KAPOLEI, Hawaii — This is how the toughest season of Darrelle Revis' career is ending, the sounds of 15-foot waves crashing on the beach, palm trees swaying and leis draped around the necks of players at the Pro Bowl.
"This was a surprise to me," Revis said of his Pro Bowl selection, "especially with all that happened this year, coming off the ACL injury and everything. It shows the respect players have for me in the league."
But Revis describes his first season in Tampa Bay as paradise lost.
The cornerback said coach Greg Schiano, fired after going 11-21 in two seasons, created a stressful environment that made it hard for players to perform.
"The atmosphere, I felt like, was real tense," Revis said. "Guys didn't like coming to work. That's one of the things you have to have, a stress-free atmosphere and environment. You're going to get everything out of everybody if it's stress-free and let people be who they are. I just didn't feel he did a very good job of that. It was a learning experience for him as well, and hopefully, if he ever gets another stab at it, he'll do things differently."
During a break from the Pro Bowl draft Wednesday, Revis described Schiano, whose only previous experience in the NFL came as a defensive assistant for the Bears from 1996-98, as unprepared to be a head coach due to his schemes and unwillingness to listen to his veterans. In fact, Revis said other players at the Pro Bowl described some of Schiano's schemes, particularly on defense, as a "joke."
"There's a difference between being a head coach and in control of the whole team and the whole organization at the time," Revis said. "Everybody's got their own schemes and what they bring to the table.
"I wish he would have listened to some of the players a little bit more, especially the veterans and some of the older guys. We can go down the line like Dashon Goldson, Davin Joseph, Carl Nicks, Vincent Jackson and those type of guys and listen to them. But he was the boss, and you've got to fall in line."
Revis, 28, said he's excited about the opportunity to play under new coach Lovie Smith, who has nine years experience as a head coach with the Bears, including three NFC North titles and a Super Bowl appearance. Revis said while he has not met Smith, he has heard great things about him from Bears players.
"One of the guys I really listened to was (former Bears linebacker) Brian Urlacher," Revis said. "He said, 'You're going to love Lovie.' (Receiver) Brandon Marshall … told me I'm going to love Lovie. You've got to run with that in Tampa, Love Lovie. All the guys that played under him have good things to say about him."
When Smith was hired, there was speculation Revis would not be a good fit for his Tampa 2 defense. But Revis said Wednesday that he played in similar coverages this season under Schiano and believes he will be successful.
"I love to play ball, and if we're going to run the Cover 2 scheme, I have to master the Cover 2." Revis said. "I feel confident in Lovie and (defensive coordinator) Leslie Frazier, too. They have a lot of experience in the league with unbelievable players. I think we have great talent. We just need the right personnel and the right coaches."
Based on his discussions with former and current Bears players, Revis said Smith is more likely to allow players to improvise and add input.
"With Greg, we were just very detailed," Revis said. "With Lovie, he'll give us a little more freedom to take control of the defense, of the scheme, and try to enhance certain things about the defense, whether it's with Gerald McCoy and the defensive line or Lavonte (David) and the linebackers or Dashon and us on the back end."