Devin McCourty - Safety Guaranteed
The Patriots player talks about training, telepathy and Tom Brady.
Patriots defensive back Devin McCourty, 27, has played for New England since 2010. An All-Pro cornerback during his rookie season, he later moved to safety and has also contributed as a kick returner. Born and raised in New Jersey, he attended Rutgers University, where he played for the Scarlet Knights alongside his identical twin, Jason, who now plays for the Tennessee Titans. In the aftermath of the Marathon bombings, he pledged $100 to the One Fund for every tackle he made last season.
Jonathan Soroff: How do you use your sociology degree?
Devin McCourty: I guess I use it in managing people and trying to stay sane while being on the team. With all that’s going on around you, it gets kind of crazy.
Do people underestimate your intelligence because you play football?
Definitely. In college, a group used to call us “football geniuses,” trying to be sarcastic.
If you weren’t a pro football player, what do you think you’d do?
Other than saving the world? I’d say probably be playing in the NBA.
Did you ever dress up as Rutgers’ mascot, the Scarlet Knight, for Halloween?
No, but I have dressed up as the Easter Bunny for Easter.
Do you ever just feel like punching Pat Patriot?
No. I usually feel like punching out my brother’s mascot, T-Rac.
What do you think your post-football career is going to look like?
Sitting on the couch. [Laughs]
Finest moment on the field?
The AFC Championship game when Baltimore missed the field goal, and we realized we were going to the Super Bowl.
So what is a gridiron?
That’s a good question. I honestly have no idea, and I’ll bet you most football players don’t, either.
Do you and your twin brother have telepathy?
I wish, but no. When we’re together, no matter how long we haven’t seen each other, we’re pretty good at finishing each other’s sentences though.
Ever impersonated each other?
Plenty of times. In fact, the first time I met his now wife, I pretended to be him, but she knew instantly. She’d studied pictures online to make sure she could tell the difference when she finally met me.
Your mother has said that the only way to tell you apart is by your scars.
Yeah. I don’t think we look alike, but everyone else says he has a scar on his forehead and I have one on my nose, and that’s the only way to tell us apart.
Favorite board game?
Probably Trouble. I played it as a kid. That, and Don’t Wake Daddy.
How would you feel if one of your teammates were gay?
I wouldn’t be surprised.
How do you think it would be on the team?
I think it would be cool. I’d be surprised if anybody had a real problem with it in this day and age.
What’s the worst part of it?
Practice. Every day, [you] get out there in full pads, practice for a couple of hours. It’s hot. You’re sleeping at a hotel. That’s the worst part of playing professional football.
Do you get to eat whatever you want?
Yes, I do. Not everyone does, but I eat whatever I want.
A tossup between Tom Brady and Julian Edelman.
Biggest pig in the locker room?
Well, he’s not really that messy, but Vince Wilfork can eat a piece of chicken on the bone. He’ll put it on bread, like it’s a sandwich, and somehow he’ll never bite the bone, and he eats the whole thing. I’ve never seen anyone else do that.
Favorite snack in Foxborough?
Well, we used to have these SnackWell’s cookies, but we went super nutritious, so now the best snack is actually sunflower seeds. Our snacks are so healthy, it’s terrible. But training camp’s good, because we get chocolate chip cookies and ice cream.
Best restaurant near Gillette Stadium?
Do you consider yourself 100 percent Jersey boy?
No. I’m more New York slash New Jersey.
Is 32 your lucky number?
No, it was the only open number when I got to the Patriots. [Laughs]
Coolest thing people don’t realize about Gillette?
Probably how close they’re sitting to Bill Belichick’s office.
Do you ever get distracted by the cheerleaders?
I can’t lie. There are portions of the game where we’re looking at them, yeah.
Finish this joke: What did the drag queen say to the tight end?
I’ll go with, “Nice butt.”
Do you think pro athletes live in a bubble?
I think some do. Like, I feel bad for Tom Brady. He probably can’t even go to the grocery store. I can.
Last movie you watched that made you cry?
When I was 5 and my grandmother used to make us watch Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” video. It used to scare me and my brother.
Best fan sign you’ve ever seen at a game?
It wasn’t at a game. It was at training camp. Matt Light had a guy come in Daisy Duke short-shorts and his shirt tied like a girl, and he had a sign that said, “I’m open, Tom! Throw it here!” He was right under the clock on the practice field, so before each play, the shot would go to the clock. And every play, we saw this guy jumping up and down and holding this sign. It was hilarious.
Endorsement deal you’d most like?
So who would play you in the movie of your life?