The New England Patriots will have twin brothers in their defensive backfield this season but don't expect a case of sibling rivalry.
Yet, cornerback Jason McCourty, acquired from the Cleveland Browns in a trade last month, admitted there's been jealousy on his part while watching his brother Devin routinely compete for championships in Foxborough.
The fact that Jason has never appeared in a postseason game while Devin and the Patriots have been a playoff participant in each of his eight seasons just heightened those feelings.
"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," said Jason on Tuesday during a media briefing. "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."
Not only has Jason never made the playoffs, but he has been a part of poor-performing teams -- the Tennessee Titans won a combined five games in 2014-15 while the Cleveland Browns became the second NFL franchise to go winless in a 16-game season in 2017.
Even though Devin has never rubbed New England's success in his brother's face, Jason said he has to remind him just how fortunate the situation is with the Patriots.
"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," said Jason. "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."
New England coach Bill Belichick divulges as little information as possible to the media and demands the same of his players. That trait showed through when a reporter asked Devin how he viewed his brother's role on the team.
"That's the good thing -- I just play safety," said Devin. "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."