Jason McCourty: Young Patriots defender could be among NFL's best


J.C. Jackson is seen as a rising star in the Patriots secondary as the former undrafted rookie enters his third NFL season.

A year ago Jackson started six of the 16 games he played in, finishing tied for second on the team with five interceptions.

That production caused at least one NFL GM to anonymously tell ESPN this offseason that Jackson might be a top-10 cornerback in the league playing opposite reigning NFL Defensive Player of the Year Stephon Gilmore.

According to veteran teammate Jason McCourty, Jackson might even be better than that.

Asked by a fan during the most recent episode to the “Double Coverage” podcast that he hosts with twin brother Devin, Jason McCourty was effusive in his praise of Jackson.

“Sky’s the limit for J.C. I call him Jerald, I don’t call him J.C.,” Jason McCourty said. “I tell Jerald that all the time. His jump from year 1 to year 2 was a ton of success. I see no different for year 3 for him. I tell him all the time I think he has the potential to be, when you talk about some of the best corners in our game, I feel like he has the potential to be right there. He’s only scratched the surface of how good he can possibly be as a corner. I believe a ton in J.C. So I think the sky’s the limit for him.”

Elsewhere in the “Double Coverage” podcast both McCourtys continued to express some concern and nervousness as to how the NFL’s return to the practice field and 2020 season might play out in the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. NFL players are in the midst of reporting to individual team training camp facilities this week, not a “bubble” situation as with the NBA and NHL.

“I'm not going to lie, for me as a fellow player, I go on social media and it makes me very nervous to think there will be a season," Jason McCourty said on “Double Coverage,” as transcribed by ESPN. “Because I've seen guys posting a video in a nightclub, and it's just like, 'Yo, we're attempting to play football. That's not going to be OK.' You see guys working out in one city on a Monday, working out in another city on a Tuesday, and another city the next week, and it's just like, 'Dang, if they're working out here, here and here, that means you have to be traveling and you come across however many people.' Or you see a guy posting pictures and there's hundreds of [people], whether it's anywhere. So for me, it is nerve-wracking.

“Those are the things that for me, make it nervous to say, 'Are we going to be able to have an entire season?' Because of small things like that that go a long way ... it only takes one person testing positive, you come into the building, and that thing will spread like wildfire," McCourty said in remarks that came before the recent outbreak in MLB’s Florida Marlins that forced the league to postpone a pair of games on Monday.