No Huddle: Jason McCourty ready to take on twin

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No Huddle: Jason McCourty ready to take on twin

FOXBORO -- It may feel you're being inundated this week with stories about twin brothers Devin and Jason McCourty.
You are.
But how often do you get a pair of twins, split up, put on opposing NFL teams, and pitted against one another to kick off the 2012 NFL season? That's what you've got in Sunday's tilt between the Patriots and Titans.
Jason took a few minutes Wednesday afternoon to talk about the match up via conference call. Even though both brothers have said there's no trash talking going on -- there's no talking period -- reporters did their best to stir the pot.
Hey, it's a unique opportunity for everyone.
What will it be like to face your twin brother this weekend?JM: "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 wont realize after the game, but probably years from now."This has to be a tough one for your mother. Whose jersey does she wear?JM: "I told her that shes coming down today and staying with me. I told her that if shes staying with me and planning to come back to the house after the game that shell be rooting for the Titans."Devin said that she is going to wear a half-and-half jersey but with a Patriots shirt underneath. Are you going to let that happen?JM: Laughs "Nah, there wont be any Patriots memorabilia in Nashville at all."We talked to Devin earlier and without hesitation he said that he is his mothers favorite son. What do you have to say to that?JM: "Ah, you know that everyone has to be confident in themselves, so I would expect him to say that."He said the ticket requests fell on your shoulders. How many family members will you have in the stadium Sunday?JM: "Just about 20. Since Im the one with the home game, the ticket requests fell on me, so Ill be looking for a check for about half from Dev."Do people say that you and Devin play a similar style of football?JM: "Yeah, people have been saying that since his rookie year. Its funny, when you turn the film on for both of us you can see a lot of similarities in our body movements. Some of the guys even joke around and say we walk alike. Its a pretty cool thing."Are your offensive teammates looking to you for a scouting report?JM: "Well, I told the guys that Im probably the best scout team look they can get this season going up against Dev on Sunday because our games are so similar. So I can line up without even noticing and probably do some of the things he does."
What are the differences in your games?JM: "I dont know, I guess Id leave that to other guys to figure out what the differences are. I think we both go out and play hard, not afraid to tackle, go out there and do whatever the team needs to win the game."Devin was drafted earlier (at 27 overall in 2010; Jason went 203 overall in 2009) but you just signed a new contract. Who has the bragging rights there?JM: Laughs "I dont know, I probably have a little bit of it now. I talk a little bit of trash to him about when I first signed and how he was the first rounder, but it doesnt matter anymore. Its just kind of good motivation for one another. It pushes us to get to where the other one is at."How did growing up with each other help you guys evolve your games?JM: "Its been huge. 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 wasnt 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."What was the competition like when you played basketball or video games or anything like that?JM: Laughs "Oh man, you can ask my mom about that. Basketball games and video games always ended in a fight. Wed play basketball, not keep score and just go at it."Which brother could beat the other one?JM: "I was a first-team all county player in high school and he was second, so"Is it going to feel different to play a game with your brother on the other team?JM: "I dont know. It might feel a little bit weird. Usually on Sundays after our game Im hoping that he has a good game and wins the game, but I dont know. I guess well have to find out after the game how we felt."Was it last year when you and Devin bought your mom a house? What was it like to be able to do that?JM: "Yeah, that was an extraordinary feeling. Thats kind of what motivated us our entire lives, to be able grow up and be able to give back and do things for my mother. So to be able to do things like that and just see the smile on her face and to know that youre making a huge difference for her in her life, thats probably the best feeling we can get coming out of this."What is the best case scenario for the McCourty twins on Sunday?JM: Laughs "Titans with a win. Hell get over it."

Colin Kaepernick will sit through anthem until there's change

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Colin Kaepernick will sit through anthem until there's change

SANTA CLARA, Calif. - Defiant, and determined to be a conduit for U.S. change, Colin Kaepernick plans to sit through the national anthem for as long as he feels is appropriate and until he sees significant progress in America - specifically when it comes to race relations.

He knows he could be cut by San Francisco for this stand. Criticized, ostracized, and he'll go it all alone if need be.

The quarterback realizes he might be treated poorly in some road cities, and he's ready for that, too, saying he's not overly concerned about his safety, but "if something happens that's only proving my point."

"I'm going to continue to stand with the people that are being oppressed," Kaepernick said Sunday at his locker. "To me this is something that has to change. When there's significant change and I feel like that flag represents what it's supposed to represent, this country is representing people the way that it's supposed to, I'll stand."

Two days after he refused to stand for the "The Star Spangled Banner" before the 49ers' preseason loss to the Packers, Kaepernick insists whatever the consequences, he will know "I did what's right." He said he hasn't heard from the NFL or anyone else about his actions - and it won't matter if he does.

"No one's tried to quiet me and, to be honest, it's not something I'm going to be quiet about," he said. "I'm going to speak the truth when I'm asked about it. This isn't for look. This isn't for publicity or anything like that. This is for people that don't have the voice. And this is for people that are being oppressed and need to have equal opportunities to be successful. To provide for families and not live in poor circumstances."

Letting his hair go au natural and sprinting between drills as usual, Kaepernick took the field Sunday with the 49ers as his stance drew chatter across NFL camps.

He explained his viewpoints to teammates in the morning, some agreeing with his message but not necessarily his method. Some said they know he has offended his countrymen, others didn't even know what he had done.

"Every guy on this team is entitled to their opinion. We're all grown men," linebacker NaVorro Bowman said.

"I agree with what he did, but not in the way he did it," wideout Torrey Smith said. "That's not for me. He has that right. Soldiers have died for his right to do exactly what he did. ... I know he's taken a lot of heat for it. He understands that when you do something like that it does offend a lot of people."

Both Bowman and Smith are African American.

Kaepernick criticized presidential candidates Donald Trump ("openly racist") and Hillary Clinton;" called out police brutality against minorities; and pushed for accountability of public officials.

"You can become a cop in six months and don't have to have the same amount of training as a cosmetologist," Kaepernick said. "That's insane. Someone that's holding a curling iron has more education and more training than people that have a gun and are going out on the street to protect us."

In college at Nevada, Kaepernick said, police were called one day "because we were the only black people in that neighborhood." Officers entered without knocking and drew guns on him and his teammates and roommates as they were moving their belongings, he said.

He said his stand is not against men and women in the military fighting and losing their lives for Americans' rights and freedoms.

Kaepernick, whose hair had been in cornrows during training camp, sat on the bench during Friday's national anthem at Levi's Stadium. Giants wideout Victor Cruz and Bills coach Rex Ryan said standing for the anthem shows respect.

"There's a lot of things that need to change. One specifically? Police brutality," said Kaepernick, whose adoptive parents are Caucasian. "There's people being murdered unjustly and not being held accountable. People are being given paid leave for killing people. That's not right. That's not right by anyone's standards."

On Sunday, he stopped briefly on a side field to talk with Dr. Harry Edwards and they shared a quick embrace before the quarterback grabbed his helmet and took the field. Edwards is a sociologist and African-American activist who helped plan the "Olympic Project for Human Rights" before the 1968 Mexico City Olympics, where U.S. sprinters and medalists Tommie Smith and John Carlos bowed their heads through the anthem on the medal podium in their black power protest.

After swirling trade talks all offseason following Kaepernick's three surgeries and sub-par 2015 season, he has done everything so far but play good football - and he doesn't plan for this to be a distraction.

Coach Chip Kelly did not speak to the media Sunday. He said Saturday he still hasn't decided on his starting quarterback in a competition between Kaepernick and Blaine Gabbert, who took over the job from Kaepernick last November and has vowed to be the No. 1 again.

Kaepernick hasn't stood for the anthem in any of the team's three preseason games "and I don't see it as going about it the wrong way."

"That's his right as a citizen," Kelly said. "We recognize his right as an individual to choose to participate or not participate in the national anthem."

Now, Kaepernick is prepared for whatever comes next.

"I think there's a lot of consequences that come along with this. There's a lot of people that don't want to have this conversation," he said. "They're scared they might lose their job. Or they might not get the endorsements. They might not to be treated the same way. Those are things I'm prepared to handle. ...

"At this point, I've been blessed to be able to get this far and have the privilege of being able to be in the NFL, making the kind of money I make and enjoy luxuries like that. I can't look in the mirror and see people dying on the street that should have the same opportunities that I've had."

Has Brissett removed Patriots' need for veteran quarterback help?

Has Brissett removed Patriots' need for veteran quarterback help?

FOXBORO – Talked to Jacoby Brissett on Sunday. His session with the media was as efficient and frills-free as his Friday night performance against the Carolina Panthers.

Brissett, the third-rounder From NC State, keeps improving. From 7-for-13 for 63 yards in the first game of the preseason to 9-for-13 for 87 yards Week 2 to a 9-for-9, 85-yard, one touchdown performance against Carolina.

He’s completed all manner of passes – inside, outside, checkdowns, tight windows – and looked preternaturally comfortable doing so.

Maybe I have a little recency bias working, but I don’t recall a drafted quarterback looking as poised and in command in his rookie preseason as Brissett has so far. Jimmy Garoppolo may have had more impressive game-by-game numbers, but Brissett oozes composure that that I don’t think Garoppolo matched.

Encircled by a media horde Sunday, Brissett was pleasant and perfunctory when asked about his performance.

“Definitely it was progress,” he said, adding that he’s, "still learning. I’m sure I’ll be learning until I leave here."

 Even though he was 9-for-9, Brissett said that watching film he could see “things you messed up on and could have done better.”

Asked for an example, Brissett talk about speed. At the line of scrimmage, going through progressions and delivering the ball, Brissett said all of it can improve.

The interesting question the Patriots face now is whether they are prepared to allow Brissett to be the lone backup to the still relatively green Garoppolo. Or does the team need an experienced backup to call on if Jimmy melts down?

Thursday night could be a telling evening for that. With Garoppolo unlikely to play a ton so the team can make sure he’s good to go for the opener, it comes down to who benefits more from reps against the Giants, Tom Brady or Brissett?

It shouldn’t be close. Brissett needs the reps.

Meanwhile, we made mention of Brissett’s relationship with Hall of Fame coach Bill Parcells after he was drafted and I figured revisiting that on Sunday wouldn’t hurt.

Brissett said he’s circled up with Parcells “here and there” but smiled knowingly and said, “He’s not the head coach here so you kinda need to listen to what your coach here is saying.”

Ex-Patriot Ridley signs with Colts

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Ex-Patriot Ridley signs with Colts

After being cut from the Detriot Lions last week, Stevan Ridely has signed with the Indianapolis Colts.

The running back played for the Patriots for four seasons (2011-2014), averaging 4.3 yards per carry while scoring 22 touchdowns in 52 games. He only played in six game in his final year with New England as a result of a torn ACL and MCL.

Ridley played for the AFC-East rival New York Jets in 2015 with a limited role in the nine games he played.