Jason McCourty offers perspective for New England in latest piece for Players' Tribune

Evan Marinofsky
January 11, 2019 - 12:36 pm

On Sunday, the New England Patriots kick off against the Los Angeles Chargers in the divisional round of the NFL playoffs. 

For much of New England, this is just another matchup in a long line of playoff games. But for cornerback Jason McCourty, this is his first playoff game. 

Ever. 

In a Players' Tribune piece that ran Friday morning, McCourty talked about his relationship with his twin brother Devin and the difference in the success of the teams they've been on in their respective careers. 

"After years of having my season end early, to come to an organization and have success has been amazing," penned McCourty. "In New England, winning isn't some bigger goal, it's part of a process. It's the expected result. And even though this culture is like second nature to most guys on the team who have been here their whole career, it hasn't always been that way for me." 

McCourty was drafted in the sixth round by the Tennessee Titans in the sixth round of the 2009 NFL draft. McCourty spent eight years with the Titans and then one with the Cleveland Browns before being traded to the Patriots. 

Around here in New England, winning the AFC East doesn't mean a heck of a lot. The Patriots have won it in 10 straight years and 16 times since the Bill Belichick-Tom Brady era began. But for McCourty, it meant a ton. 

"And you better believe, as soon as that game ended, I was the first person in line to get my damn 'Patriots 2018 AFC East Division Champions' hat and t-shirt," said McCourty of what he did after the Patriots clinched the division against the Buffalo Bills. "I'm building out my own collection now." 

McCourty described that with the division win came a chance for a player who'd never really won anything, to finally have a chance at the Lombardi Trophy. 

"I got a text from my old teammate Alterraun Verner after we clinched our playoff spot," wrote McCourty. "We played together for four seasons in Tennessee and he's a close friend. 'Man, I'm living vicariously through you for these playoffs'. That really stuck with me. There are so many great players, including Alterraun, who I've been around or played against that never get this opportunity. I was one of them. I get it. 

"So I'm not taking any of this for granted. I'm honored to have the opportunity to compete on a team like this and represent all the guys who work so hard and never get an opportunity like this."  

To read the entire Players' Tribune piece, click here.

Related: Hannable: Here is key for Patriots to beat Chargers

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