Patriots

Devin McCourty sounds off on Rex Ryan, ESPN over Amari Cooper 'nonsense'

Devin McCourty sounds off on Rex Ryan, ESPN over Amari Cooper 'nonsense'

Rex Ryan's harsh comments about Amari Cooper last Friday aren't sitting well with anyone.

So, why did ESPN air them in the first place?

That's what New England Patriots safety Devin McCourty wondered Sunday while taking both the former NFL head coach and his current employer to task for Ryan calling Cooper a "turd" on ESPN's "Get Up!"

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"I just wanted to call ESPN and say, ‘ESPN, listen: You have the Jordan documentary coming out. You don’t need to air Rex Ryan,' " McCourty said on his "Double Coverage With the McCourty Twins" podcast.

McCourty's point: ESPN airing Ryan's harsh comments about Cooper -- in which Ryan called the Dallas Cowboys wide receiver a "disappearing act" who "doesn't love football" and added "I wouldn't have paid this turd" -- was a ratings grab.

McCourty sarcastically noted ESPN doesn't need the extra publicity with "The Last Dance," its highly-anticipated documentary on Michael Jordan and the 1998 Chicago Bulls, dropping later this month.

"Ratings are going to go through the roof. When you drop the Jordan doc, it’s a wrap," McCourty said. "As soon as Rex Ryan said that, (ESPN) should have cut it, should have never had it on air.

"Whatever (they) had to do, just cut it. Throw it in the trash. The Jordan doc is going to drop. We don’t need any extra hits for nonsense."

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Devin's twin brother, Patriots cornerback Jason McCourty, also ripped ESPN for promoting Ryan's comments on social media.

"Everybody was all-in on this ‘turd’ comment," Jason said on the podcast. "I guess at the same time, it’s all about entertainment: How can we get more viewers, how can we get people to click this, click that?

"But at what point in the game can you call somebody a turd? Whether he’s a good player or not a good player, it was just bad ball all around."

Patriots cornerback Stephon Gilmore tweeted his defense of Cooper on Friday, as well, so it sounds like Ryan doesn't have many players in his corner.

Ryan later apologized on ESPN for his comments about Cooper -- which the McCourtys may tell you probably helped the network's ratings, too.

Raiders QB Derek Carr to face Patriots early in what could be bounce-back season

Raiders QB Derek Carr to face Patriots early in what could be bounce-back season

Editor’s note: In the coming weeks our Patriots insiders will be speaking with beat writers from around the NFL to get an outside view on what the future holds for the Patriots. Today’s team: The Las Vegas Raiders with Scott Bair of NBC Sports Bay Area.

The Las Vegas Raiders reportedly were among the teams with some level of interest in signing Tom Brady in NFL free agency, but the Silver and Black ultimately decided to stick with Derek Carr as its starting quarterback.

Carr shouldn't be too comfortable, though.

Despite making the most of a tough situation in 2019 during which the Raiders lacked skill and depth at many offensive positions, Carr's job doesn't appear to be safe. For example, the Raiders signed veteran quarterback Marcus Mariota in free agency, and he has several seasons of starting experience.

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NBC Sports Bay Area's Raiders insider Scott Bair recently spoke to our Patriots insider Phil Perry, and one of the topics centered around Carr's future and if he can once again perform at the level of a top-tier quarterback.

"Actions speak louder than words, and (head coach) Jon Gruden and (general manager) Mike Mayock at the combine and all these different places, they say the right things -- Derek Carr is their guy," Bair said. "But then, they're constantly flirting with Kyler Murray and Dwayne Haskins, and they sign Marcus Mariota to a deal that could evolve into paying him starter money should he take over that job. Those actions don't say (Carr is their guy).

"I've seen every professional snap that Derek Carr has ever taken. I've seen every practice rep that I've been allowed to see, and I may be in the minority, but this is a guy I believe can be an upper-tier NFL quarterback. He can make every throw, and if you go back to 2016 when he had a loaded offensive line and lots of good skill players, he finished third in MVP voting despite the fact he broke his leg in Week 16. I know that's in there. Now, Raiders fans don't believe me, the national media doesn't believe me, but I think the stage is set for him to have a career year and find that 2016 form yet again, that most fans think is lost forever."

One defense Carr will go up against in 2020 is the New England Patriots.

The Raiders are scheduled to visit Gillette Stadium on Sept. 27 for a Week 3 matchup, and they currently are underdogs by almost a touchdown, according to oddsmakers. Bair thinks the matchup is closer than the betting lines would suggest.

"I would definitely hammer the Raiders pretty hard right there," Bair said. "I just think they're going to have a lot of explosive firepower, and when there's uncertainty at quarterback, (the more explosive team) seems to be a safer bet. Maybe you know better than I do exactly how (the Patriots') quarterback situation is shaping up, but if there are major questions marks there, I would go with the more established quarterback, the more established offense. Again, (the Raiders) are going to be able to score in bunches, and I think they're going to be pretty excited to come to Foxboro and finally get a win, even if Brady isn't there."

The Raiders and Patriots both face a bit of uncertainty at quarterback entering the 2020 season, and whichever coach is able to surround his young QB with the best system and the right talent will put his team in a strong position to reach the playoffs. The Patriots haven't missed the postseason since 2008, while the Raiders have made only one appearance since 2002.

If Brian Hoyer starts for Patriots in Week 1, that's absolutely crazy

If Brian Hoyer starts for Patriots in Week 1, that's absolutely crazy

Rob Ninkovich sounded drunkovich when he spoke of Brian Hoyer starting Week 1 for the Patriots.

Get that man a breathalyzer. Stat.

And if Nink turns out to be right, get Bill Belichick one too. 

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I have said this before — and I will say it again: I will not watch one down of Brian Hoyer under center for the Patriots.

And you shouldn’t either!

Don’t be a sucker. Really, you’re going to waste your time watching a guy who has started 25 games in 11 seasons in the NFL?

He may be a nice guy, good at carrying a clipboard and ridding Tom Brady of his insecurities, but he is a lousy quarterback. Patriot fans deserve better.

Going from Tom Brady to Brian Hoyer is cold turkey to the extreme. I can feel the cotton mouth, cold sweats and shakes coming on already. 

Does Bill Belichick expect you to accept Brian Hoyer as a starter? If he does, it should piss you off. 

If Hoyer does get the call you can still watch some of the game. I plan to. When the Patriots are on offense I will switch to the other game or Red Zone, and when I see on my phone that the Pats are back on defense, I will switch back over and watch Gilmore, Hightower and the McCourtys do their thing. 

That’s my plan and I’m sticking to it.