FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Through two training camp practices with the New England Patriots, veteran cornerback Darrelle Revis admits he is still adapting to his new surroundings. At the same time, he has never felt better.
“It’s been awesome, but it’s been kind of weird in a way,” he said Friday. “But I’m a Patriot now and that’s how things go -- you have to roll with it, [fans] accepted me, and I’m happy to be here and play ball.”
The Patriots had 7,822 fans at their opening practice Thursday and appeared to top that number rather comfortably Friday, when Revis was among the players signing autographs after the two-hour workout.
Why so weird for him?
“We all know that,” he said with a laugh. “I was on the other side, with another team, a rival, [but] I’m here now and I’m just so excited. I’ve been in the best shape in my career.”
Revis said he “worked his butt off” to get his weight down this offseason (he is listed at 198 pounds), which included spending about a month in Arizona before training camp, where he was joined for a few weeks by new teammates Devin McCourty, Logan Ryan and Tavon Wilson.
While the training has helped him from a team chemistry perspective, and he is two years removed from his time with the New York Jets (2007-2012), Revis still can’t fully escape the New York spotlight. On Thursday, the New York Post and New York Daily News had reporters at Patriots camp, with the Daily News sticking around a second day and speaking with him one-on-one after practice.
“That’s rivalries,” Revis said when asked about bitterness between the Patriots and Jets. “There are college rivalries, 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. Like I said, I’m here now, all that’s in the past, and all I can focus on is what I can do now. Right now I’m a Patriot and I’m excited to be here. It’s great. I’m excited about camp, the whole team is, and we’re looking forward [to the season].”
Part of Revis’ excitement is also tied to his health. He admitted that last season coming off a torn ACL was a struggle for him.
“I finished all 16 games last year but I still wasn’t where I wanted to be physically as a player,” he said. “This is my first offseason where I could really focus on working out. They say it takes a year and a half, or two [to get back to full strength]. I think I’m at a point now, I’m there.
“I’m back to where I can move around a little better. Last year was really tough coming off the injury, I wasn’t where I needed to be. Now I’m a little bit more excited, I feel the butterflies a little bit more, and I’m just ready to play and get ready for the season.”
As for where he falls in the debate on the NFL’s best cornerback, Revis expressed indifference.
“I don’t need to prove nothing to anybody. Ws is what matters -- more wins than losses. That’s what we want to do as a team,” he said. "Everybody is great. Everybody performs well at the professional level. Those are for you guys to rate who’s this and that. It really doesn’t matter to me.”