taps into brother for knowledge: McCourty has an X-factor of sorts on his side this week, as his twin brother, Jason, a Titans cornerback, has faced the Colts twice a season since the start of his career. Devin said that he checks in with his brother when the Patriots face an opponent the Titans have seen.

"Of course. He really just tells me the notes that they've got," he said. "I think it's big when you play someone twice a year, you understand more about them than I understand just from a personnel standpoint. He sends me everything he has and I texted him before and said, 'Whenever you've got time, send me over the Colts notes.' "

While the Patriots and Titans play different defensive schemes, Devin added that advanced knowledge of the Colts' tendencies can be beneficial.

"Tendencies, what they do as an offense," he said. "And then what we really talk about a lot is the players. How he felt a player was, what he felt he did well when he watched film."

Solder makes unique comparison: All eyes this weekend will be on Solder as he squares off against ferocious Colts defensive end Robert Mathis, who does his work from the right side of the Colts line.

Mathis led the NFL with 19.5 sacks this season, due in part to both his natural talents and his relentless pursuits, according to Solder.

"I think it's rare that you get a guy that has that much talent and then plays so hard every play and that's him," he said. "That's the challenge of him, I think."

Solder also passed along a unique player comparison for Mathis.

"Maybe [New Orleans Saints defensive end] Junior Galette, maybe but I would say he's kind of unique in the things that he can do, really unique, I'd say," he said.

Though they are similar in some ways, Solder didn't want to suggest they are carbon copies of each other.

"I wouldn't have gone too far with that," he said of the Mathis-Galette comparison. "But they have a real sharp quickness, they're quick off the ball, they have a nose for the ball, they play really hard. I think those are the things."

Solder did well to hold Galette without a sack back in a Week 5 meeting with New Orleans, something he hopes to replicate this Saturday against Mathis and the Colts.