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Devin McCourty, Stephon Gilmore Defend Amari Cooper After Rex Ryan's Insult

BOSTON (CBS) -- The Patriots have a mantra of "ignoring the noise," a motto that suggests anything said by outsiders about the team does not matter. Apparently, the mantra doesn't apply when players on other teams are being discussed, because both Stephon Gilmore and Devin McCourty have publicly taken issue with Rex Ryan's commentary on Amari Cooper.

As background, Ryan lashed out a bit at Cooper on ESPN on Friday, calling the Cowboys receiver a "turd." Ryan later issued an apology of sorts but still expressed his criticism of Cooper as a player.

For that, the reigning Defensive Player of the Year felt compelled to speak up in support of Cooper.

"Come on Rex," Gilmore tweeted. "[Cooper is] one of the toughest receivers in the league to cover. His release game is probably top two."

Later in the weekend, on the "Double Coverage" podcast, longtime Patriots captain Devin McCourty said that ESPN never should have even aired Ryan's comments -- not when the 10-part documentary series on Michael Jordan is set to run this month.

"I just wanted to call ESPN and say, 'ESPN, listen. You have the Jordan documentary coming out. You don't need to air Rex Ryan. Like you don't need that. Ratings are gonna go through the roof when you drop the Jordan doc. It's a wrap!'" McCourty said. "Like, as soon as Rex Ryan said that, we should've cut it. Should've never had it on air. Like, whatever we had to do, just cut it, throw it in the trash. The Jordan doc is gonna drop. Like, we don't need any extra hits for nonsense."

Devin's twin brother Jason McCourty said he understands the need for "infotainment" these days, but that Ryan's comment clearly went over the line.

"At what point in the game can you call somebody a turd?" Jason asked on the podcast. "Whether he's a good player or not a good player, it was just bad ball all around."

It's worth noting that Cooper had his worst game of the year (and of his career) when he and the Cowboys visited Foxboro this past November, when he caught zero passes. Based on the comments from Gilmore and the McCourty twins, though, shutting down Cooper was no easy feat.

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