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Devin McCourty feels “different atmosphere” around Patriots

Chris Simms stops by to break down the latest regarding the Patriots' QB competition, and whether Mac Jones has shown enough minicamp to unseat Cam Jones as the team's presumptive starter entering training camp.

The Patriots were one of the busiest teams in free agency this offseason and bringing in bunches of new players means that there are some departures as well.

Wide receiver Julian Edelman, safety Patrick Chung and cornerback Jason McCourty were some of the players to part ways with the Patriots this offseason. Their departures helped push the Patriots in a younger direction and they left safety Devin McCourty without familiar faces who he’d grown very comfortable playing alongside in New England.

Those changes will take some getting used to for the 11-year veteran.

“Obviously it’s different,” McCourty said, via “I will say the different thing about this year, too, is guys like Chung and Jules; I’ve played with those guys for so long -- obviously, J’s my twin brother and the last three years have been awesome -- but it’s getting used to just that aspect of some of the guys that you don’t think twice about that you’re taking the field with. . . . So, it’s like almost every time you’re at practice or a game, you just get used to seeing those guys. I think it shows age, when you’re still playing football. Things obviously change in this league, but I would say all those guys, kind of grouping them together has created a different atmosphere.”

McCourty is in the final year of his contract and he turns 34 in August, so it’s not hard to imagine his departure being one of the changes that the team has to adapt to heading into the 2022 season. That’s a question for another time, however, and the more pressing matter is how the Patriots put all of the new pieces together in time for the current campaign.