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Devin McCourty not worried about a Patriots leadership void without Tom Brady

Devin McCourty found out on Twitter that Tom Brady was leaving, which surprised some people.
Devin McCourty found out on Twitter that Tom Brady was leaving, which surprised some people.Jonathan Wiggs/Globe Staff

Devin McCourty is a savvy social media practitioner.

The longtime Patriots safety shares accounts with his twin brother Jason on several platforms, using them to get messages out, banter with teammates, and consume news.

So when McCourty found out via Twitter that Tom Brady was leaving New England — something he revealed in The Players’ Tribune — it wasn’t a big deal to him.

Speaking with the media Wednesday for the first time since signing a two-year, $23 million deal to stay in New England, McCourty said, “People were tweeting like, ‘Man, he didn’t call you?’ And I was like, ‘Dang, I guess I should have written [that] I found out most of my teammates left on Twitter.’

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"That wasn’t a big deal to me. In 2020, it’s rare a guy can call all of his teammates and tell him that he’s going somewhere else because just how fast news breaks.

"But I did get an opportunity to talk to Tom.’’

McCourty declined to reveal any details of the chat, but said he’s looking forward to this season because of the guys that still are in the locker room.

Patriots veteran Devin McCourty spoke with the media on Wednesday.
Patriots veteran Devin McCourty spoke with the media on Wednesday.Barry Chin

“I think it’s been like that for years," he said. “We had probably the greatest football player ever on our team, so I think people really didn’t look at the leadership and different guys we had in the locker room. I know everyone’s kind of like, ‘What’s going to happen? Everything is brand new,’ but I don’t really see it like that.

"I see a continuance of what we’ve been doing and guys assuming the same leadership roles when you look at myself, [Matthew] Slater, Jules [Edelman], [Patrick] Chung, all those guys have been there 10-plus years, so we just have to continue to do what we’ve been doing.’’

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McCourty also didn’t want to get in depth on a scouting report on Jarrett Stidham, who’ll be competing to be Brady’s successor.

“I always lead off with this: If you ask me to evaluate and pick a quarterback, the team’s probably going to lose a lot of games,” McCourty said. “I don’t even know what Josh McDaniels tells him to read.

"Like I said about [Stidham] before, I love how he’s come in, he’s eager to learn. He has a great personality, great attitude, like a lot of guys in the locker room. I would say he’s been one of the more mature guys that comes in and just gets to work.”

Devin McCourty has been in the NFL for 10 years.
Devin McCourty has been in the NFL for 10 years.Jim Davis/Globe Staff

It was clear from recent comments McCourty made on his podcast about Stidham that he’s excited about the future, but he was a little more tempered in his comments Wednesday. McCourty acknowledged that the hype train gets moving in a hurry based on a veteran player’s performance reviews.

“I don’t want to turn this call into ’what I see in Stidham is the next great quarterback’ and put all that pressure on him,’’ McCourty said. “I know if I say something, then it’s a headline tomorrow.

"Like I said, he’s a hard worker. He did a great job this year of just coming in and trying to compete in his role. And then you’ve got Cody Kessler, who gave us some good looks on different things. Both those guys, great attitudes, so I look forward to those guys getting an opportunity.”

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Like everyone across the globe, McCourty is adjusting to life during the coronavirus crisis, and said he has relied on Peloton workouts and FaceTiming his trainer to keep in shape.

“I think the good thing is, everyone has that same mentality, players trying to figure out how they can get workouts in, trainers walking around their house and figuring out things that guys can do and then passing it along,’’ he said.

“Everyone’s kind of going through the same thing and trying to figure that out, but it’s definitely challenging.’’


Jim McBride can be reached at james.mcbride@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @globejimmcbride.