FOXBOROUGH — They’re fine, thanks, so no more questions, have a nice day, see you at training camp. They’re colleagues now, friends even.
There’s no enduring enmity between Patriots cornerback Darrelle Revis and coach Bill Belichick, Revis said after Thursday’s practice, the third and final day of minicamp. The Patriots will now take a five-week break until training camp starts in late July.
“When you’re on the outside looking in, when you’re playing with another organization, you look at things totally different,” said Revis, the former Jets cornerback. “And especially coming from New York, and New England being up here — it’s a rivalry.
“So you look at things totally different. That’s with any player. It’s a bunch of guys that crossed over.
“When you’re inside looking out, it’s a totally different perspective, and that’s how you look at it. Everybody here [has] accepted me as much as they can to make me feel like home. Even Bill has. I’m fine with it. I feel fine. We’re on good terms.”
Revis, a five-time Pro Bowler who signed a one-year, $12 million deal with the Patriots in March after six seasons with the Jets and one with the Buccaneers, said he and Belichick have resolved any lingering acrimony stemming from their notoriously troubled relationship. Revis called Belichick “a jerk” in March 2012, and Belichick’s opinion of the Jets is well-documented.
When he was mulling his next destination after being released from Tampa Bay, said Revis, he and Belichick sat down and discussed their past.
“I think [my perception of Belichick] changed during that conversation, when me and him sat down and just had a brief conversation,” said Revis. “We moved forward, and whatever we had in the past, we put it behind us. I think it changed during that moment.”
It’s changed so much, in fact, that Revis calls Belichick a “player-coach,” an inquisitive instructor who asks questions of his players.
“I think that’s the biggest thing that people really don’t understand about Bill is he’ll ask questions,” Revis said. “He’ll ask questions, he’ll try to get other people’s insights, especially veterans, to see if we got any insight from playing for many years.
“He’ll sit down and have a conversation with you. I think that’s why he’s so genius. 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.
“He’s a player-coach. A lot of people might not say that outside looking in, but we’re with Bill every day. We hang out with him every day. We’re in meetings with him every day. We’re around him all the time.”
They were around him Thursday morning, inside “The Bubble.”
Revis did everything he was supposed to do. He stretched and laughed with teammates. He played outside corner, slot corner, zone, man. He clapped, jogged, blocked, backpedaled. He joined his defensive back corps for drills, taking a swig from a green Gatorade bottle between exercises. He did not drop any pass thrown his way.
After what was about a two-hour session, Revis said everything he was supposed to say.
Between his comments about his relationship with Belichick, he peppered in phrases like “continue to keep working,” “jell together,” “Bill’s the coach,” and “the sky’s the limit.”
The most contentious thing he did was accidentally hit a reporter’s microphone with his hand when he was discussing the merits of training camp. Revis apologized.
He is a Patriot, indoctrinated and uncontroversial.
“I was a part of the team when I signed,” Revis said. “After I signed, I’m a Patriot, and that’s where it stands and I’m happy to be here.”
He did not miss any of Thursday’s practice, as he did Wednesday. He is healthy, apparently, no injury or offseason fatigue, and he does not want you to worry.
“I’m fine,” he said. “I’ll leave the injury report up to Bill.”
The corner and coach have come a long way.Robert Harms can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.