A brief history of twin teammates in the NFL

A brief history of twin teammates in the NFL

Jason and Devin McCourty played together for the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LIII.

After spending most of his 10-year career with the Tennessee Titans, Jason joined his brother in Foxborough last March when the Browns traded him after just one season in Cleveland.

The McCourty twins at Super Bowl 50

“I texted (Bill Belichick) and said, ‘Hey Coach, I think two McCourtys are better than one,” Devin told CBS Sports during the Super Bowl LIII pregame show.

Devin has been with the Patriots since they selected him in the first round of the 2010 NFL Draft. Both brothers went to Rutgers. Jason was a sixth-round pick of the Titans in the 2009 draft.

Shaquem and Shaquill Griffin

It’s similar to the path Seattle defenders Shaquill and Shaquem Griffin have taken. The Griffin brothers were teammates at UCF before the Seahawks selected Shaquill in the third round of the 2017 draft. After leading the Knights to a perfect season in 2017, Shaquem was then a fifth-round pick of the Seahawks last year.

Jacob and Cody Hollister before a 2018 preseason game

The McCourtys and Griffins aren’t the only sets of twins in the NFL and the McCourtys aren’t even the only pair on the Patriots roster. Tight end Jacob Hollister and his wide receiver brother Cody have been with the Patriots since 2017. Both were injured in 2018 and placed on injured reserve. Cody has been a practice squad player while Jacob has eight career receptions over the last two seasons. Practice squad players do count.

There’s also Mike and Maurkice Pouncey, offensive linemen for the Chargers and Steelers, respectively, but those two have never been NFL teammates. There have been about a dozen sets of twins to play in the NFL, but the McCourtys, Griffins and Hollisters are a rarity. They are part of an exclusive group that includes only three other sets of twins to be teammates on NFL teams.

Gene and Tom Golsen were teammates for the 1926 Louisville Colonels; Earl and Mryl Goodwin for the 1928 Pottsville Maroons; and Brandon and Brian Dixon for the 2015 Saints. Yes, 87 years passed between twin teammates in the NFL.

Gene Golsen was a fullback who played in three games for the 1926 Colonels while Tom was an offensive guard who had just one appearance that season. Earl Goodwin was a tight end who played in eight games with three starts for the Maroons, who went 2-8 in their final year of existence – three years removed from being stripped of the 1925 NFL championship. Myrl Goodwin played in four games in 1928 as a utility player with snaps at quarterback, fullback and tight end.

Brian Dixon

The Saints signed Brandon Dixon to their practice squad on Nov. 5, 2015, reuniting him with his twin and former Northwest Missouri State teammate Brian. Brandon remained on the practice squad until his release the following August. Brian was a practice squad player from 2014 through 2016, getting promoted to the Saints active roster twice in October of 2016. He was plucked by the Cardinals on Dec. 28 of that season, but released May 2, 2017. Brian spent 2017 training camp with the Jaguars, but was not on a roster in 2018. Brandon spent parts of 2017 and 2018 with the Steelers and Giants and is now with the Orlando Apollos of the upstart Alliance of American Football.   

Jason and Devin McCourty are the first sets of twins to ever play in a Super Bowl. It’s the first Super Bowl for Jason, but old hat for Devin, who is in his fifth championship game and already has a pair of Super Bowl rings.

“Growing up, were always on the same team,” Jason told CBS Sports prior to Super Bowl LIII. “When I went to Tennessee, that was the first time we were apart.

“With his success, I was sort of able to live vicariously through him.”

Now they get to share the Super Bowl stage together, making history in the process.