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Devin McCourty's Players' Tribune essay shares what kept him in New England: Family and a new challenge

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Devin McCourty always seems to speak from the heart. Whether he is firing guys up on the sidelines before a game or speaking to local kids at an event, DMac knows the right things to say.

In an essay on The Players' Tribune, McCourty yet again left it all on the page. "A New New England" is a reflection on McCourty's decision to re-sign with the Patriots, the teammates who are on to new adventures and the new challenge that is before them.

Going into free agency, McCourty wrote that he thought he needed to leave New England for the next stage of his career, but when Jason re-signed with the team, something became clear. He thought back to one specific night after a game when both their families were running around on the Gillette Stadium field.

"And there was this moment where I kind of zoomed out on the whole thing — the kids, my mom, having my brother there — and it was like, Man … THIS is what it's all about.Family," McCourty wrote.

It is not secret that things will be different in Foxborough this season, and therein lies the new challenge for McCourty. But more than its winning ways, the Patriots have taught countless men to be better in every aspect of their life.

McCourty recalled when Kobe Bryant spoke to the team in 2018 and just how much it impacted him.

"But I think my biggest takeaway was something he said near the end of his talk. He spoke about how he had to learn to be great at basketball, but then he had to learn to be a great dad at the same time. He talked about taking the same energy that he chased championships with, then going home and giving that same kind of energy to his wife and kids," McCourty wrote. "And I'll never forget: I wrote that down in my notebook immediately and circled it like 10 times. I've thought a lot about it since, too. Pretty much every day."

As far as McCourty's concerned, he is taking that lesson and all the lessons he's learned since joining the Patriots and using it to forge the next chapter.

"I thought I had to leave New England to find what I was looking for," McCourty wrote. "But it turns out that there is no greater challenge for me right now than leading this Patriots team into a new era and helping ensure that this next wave of players can continue our legacy and build on what we've already achieved as a franchise."

As always, DMac knows exactly what to say.

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