BOSTON (CBS) – Devin and Jason McCourty have a lot in common, as would be expected from a pair of twins.
They look identical, play the same position, and even share a Twitter handle (@McCourtyTwins). Teammates even say they walk alike.
But come Sunday in Tennessee, they’ll be sharing something for the first time: a pro field.
The McCourty’s will play against each other for the first time in their NFL careers on Sunday, as the Patriots and Titans kick off their 2012 regular seasons.
They shared the field in college, both playing defensive back at Rutgers. But now, although their relationship off the field is a good one, this week will add a new chapter to their sibling rivalry.
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“I actually told him to lose my number this week,” said Devin, who was drafted first back in 2009. “No side bets, no anything else. I’ll see and talk to him on Sunday when we get out on the field.”
“We cut off all communication,” added Jason. “I only have one brother this week.”
The two have supported each other during their pro careers – Jason a three-year vet and Devin with his two years in New England — but that’s not to say things didn’t get a little heated in the McCourty household as they grew up.
“Basketball games and video games always ended in a fight. We’d play basketball, not keep score and just go at it,” said Jason, adding he won most of those games – and battles – without actually saying it. “I was a first-team all-county (basketball) player in high school and he was second, so…”
Devin begs to differ.
“I think he’s had a concussion. He probably forgets that I won most of those battles,” countered Devin. “We don’t remember many of the scores, but we just know he usually left angry.”
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While they had their brotherly tussles, they have also found time to push each other at every level.
“It’s been huge,” Jason said of having Devin by his side. “Always having someone next to you to be honest with you and push you. I can remember some of our college workouts, just getting out there and it being hot and you feel like slacking off. Just to have that person to the side who wasn’t afraid to tell you that you were slacking off or to step it up. Things like that, having that person to push you and motivate you to get you where we are today.”
Devin does hold the bragging rights a bit, being a first round pick in 2010 while Jason was selected in the sixth round in 2009, and also seeing postseason play in each of his two seasons. But Jason just signed a big contract with Tennessee, so he does have that going for him.
“I probably have a little bit of it now,” Jason said of his bragging rights. “I talk a little bit of trash to him about when I first signed and how he was the first rounder, but it doesn’t matter anymore. It’s just kind of good motivation for one another. It pushes us to get to where the other one is at.”
But the all-important question is, who will their mama McCourty be rooting for come Sunday at 1p.m.? Devin said she would be wearing a split jersey – half patriots, half Titans – but it’s Jason who is providing her with a bed to sleep in.
“She’s 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,” said Jason.
“She says she’s going to root for both teams,” said Devin. “But I kind of think since it’s in Tennessee. She still might root for the Patriots. She’ll tell Jason she’s rooting for him since she’s staying at his house.”
With that bed comes a strict rule, so the split jersey idea might not work out.
“There won’t be any Patriots memorabilia in Nashville at all,” said Jason.
Ultimately, the most important thing for both McCourty’s is getting the win. But there is no doubt that bragging rights are also 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,” said Devin. “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.”
As for the best possible outcome, Jason feels things are pointing in his direction.
“Titans with a win. He’ll get over it,” he said with a laugh.
Tune in to Patriots-Titans at 1p.m. Sunday afternoon on both WBZ-TV and 98.5 The Sports Hub! Pregame coverage begins at 10 a.m. on the Hub, and at 11:30a.m. on WBZ with Patriots Gameday. Tune in after the game for full postgame coverage on 98.5 and over on TV-38!