Jason McCourty goes from 0-16 to Super Bowl champ

Reunited with his twin brother this season for the first time since 2008, Jason McCourty celebrated the feeling Sunday night that his kin, Devin, had already felt twice before: that of a Super Bowl champion New England Patriot.

It was a long time coming for Jason, who spent the first nine years of his career not even sniffing a postseason berth, and an even longer way back from where his 2017 ended.

After spending eight seasons with the Tennessee Titans, McCourty was released in April of 2017 and signed with the Cleveland Browns. The cornerback started 14 games for Cleveland, who became just the second team in NFL history to go 0-16.

At the start of free agency in 2018, the Browns traded McCourty and a seventh-rounder to New England for a sixth-rounder -- essentially nothing. The corner, reunited with his brother, turned that nothing into a big something in New England's 13-3 victory over the Los Angeles Rams in Super Bowl LIII.

"I don't even know if I had a vision for it, man," Jason told NFL Network after the victory. "Last year, I spent the season in Cleveland. Didn't win a football game. God is good. I couldn't imagine I'd be sitting here after the 2018, 2019 season. Dev texted Bill [Belichick] in March and said 'Two McCourtys are better than one.' Tonight, I think Bill agrees. So I'm happy with it."

McCourty was no bystander in his first Super Bowl appearance, as he played an key role on one of the game's defining plays.

With L.A. driving down three points in the third quarter, Jared Goff faked a handoff while Brandin Cooks ran free on a deep post. Goff released the ball late and let it hang in the air, giving McCourty, who was on the other side of the field, enough time to track the pass and hit Cooks right as the pass arrived to him in the back of the end zone. The pass, a sure touchdown if thrown properly, fell incomplete, and Los Angeles settled for a field goal, its lone score of the game.

Devin McCourty couldn't get enough of his brother's journey to that moment.

"I'm ecstatic," Devin said, per The Providence Journal. "That guy, humbly came here, opening said, 'I'm willing to accept any role you had for me. I just want to be a part of the team.' You guys know it, starting in training camp, 'Is he going to make it? Is he not going to make it?' Six plays the first game. Started throughout the rest of the season. He's played deep, he's played inside, he's played outside, he's covered tight ends, receivers.

"He's been the Patriot guy. That Swiss Army knife all year. I think he's been great inspiration and motivation since we've been down here in Atlanta. He's had great perspective and enjoyed every bit of this trip."

Great twins think alike.

"0-16 last year, Super Bowl champion this year," Jason added. "I couldn't have thought this up, man. ... I remember when I first came here to this team in April, there was a whole media spectacle that it wouldn't be any fun here. It's my third organization in my 10th season. I haven't had more fun than this season."

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