FOXBORO -- The opinion that Bill Belichick rules over his football team with an iron fist (protruding from a cutoff sleeve) is a popular one. But the truth is that while Belichick has final say on all football decisions, he's smart enough to heed the opinion of the players who have earned the right to express theirs.
Darrelle Revis has only been with the team since mid-March, but he's already finding out that Belichick is all ears when it comes to maximizing the potential of the players on his roster.
"You know, Coach Belichick is very open about football," Revis said after Friday night's practice at Gillette Stadium. "It’s football talk. He’s very open about it. You can go to him about anything. You can ask him about anything. We’re just trying to get ready. We’re just trying to get ready and get prepared. Anything that’s best for the team, that’s the best position that’s going to put us in a position to win. That’s all we try to do. Football talk. We talk all the time about what’s the best position for the team for us to win."
Before being inducted to the Patriots Hall of Fame, Ty Law said he tried to explain Belichick's coaching style to Revis. Law -- Revis' longtime mentor and fellow Aliquippa, Pennsylvania product -- was certain that Revis and Belichick would combine to come up with the most effective way for Revis to be used in the Patriots defense.
“It’s going to be different because it’s going to be more structured here with Coach Belichick,” Law said. “I did tell [Revis] don’t get caught up [with] the Belichick that you might see on TV because he’s not like that. He’s not going to give much, but once you get to sit down and talk to Coach Belichick you understand how cool he is, how flexible he is with a player of your caliber. You’re not going to be pigeonholed into anything. He is approachable. You can go up to coach Belichick and say, ‘Hey, I want to play this.’ He’s going to listen to you. A lot of people don’t understand that but you have to be a certain type of player to get away with it. And [Revis] is that type of player."
It's been well-established over Revis' seven years in the NFL that he can be dominant in man-to-man coverage, locking down an opposing team's best receiver. While it's expected he'll do more of the same for the Patriots, Law thinks Belichick could get creative with his new defensive weapon in the secondary.
“I think [Revis is] going to have a lot of fun and he’s going to be out there doing his job," Law said. "What they paid him to do is taking out the best guy but [he's] probably going to go inside, [he's] probably going to do a little bit of blitzing. It’s just going to be a fun overall scheme for Darrelle because normally he goes into a situation where, ‘This is who I have,’ and you’re there all day.
“I said [to him] you’re going to do a lot more things because you’re not going to know from week to week if you’re playing a 4-3, a 3-4, you’re not going to know. That was the enjoyment as a player, when you come in and you have no idea what the hell is going to happen in the game plan and you’re looking forward to it. Sometimes, you’re going to get disappointed and say, ‘Aw man, why are we playing this?’ But Coach Belichick, it’s ‘In Bill We Trust,’ so you’re going to have the best chance to win. And I think he’s going to enjoy it. He’s going to have a lot of fun.”