FOXBORO, Mass. — Most NFL players probably couldn’t call Bill Belichick a “jerk” on TV and later sign with the New England Patriots, but cornerback Darrelle Revis has earned that exemption.
Revis and Belichick’s relationship wasn’t always great, but now that Revis is two years removed from playing for the Patriots’ biggest rival — the New York Jets — and after he had a heart to heart with the Patriots head coach, their relationship has improved.
“Yeah, I think it changed the first time through the whole process when I got released from (the Tampa Bay Buccaneers) and talking to teams,” Revis said Thursday after the Patriots’ final day of minicamp. “And I actually got to sit down and talk with Belichick and I think it changed during that conversation when we sat down together and just had a good conversation. We moved forward. Whatever we had in the past, we put it behind us. I think it changed during that moment.”
Revis even referred to Belichick, known to the general public as a bit of a curmudgeon, as a “players’ coach.”
“A lot of people might not say that outside looking in, but we’re with Bill every day,” Revis said. “We hang out with him every day. We’re in the meetings with him every day, so we’re around him all the time. I really feel like he’s a players coach. I feel like he runs it how he wants to run it, but at the same time, you have to go out here and work.
“I think that’s the biggest thing that people don’t really understand about Bill is — he’ll ask questions. He’ll ask questions, try to get other people’s insight, especially veterans, to see if we’ve got any insight from playing for many years. Yeah, he’ll sit down and have a conversation with you. I think that’s why he’s so genius at what he’s done. He’s very smart, but at the same time he knows the pulse of the team.”
At the end of the day, however, whatever Belichick says, goes, even if it’s something new, and if it might not be comfortable at first. Patriots defensive captain and starting safety Devin McCourty said Revis has embraced the Patriots’ team-first mentality.
“I don’t have discipline problems. Bill’s the coach,” Revis said. “Whatever he says goes, you gotta listen to him. And that’s how it goes. I’m here to do my job and help win games. That’s all I’m there for.”
Revis missed practice on Wednesday, but he was back out on the practice field as a full participant on Thursday. He dismissed any injury concerns by saying that he’s “fine.”