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Darrelle Revis Transcript: "I'm in the best shape of my career"

Patriots defensive back Darrelle Revis addresses the media following Day 2 of training camp at Gillette Stadium on Friday, July 25, 2014.


Q: What has camp been like for you so far? **

DR: It's been great. You have butterflies because it's the start of football season and training camp. You're so excited to get out here with your teammates and get ready for the season.

Q: How would you describe the reception you've received from the fans?

DR: It's been awesome. It's been kind of weird in a way, but I'm a Patriot now, and that's how things go, and you've just got to roll with it. They've accepted me, and I'm just happy to be here and play ball.

Q: Can you describe why it's weird?

DR: Well, we all know that. [It's] because I was on the other side with another team, with a rival. But I'm here now, and I'm just so excited. I've been in the best shape in my career, and I'm just happy to be out here and play ball.

Q: What kind of mental adjustment does it take to go from one side of the rivalry to the other?

DR: It really doesn't matter what color you've got on. I've always looked at it [like] as long as you're playing the game you love then it really doesn't matter. When I played at Pitt, we were blue and gold. It really doesn't matter. In New York, it was green and white. Tampa Bay is red and black and gold. It really doesn't matter. This is my eighth year, and like I said, I'm excited about this year. I worked my butt off this offseason to get in shape and get my weight down, and I'm just getting prepared for a long season.

Q: Isn't it more than the color of the uniforms since the Patriots and Jets are such bitter enemies?

DR: That's rivalries. There are color rivalries, there are high school rivalries, [and] there are rivalries in the pros as well. I was on that side, and you're not supposed to like your rival, no matter where you play. I'm here now, and all that is in the past. The only thing I can focus on is what I do right now, and right now, I'm a Patriot. And like I said, I'm excited to be here. It's great. I'm excited about camp; the whole team is, and we're looking forward to this year.

Q: You said you're in the best shape of your life. Are you motivated to prove somebody wrong?

DR: Coming off the ACL injury was tough for me. I finished all 16 games last year, but I still wasn't where I wanted to be physically as a player. So this is my first offseason where I can really focus on, not rehabbing, but just working out – working out and having a full offseason where I can just do that.

Q: Tell us a little bit about the thought process of getting the guys together in the offseason.

DR: This is great for us to get guys that are committed and want to come out to Phoenix. A bunch of guys came out – Devin McCourty, Logan Ryan, Tavon [Wilson]. They came out and we just worked. We busted our butts off, and it was good for us to be out there and get more camaraderie with each other and just hang out with each other every day. We were out there for four months. That was great. It brings more chemistry to the secondary, and guys were willing to do it.

Q: What's it like seeing No. 12 out there?

DR: It's fine. We'll have the same color jerseys on Sunday.

Q: How does that feel?

DR: It's awesome. Tom [Brady] is a great competitor. You know as well as everybody out there. We're just trying to compete out there right now and get better as a team every day. That's all we're trying to focus on. There are really no individual matchups here. We just try to go out, work hard, and make everybody better.

Q: How is your knee?

DR: It's great. You want to try it out, test it out? I can go cover you.

Q: How much have you talked to Rob Gronkowski about rehabbing your knee?

DR: I really haven't talked to him about his injury. I'm sure 'Gronk' can tell you how he feels. Everybody goes through it differently. But I really haven't even touched base with him or anything.

Q: Do you feel as good as you did before you got hurt?

DR: Oh, yes. They say it takes a year and a half or two. I think I'm at a point now where I'm there. This offseason was a full offseason for me where I could just focus on working out instead of doing rehab as soon as you get the injury. I'm fine. I'm in the best shape of my career, and I'm looking forward to the season.

Q: Was the attempt to get together with teammates in the offseason done to pick their brains and get acclimated to the system?

DR: Yeah, you can say that. I remember when we were in OTAs, I said I had to take a step back to learn the terminology and those types of things. These guys have been here for a couple years, and you've got to take a step back. It's a new system for me. It's different from what I've played in the past. It's good to be around those guys as much as I can to learn and get feedback from them and also ask them questions. Any question I need to ask I can ask those guys.

Q: Are you on a first name basis with these guys now?

DR: Yeah, we're past that stage.

Q: You had positive impressions of the team in mini-camp. How have the first few days of training camp reinforced those impressions?

DR: It's still the same. Right now, I think I'm just focusing on training camp. I'm doing what I can do to just work hard and get better. This is a time for us as a team to get better altogether. Training camp is tough, but we've got to grind through it as a team, as a whole, and come Week One, be prepared and ready to play.

Q: You held the offseason workouts in Phoenix, but how much chemistry building has to be done in training camp organically?

DR: Everybody has their own way of doing things when you break OTAs and mini-camp. Some guys go on vacation; some guys do different things. But I take my hat off to the guys who sacrificed their personal life to come out there and do that. Everybody has their own ways of getting ready. Now, we're in training camp. We're closer; we're closer as teammates, but also as friends. We can joke with nobody having attitude or taking it personally. It's just building that camaraderie by going out to Phoenix and spending time together as much as we can and get stronger as friends but also as a secondary.

Q: You seem like you're in a good place in your career and personal life.

DR: Yeah, I'm excited about this opportunity, about coming here and having the opportunity to come here and be a New England Patriot. But also I'm back to where I can move around a little bit better. Last year was really tough coming off the injury. Even though I played all 16 games, it was just tough. I wasn't where I needed to be. Now I'm a little bit more excited. I feel the butterflies a little bit more. I'm just ready to play and get ready for the season.

Q: Do you feel like you're the best cornerback in the league again?

DR: I don't need to prove anything to anybody. W's are what matter. More wins than losses in that column, and that's what we want to do as a team. I don't have to prove anything to anybody. Everybody is great. Everybody performs well at a professional level. That's for you guys to rate this and that. It really doesn't matter to me.

Q: How has your relationship with Bill Belichick evolved since you've been here?

DR: Our relationship is great. We communicate well. Like I said, Bill is open to anything. Being on the other side, you look at him totally different, but being here, he's open. He's open to anything, and our friendship is great.

Q: The league has said there will be a renewed emphasis on defensive holding and illegal contact in the secondary. How does that make you feel?

DR: The rules are the rules. You've got to adjust to the rules. There are always new rules changing, and as long as we know the rules, we're going to try to play great football – clean and great football within the rules.

Q: How much harder does that make your job?

DR: It's already difficult as it is. Like I said, the rules are the rules. We've got to play within the rules. The league is always changing and evolving, so you've got to abide by the rules.

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