Devin McCourty says brother offers valuable perspective

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- There usually aren't many positives from being part of a team that goes 0-16, but when it comes to former Cleveland Browns cornerback Jason McCourty, his brother and New England Patriots teammate Devin McCourty sees a big one: perspective.

"He brings leadership that I think we don't have on this team; he knows how to deal with adversity," Devin McCourty said Tuesday after taking part in a session in the fourth week of the Patriots' offseason program.

"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 this is too much. You get a perspective from him going 0-16. He always tells me, 'Last year, worst year ever.' I think hearing that motivates you and lets you know you're doing the right things that push you."

Jason McCourty, who will vie to replace departed cornerback Malcolm Butler in 2018 after being acquired in a March trade, stood next to his identical twin brother as he spoke those words.

Playing alongside each other in the NFL has long been a dream of theirs, since their days together at Rutgers.

"There were times when you thought 'maybe,' but kind of towards the end it was just, 'I don't know if it's going to happen,'" Jason said. "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."

Jason, who spent the first eight years of his NFL career with the Tennessee Titans before last season with the Browns, has never been part of a team that qualified for the playoffs.

Meanwhile, Devin's Patriots have qualified each of his eight seasons in the NFL, playing in four Super Bowls.

"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," Jason said. "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] ... there's definitely professional envy because you want to be there. That's what you train all offseason for."