FOXBORO -- Bill Belichick asked for it.
With NFL officials present at the joint practices between New England and Philadelphia this week, the Patriots head coach requested that flags be thrown any time penalties were committed. He wanted his coaches to know when something was called, and he wanted his players to know what they did wrong.
Darrelle Revis found out three separate times.
The All-Pro corner, who has come every bit as advertised through the first few weeks of camp, had a difficult time falling within the parameters of the newly emphasized rules on defensive holding and illegal contact in the secondary.
"It's the beginning stages," Revis said. "The only thing we can do is ask questions. There was a lot of flags out there today, but at the same time, it's a new rule. So we're just trying to get acclimated, and do the best thing we can do by covering receivers in the preseason game and the upcoming season."
That acclimation process is underway and likely a long way from finished. It began last week during the league's first preseason games, when Patriots corner Brandon Browner was flagged for a defensive holding penalty against the Redskins. It continued for Patriots and Eagles defensive backs on Tuesday, and there will probably be more yellow hankies that fly in Wednesday's joint session.
NFL official John Parry, who spoke to the media before Tuesday's practice, said he believes by Week 1 that players will have a better sense what they can and can't do. Finding the line to toe has been a challenge to this point, however.
"Just trying to learn it just as every other defensive back in the league," Revis said. "It’s something that we gotta do our best job at following the rules. It’s tough."
Here are a couple more of the highlights from Revis' eight-minute session with the media following Tuesday's practice:
* At one point during the practice, Eagles receiver Jeremy Maclin ran a deep post past Revis and reeled in a long touchdown from quarterback Nick Foles. What stood out was that Revis essentially stopped running after Maclin got about 20 yards into his route. It's something we've seen Revis do on more than one occasion in reps against his own teammates, and he explained after the workout that it's essentially a way for him to manage his reps.
"I’ve been doing this for a while," Revis said. "Sometimes you do that and sometimes you don’t. It depends on how things are going. The reps, even though I’m not maybe running that fast or whatever on that rep, I know what I need to do at the end of the play."
* Asked about any potential contract negotiations with the Patriots before the end of the season, Revis wouldn't say much.
"I’m just here. I’m here," he said. "I’m focusing on this year. That has nothing to do with what’s going on right now. I’m here for right now. I’m in this contract. The only thing I’m trying to do is focus on this year."