FOXBORO -- Nearly two years removed from season-ending ACL surgery, Darrelle Revis told reporters after Patriots training camp practice that he's feeling as good as ever.
"I'm just so excited," he said. "I've been in the best shape in my career, and I'm just happy to be out here and play ball."
If that's the case, it's a scary proposition for receivers around the league. Even last season, when he played in all 16 games for the Buccaneers, he was without a doubt one of the best corners in the league.
He certainly wasn't at fully strength. He has admitted that he played about his normal playing weight, and he allowed four touchdowns, which was as many as he had allowed in the three seasons prior.
But according to the "yards per snap" stat tracked by Pro Football Focus -- a metric that charts the results for the primary defensive cover man on a given pass play -- Revis was tops in the league in 2013. He also proved that even just a year removed from ACL surgery he could compete with the best when he shadowed Calvin Johnson of the Lions all over the field in Week 12 and held Megatron to three catches for 44 yards and no touchdowns.
He says now that he's improved since then and he feels just as healthy as he did before September of 2012.
"They say it takes a year and a half or two," he said. "I think I’m at a point now where I’m there. This offseason was a full offseason for me where I could just focus on working out instead of doing rehab as soon as you get the injury. I’m fine. I’m in the best shape of my career, and I’m looking forward to the season."
Now a member of a secondary that includes All-Pro safety Devin McCourty, Pro Bowl corner Brandon Browner and a handful of young promising defensive backs, Revis knows he's in a good place. He was asked if he feels as though he needs to prove that he can regain his unofficial title as the best corner -- and some would say best defensive player -- in football given his health and his supporting cast.
"I don’t need to prove anything to anybody," Revis explained. " 'W's are what matter. More wins than losses in that column, and that’s what we want to do as a team. I don’t have to prove anything to anybody. Everybody is great. Everybody performs well at a professional level. That’s for you guys to rate this and that. It really doesn’t matter to me."
He just wants to play. He's at full strength and he's ready for all comers. Revis even challenged one reporter in the hoard surrounding him after Friday's practice.
"It's great man," Revis said of his knee. "You want to try it out? You want to test it out? I can go cover you."
If he's that confident against opposing No. 1 wideouts, the Patriots will be a very happy bunch. It'll mean they have one of the best players in the league who feels as though he's at the top of his game.