Dave D'Onofrio's Patriots Notebook: Once a rival, now an ally
Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots cornerback Darrelle Revis (24) leaves the field following training camp at the team practice facility. (Stew Milne-USA TODAY Sports)
Remember, that's quite a career Revis is referencing. In six full seasons he's been selected to five Pro Bowls. He has 21 interceptions and has defended 108 passes, including the six picks and 31 balls he got his hands on in 2009 - which began a streak of three straight nominations as a first-team All-Pro.
"Coming off the ACL injury was tough for me," he said. "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."
"Oh, yes," Revis said. "They say it takes a year and a half or two. I think I'm at a point now where I'm there."
If that's true, he should be at a point where he can make the case that he's the league's best at his position - a distinction that tends to get the elite cornerbacks all riled up. Revis and the Seahawks' Richard Sherman engaged in an infamous back-and-forth over Twitter when the topic arose early in 2013, though Revis says no he's got nothing to prove, wins are all that matters, and he'll leave it up to the media to rate the players as they see fit.
"He's worked hard," coach Bill Belichick said. "Smart guy. I've been impressed with him. Very professional. Has a good understanding of the game, he's a smart player and he's had a real good focus and instinct. He's a smart player scheme-wise but he knows how to play. He's a very instinctive player."
None more important than the way Revis feels about his body.
"I'm excited about this year," he said. "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."
DEFENSIVE lineman Tommy Kelly returned to practice Saturday, activated from the physically unable to perform list after a knee injury ended last season for him after Week 5.
Reports indicated that while the rest of the team wore pads for the first time this camp, he wore shorts and sat out the contact drills.
The Pats' PUP list had been narrowed to four, though none of the names is insignificant. On the list are recievers Aaron Dobson, Jeremy Gallon and Matthew Slater, as well as cornerback Alfonzo Dennard. Dobson is a player the Pats are hoping can make a leap in year two after showing some signs of emergence as a rookie, but continues to be plagued by a foot problem.
According to the Patriots' website, 13,819 fans attended Saturday morning's sessions on the practice field behind Gillette Stadium. The team works out again this morning at 9:15, and has yet to announce its schedule for the coming week. The team's first preseason game is a week from Thursday at Washington.
Dave D'Onofrio covers the Patriots for the New Hampshire Union Leader and Sunday News. His e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.