Q: When you were watching football last weekend during the bye week, do you have the playoff race in mind? Are you rooting against certain teams to help your standing?
DM: No, cause honestly I probably watched two quarters of football on Sunday. I was traveling back with the family, so I didn't catch many games. I only saw the night game. I believe it was Philly and New Orleans.
Q: What about Monday night? Were you rooting for the Rams because a Chiefs loss would help you in the playoff race?
DM: No, that was just entertainment; just watching the game. It was a good football game, so I just watch.
Q: What happens during the bye week that has historically allowed you guys to play well the following week?
DM: Just focusing on this year, hopefully, I think we just got back to playing better fundamentally. Not even so much just a game plan for the Jets, but just doing some of the things fundamentally that we didn't do well in the Tennessee game and throughout the first games of the season and trying to correct that because we know going forward, in any game we play, any opponent, that will help us win. So, I think we do a good job of just trying to reset and think about that and hopefully that shows up Sunday when we go down to New Jersey.
Q: What are you thankful for this Thanksgiving?
DM: Like usual, my family. Being able to play football and support them, and then I think their love and support that they sacrifice a lot for me to play this game.
Q: Does your brother, Jason McCourty, get to carve the turkey tomorrow or is that your role?
DM: No, it's in my house so he's just a guest. He kind of falls in line. There's no twin stuff at my house.
Q: Favorite side dish?
DM: Candied yams. Are you going to bring that in for me or are you just writing an article?
Q: I'm just writing it down.
Q: Are you anxious to get out there this Sunday and have an opportunity to prove that you can play well on the road?
DM: Yeah, I think so. I think, for us, we have a good amount of road games left, so I think it's a challenge and an opportunity to come out and change that. That's going to be key as we go down the stretch and we talk about after Thanksgiving playing your best football with a good amount of those – I forgot the exact number – being on the road. We have to do that or it won't matter after Thanksgiving if we don't play well on the road. I think that's something we're all conscious about. We've got to go play well on the road to go play good football down this last stretch of the season. It comes down to getting off to a good start and playing sound football for 60 minutes. Obviously, we've talked about that every week and it hasn't gotten done consistently, and I think that's something we've focused on and that we need to really be concentrated on going forward.
Q: Why do you think the team hasn't performed as well on the road?
DM: I don't know. I think each game it's been a little different on just not playing well. I think we've had some home games where we haven't played well in certain moments but we picked it up. I feel like on the road we just haven't been able to pick it up if we haven't started well or if we've had a bad stretch. It just hasn't kind of flipped and turned. I think that's something that we've got to just keep after and try to fix.
Q: Do you feel like the Boston-New York rivalry makes these games more fun between the Patriots and the Jets?
DM: It's a close game, and like you said, throughout all sports history it's always that rivalry there. When we go down there it's not many Patriot fans in there. If they are in there, you probably don't want to be too loud in that stadium because the Jet fans will get rowdy. It's a lot of fun. Especially around this time of year, around Thanksgiving, playing these guys in kind of a rivalry type of game, which Thanksgiving is huge – high school football around the country and rivalry games. So, it's kind of fitting to be playing them this week.
Q: Were kids from Nyack, New Jersey, such as yourself, Jets or Giants fans growing up?
DM: I was actually a Cowboys fan growing up, so I didn't care much for the Jets or Giants.
Q: As an opponent going into New York, is it different playing in there versus other places in terms of the environment?
DM: I think it's cool for me just driving to the stadium. I know all of that area, so it's always fun to me going to the stadium. I always see at least 10 to 12 people who will say, "Hoo-rah! Go Rutgers," or something like that. It kind of feels like being at home. This year will be cool because Saturday my high school is going to kill Bergen Catholic at MetLife Stadium on Saturday before we get there. It'll be cool. Hopefully, St Joe's wins another state championship and then we go play Sunday.
Q: As a guy who often addresses your teammates on the field and keeps them pumped up, is there a difference on the road? People talk about bringing your own energy – do you have a sense of that or a need for that when you go on the road?
DM: No, I wouldn't say – I think the biggest thing is we've got to make some plays early in the game. You talk about bringing your own energy, I don't think it's as much pregame and getting a rally but it's to open the game whether on offense, defense, special teams. It's having guys make big plays whether that's going three-and-out, whether it's having a long drive offensively, like it's coming where guys are making plays. I think when you see that, then you see, "Alright, the team looks ready to go, energetic early." I think we haven't made plays early so then it's kind of like the crowd, the away crowd gets going, so I think that's something that we've really talked about individually, each guy going out there and saying, "You know, if a play comes my way, I'm going to make a play early and kind of get the team going." I think for our older guys, our veterans, our leaders, that's something that we've got to do if a play comes our way.
Q: What have you seen from Duke Dawson so far as a guy who's coming in late and trying to get into the defense late in the season?
DM: He's very competitive. He goes out there every day whether on defense or the look defense against the offense, making plays. I think he's doing a good job of going out there and competing against our best guys, whether it be Jules [Julian Edelman] Hoges [Chris Hogan], Phil [Dorsett], whoever's in there – JG [Josh Gordon] – of just trying to compete and make plays. I think as a young guy, nothing gets you better. I remember being over there and going against our offense and whether it was Randy [Moss], Wes [Welker], as a rookie of going against those guys just getting you better as a player. He's done a good job of taking advantage of that.
Q: How many times will you eat tomorrow?
DM: A definite twice and we'll see how it goes for the rest whether we go some type of dessert or just another meal for the third.
Q: Are you a turkey sandwich guy and all that afterwards?
DM: Not a big turkey guy but ham. I don't need a sandwich, just get me like another meal.
Q: What are you thankful for?
DM: My family. They're awesome.