Revis moving on from Bucs, excited about Patriots
LAKE BUENA VISTA -- Darrelle Revis can smile and laugh about it now.
With a new future in New England, buoyed by a healthy offseason, the former Bucs cornerback looked back Thursday on his lone season in Tampa, appreciative of a team that embraced him and disappointed he couldn't have found success there.
"Every coach has their own philosophy and coaching style. It could work, it could not work. It didn't and we went 4-12," Revis said of former coach Greg Schiano. "The result is 4-12. That's what you get. It's already spoken what happened. A lot of us got fired."
Revis, who turns 29 next month, is back in Florida this week as a guest instructor at the Drew Brees Passing Academy at ESPN's Wide World of Sports complex at Disney. Cut by the Bucs in March, he signed a new deal with the Patriots, where he's eager to try to get Tom Brady and Bill Belichick their first Super Bowl win in 10 years.
Asked what he'll miss about his time in Tampa, Revis quickly answered "the weather," but added that he also built friendships that remain with his Bucs teammates, players he still stays in touch with now.
"I miss the guys there. That was a team that accepted me as well," he said. "That's a young group down there, and those guys were really fun to be around."
The Bucs, who gave up first- and fourth-round picks to acquire Revis in spring 2013, used the $16 million that would have been spent on Revis as a big part of the team's free-agent spending, adding multiple new starters for the same cost as one elite cornerback.
"It's business. I know what it is," Revis said. "They acquired three three other people for me, and that's fine. You've got to move on. I've moved on. I'm in a great place right now. I'm just getting prepared for the season."
Playing for his third team in as many seasons, Revis said his last couple of years have been a "whirlwind" -- "I've managed to keep my head high and persevere through everything I've been going through," clarifying that he means recovering from the torn ACL that sidelined him for most of the 2012 season, his last with the Jets.
Brees, working with more than 20 high school teams, including Blake and Newsome from the Tampa area, was asked if he and the Saints will mind not having to face Revis twice in the NFC South this fall.
"I'm so upset," Brees joked. "He's in the AFC now. Darn. ... There's stuff that's just kind of a given against other teams that isn't a given against him. You know you have to work for it, every play. Especially when you're dealing with such a smart player, something that might work even in the first quarter isn't going to work again in the third quarter. You have to be on top of your game if you're going to want to succeed."
Cardinals receiver Larry Fitzgerald, also working at the camp, was the intended receiver on Revis' first interception with the Bucs (he had two), and he said while facing Revis, his competitive desire for the ball was fighting against his wanting to avoid such a dubious honor.
"I didn't want to be the guy," Fitzgerald said. "I didn't want to be on that list, but he looked so good coming back. As a friend, it was great to see him playing at such a high level so quickly. I pull for him anytime I see him."
Revis will being the upcoming season in Florida, as the Patriots open Sept. 7 at the Dolphins, but he's only so nostalgiac returning to the warm weather. He said he had only "a brief conversation" with new Bucs coach Lovie Smith before he was released. Asked if he's been impressed by the Bucs' busy offseason, he said he hasn't followed it, shifting his mind to his new team and preparing for a new start with the Patriots.
"I haven't really paid attention. I've been focusing on things I have to do up in New England. My hands are full right now," he said.