FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- There was a light moment Thursday afternoon when New England Patriots cornerback Darrelle Revis was answering questions from reporters, and it came when Revis was asked how much more comfortable he is in the team’s defense compared to the season-opening game against the Miami Dolphins.
At least from a media perspective, this is a natural week for reflection because the Patriots are preparing for Sunday’s game against the Dolphins, 14 weeks after opening their season against them.
“No, I’m not comfortable. I’m not. I’ve been struggling for a while,” Revis began, before altering course.
“I’m just joking,” he continued. “Look, it’s a team effort, it’s a defensive effort. It’s all aboard. We have great, talented players on this team, this defense.
“We just have to continue playing great team ball, chemistry ball. We’ve been doing that. Guys have been coming to work. It doesn’t have anything to do with me, or me being the focal point. Everybody is doing their job and it’s working well for us.”
The answer captures, in some ways, how Revis has artfully walked the fine line between falling in line with the Patriots’ team-first approach but also expressing a modest-level of bravado that reflects his well-earned reputation as arguably the NFL’s top cornerback.
Some more soundbites from Revis:
Reflecting on Week 1 loss and how the defense has changed since then. “We grew, not just as a defense, but as a team. When you look back at that film from the first game, they had us on our heels. They definitely did. They took advantage of the momentum. We had it. We had them down 20-10 [at halftime] but they made some plays and took the momentum.”
Dolphins rookie receiver Jarvis Landry. “It seems like he’s more of a focal point in their offense, utilizing him and trying to get him the ball. We knew him as a kick returner and now he’s found his way to be in the starting lineup on offense. ... He’s somebody we need to focus on and know where he is at all times and make sure we key in on him. They motion him in the backfield. He can be a gadget player, receiver-type guy. They move him around a lot.”
Patriots’ defensive mindset. “Our emphasis on defense is on creating turnovers and that’s what we’re going to try to do. Hopefully that plays a big part of Sunday’s game.”
Newcomers helping on defense. “That’s on Coach and the coaching staff, making sure they bring in the right guys to fit in to our system. It’s been working great for us, getting guys from other teams to come here, play and contribute. It’s not like a ‘wait’ thing. We are putting guys in to play, right in the mix. I’m sure that can be a hassle, coming from another team and a whole new playbook is in front of you. But you have to give credit to those guys too. They come in and they jump right in and study and know how to play and understand the defense. It’s been working well for us.”