FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- New York Jets star cornerback Darrelle Revis, who made headlines in March when he called Bill Belichick a "jerk" in an ESPN interview, explained his comments Thursday -- and possibly inflamed the situation even more.
Revis, who made his original remark during a word-association game, said he called out the New England Patriots' coach because he felt Belichick had made "ignorant" and "disrespectful" comments about the Jets.
"They told me to sum him up in one word and I gave my honest opinion," Revis told reporters in the Jets' locker room, adding, "I feel that people let him slide when he says smart remarks on certain things."
Revis said he respects Belichick because "winning is winning." But he quickly added, "When you say certain comments about the Jets, some things are disrespectful. It's OK to have a rivalry, it's OK to compete. But when it gets personal, then it gets disrespectful.
"I didn't start this battle," Revis continued. "It's just the smart comments he says. It's ignorant. It's ignorant (toward) this organization."
Belichick, who served as the Jets' defensive coordinator from 1997 to 1999 before resigning when he was to succeed Bill Parcells as the head coach, is notoriously tight-lipped. But he made a vulgar remark about the Jets after beating them last Nov. 13, 37-16, at Met Life Stadium.
Walking off the field, Belichick put his arm around his son and, according to the New York Post, told him, "Thirty-seven points on the best defense in the league. Suck my d---."
The next day, in an interview with WFAN, Belichick didn't deny the comment.
"Any conservations I had privately, I'll keep private," he said.
It infuriated Revis.
"It's ignorant. Why go there?" he asked. "You won, fair and square. Hey, we shook your hand after the game. But when you start saying stuff like that, it gets too personal."
The Jets and Patriots have a long history of trash talking. After upsetting the Patriots in the 2010 AFC divisional playoffs, Jets linebacker Bart Scott delivered his celebrated "Can't Wait!" rant in a post-game interview with ESPN, claiming the Patriots under-estimated the Jets' defense.
So when Revis appeared in the ESPN studios in March, accompanied by Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski, he fired off the "jerk" response. Sitting next to Revis, Gronkowski was taken aback.
Two months later, Revis offered no apology.
"He can take it anyway he wants," he said of Belichick. "Even if he says something back, I'm not going to get into jawing with him."
Revis was less descriptive when commenting on his contract situation. After hinting in a recent interview that he might stage a training-camp holdout, the All-Pro cornerback backed off slightly.
"Yeah, I'm cool (with my current contract)," said Revis, due to make $13.5 million over the final two years of his contract. "I signed it two years ago. I'm not unhappy about nothing."
Revis missed training camp in 2010 because of an acrimonious holdout. He wound up signing a four-year, $46 million contract, which amounted to a one-year extension on his rookie contract.