Jason McCourty admits it is a rather unique opportunity and one that he probably won't full appreciate until he is much older.
That unique opportunity will come in Sunday's season opener when Jason's Tennessee Titans face of against the New England Patriots, which just happens to be the team his twin brother Devin plays for.
“It’s going to be a unique opportunity. 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,” Jason said.
Asked about the opportunity on a conference call with Titans media, and Devin said virtually the same thing.
“This should be exciting. We’ve gone against each other in different basketball games and things like that, but really never been at each other or on opposing teams,” Devin said. “We’ve always played together. It will be kind of cool to watch each other in live action, really rooting against each other.”
The McCourty twins have been close and competitive since they were born. Close and competitive enough as kids that they both speak of how their pickup basketball games sometimes ended in arguments.
“Basketball games and video games always ended in a fight. We’d play basketball, not keep score and just go at it,” Jason recalled.
But close enough as adults that the two cornerbacks share the same Twitter account - @McCourtyTwins – and still talk very frequently, except for this week when they are foes in a team sport for the first time.
“I actually told him to lose my number this week. No side bets, no anything else. I’ll see and talk to him on Sunday when we get out on the field,” Devin said.
The McCourty twins played together at Rutgers, but because Devin redshirted one year, Jason actually made it to the NFL first. He was selected by the Titans in the sixth round of the 2009 draft.
When Devin made it into the league a year later, he was much more heralded as a first-round pick of the Patriots. But it hasn't taken either McCourty long to make a mark with their respective teams. Devin, as a first-round pick, has been a starter pretty much from the get-go.
Jason quickly outplayed his draft status, earning significant playing time as a rookie, and just last month was rewarded with a five-year, $43 million extension by the Titans.
“I think there are a lot of similarities,” Titans coach Mike Munchak said of the twins. “Obviously Jason I’ve gotten to know very well. I think it’s exciting the fact that these guys get to play against each other. I know they talk quite a bit and obviously they’re very close. I think they’re very similar in a lot of ways. I’m assuming work ethic wise— [Jason’s] very professional here.
“I think you see very similar play in how they’re doing, and it’s easy for me to see that because I know how professional Jason is here and I’m sure it’s the same way there in New England. 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.”
It is indeed a big weekend for the McCourty family, but Jason has already sent out a warning since he is hosting the family at his house. They had better be pulling for him and the Titans on Sunday. That even goes for mom, Jason said.
“She’s coming down and staying with me. I told her that if she’s staying with me and planning to come back to the house after the game that she’ll be rooting for the Titans,” Jason said.
As for what she will wear to the game, Devin suggested a half-Patriots, half-Titans jersey. But Jason apparently is having none of that.
“Nah, there won’t be any Patriots memorabilia in Nashville at all,” he said with a laugh.