Why did Darrelle Revis sign with the Patriots? After all, less than two years ago he called head coach Bill Belichick a “jerk” in an interview with ESPN. So, why?
Just ask him. Some media members did during Monday’s conference call and Revis responded. It’s all about winning.
“Me and my agents had to weigh our options. We felt like New England was the best place. They’re a winning program, they’re a winning organization, and we wanted to be a part of it.”
Revis went on to suggest that at least 26 of the 32 NFL franchises expressed interest in him following his release from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Yet he was able to narrow it down to just one in relatively short order.
Revis had plenty of exposure to the New England Patriots organization prior to signing his new two year, $32 million contract on March 12. After all, he did spend his first six NFL seasons playing against them twice a year as a New York Jet. He certainly got a taste of the Pats’ winning ways then, as they beat the Jets in nine of their 13 games with Revis on the roster (playoffs included).
He also had a very unique taste of the organization as a Tampa Bay Buccaneer. During the 2013 training camp, the Pats hosted the Bucs for a week of joint practices prior to their preseason matchup. Revis spoke a bit on that experience during his conference call.
“It was really exciting for me. I was rehabbing my knee, but at the same time, I got to see how New England really operates, how Coach Belichick runs the organization as a head coach. I was very excited, and you can kind of see, even during training camp when we were up here, those guys are very disciplined in what they do. They’re a veteran team. They’re a playoff-caliber team. They’re a very smart team. I did collect those things when I was up here. I really paid attention to those scenarios and really liked them.”
It seems like those joint practices inadvertently (or was it?) served as some preliminary recruiting for the elite cornerback.
But there was one more lesser-known avenue by which Revis was exposed (and maybe even recruited) to the Patriots. Former Patriot cornerback Ty Law.
Revis and Law go way back. Both grew up in Aliquippa, Pennsylvania, a small town with a population under 10,000. They both attended (and of course excelled athletically) at Aliquippa Senior High School*. Beyond that, they are family friends. While Revis is 12 years Law’s junior, Law used to work out with Revis’s uncle Sean Gilbert, a former defensive lineman in the NFL.
Law has said that Revis was always around while he was growing up, and was never shy about asking for guidance and advice on how to succeed as a pro football player. Revis has no problem showing his gratitude for all Law has provided for him. Just Monday he mentioned that “Ty has been a mentor through my whole life” and that “I talk to Ty all the time – about life and football.”
Hard to believe that Ty Law didn’t play a role in the Patriots signing Darrelle Revis with that kind of relationship between them, particularly when you consider Law has admitted in the past that Revis was hiding out at his house during his infamous lockout in 2010. After all, Law knows all about the winning ways that Revis is seeking in New England. He helped lead the team to three Super Bowl victories. That has to have Patriots’ fans licking their chops. Revis is the kind of guy who could bring those same results.
*Pro Football Hall of Fame player/coach Mike Ditka is another notable alumnus of Aliquippa Senior High School