Ten years after he last wore a Patriots uniform, Ty Law envisions himself playing for New England again this fall.
Law won’t suit up for the Patriots, of course. Now 40 years old, Law last played in the NFL for Denver in 2009, and is one of three finalists to be inducted this summer into the Patriots Hall of Fame, along with Bill Parcells and Raymond Clayborn.
But watching his close friend Darrelle Revis wear his same No. 24 for the Patriots will help put him back in the huddle and feel like a part of the team again at Gillette Stadium this fall.
“I’m living through Darrelle vicariously while he’s still out there playing,” Law said Tuesday in a conference call. “It feels like I’m still out there playing, because I know his roots, I know his soul, I know his effort and I know what he brings to the table.”
Law has known Revis for most of his life and mentored him throughout his professional career. Law and Revis are both from Aliquippa, Pa., outside of Pittsburgh, and Law is also close with Revis’s uncle, former NFL defensive tackle Sean Gilbert.
“It started long before he got to the NFL,” Law said. “We’re a tight-knit community around Aliquippa, and sports kind of brought us to the same path.”
Law is thrilled that Revis is joining Law’s long-time team, and said he can’t believe the kid he remembers from Pop Warner has developed into one of the NFL’s best defensive players of the last decade. Revis signed a one-year contract with an option year with New England last month after six years with the Jets and one with the Buccaneers.
“I’ve seen this kid playing Pop Warner, and he was special then,” Law said. “To watch him grow and become one of the best defensive players in the game, the best defensive back in the game, is amazing.”
Law said the Patriots have upgraded by swapping out Aqib Talib for Revis, and raved about Revis’s work ethic. Law and Revis played together with the Jets in 2008.
“No disrespect to Aqib Talib, who is a great corner himself, but Darrelle is a special talent,” Law said. “Not only are you getting experience, you’re getting extreme confidence, a guy not afraid to put it on the line and wants to be in that position of covering the top guy week in and week out.
“You don’t see a lot of young guys that have so much talent take the job that seriously because they’re so talented. That’s what I think separates Darrelle.
“He’s not taking his talent and his abilities for granted. He still wants to go out there and prove that he’s the absolute best week in and week out. He wants to be the best for a long time, and I have never seen anyone as competitive as Darrelle Revis, and that’s the honest-to-God truth.
“He made me, as a veteran, pick my game up in practice. He motivated me at the end of my career.”