|A familiar ring: Current, former Patriots gather for lavish ceremony to celebrate Super Bowl XLIX win||06.14.15 at 11:19 pm ET|
In the latest chapter of an eventful offseason, the Patriots got their Super Bowl XLIX rings in a ceremony at Robert Kraft’s home in Brookline on Sunday night, part of an evening that included several former players reuniting with their old mates to celebrate the championship.
“I have been blessed to host four Super Bowl ring ceremonies, and just like the rings we present, we have tried to make each ceremony a little bigger and a little better than the one before,” Kraft said. “Football is the consummate team sport. These championship rings represent all that the team endured and overcame together. The players on this team will forever be bound by the memories this ring represents.
“The presentation of the rings is one of my favorite moments. I love watching the expressions on the faces of each of our players and the range of emotions they experience when they see the ring for the first time and the pride they all have when they put it on. Tonight’s celebration is really a culmination of a job well done.”
Of the four ring ceremonies, this was the third held at Kraft’s home. The one held in June 2002 to celebrate the win over the Rams in Super Bowl XXXVI was part of a team get-together at a private waterfront ceremony at the Boston Harbor Hotel.
While former players like Vince Wilfork and Tim Wright apparently made the journey to celebrate with their now ex-teammates, one former player who was not present was cornerback Darrelle Revis. According to one report, the cornerback was going to send his mother to pick up his Super Bowl ring because he had a “prior commitment.” However, a team spokesman indicated that Revis’ mother was not in attendance. (There was a report that Revis’ mother had been turned away at the entrance. That report was denied by a source.) For what it’s worth, Revis’ absence didn’t appear to put much of a damper on things — at least by the looks of the Twitter accounts of various players.
According to the team, in 2003 and 2004, when the Patriots won back-to-back Super Bowls, the championship rings were adorned with 104 and 124 diamonds respectively. This year’s rings, handcrafted by Josten’s, features 205 diamonds, and are cast in white gold. On one side, the recipient’s name sits atop the ring, along with the years of the franchise’s previous Super Bowl Championships in ’01, ’03, ’04 and 2014. Each player’s number, encrusted in diamonds, sits just above the Gillette Stadium logo. The other side of the ring features a Super Bowl XLIX logo with the final score, 28-24, on the left and the team’s overall record, 15-4, on the right.
Patriots owner Robert Kraft will be handing out the Super Bowl jewelry Sunday night at his Brookline home but one of the key players who helped make it possible will not be on hand.
His mother, Diana Gilbert, will take his place and receive his first Super Bowl ring on his behalf.
Revis signed a five-year, $70 million contract with $39 million guaranteed on March 10. The Jets were the subject of an investigation by the league into tampering, after charges were filed by the Patriots. Jets owner Woody Johnson made comments about Revis, who was still under contract with New England at the time and Johnson was fined $100,000.
The Jets’ counter-investigation into Patriots owner Robert Kraft’s comments about Revis upon re-signing with New York was subseqently dismissed by the NFL.
‘ Rich Cimini (@RichCimini) June 14, 2015
|As Patriots hit reset button at cornerback, coach Josh Boyer sounds ready for challenge||06.11.15 at 5:32 pm ET|
FOXBORO — For a guy who just lost his top three cornerbacks, Josh Boyer is pretty upbeat.
The Patriots cornerbacks coach saw Darrelle Revis and Brandon Browner walk in free agency and Kyle Arrington released this past offseason. But he understands the reality of the situation — the only thing that’s permanent in the NFL is change.
“I think each year is new, and it’s a natural transition, a natural progression,” he said after an OTA session on the fields behind Gillette Stadium on Thursday. “I think everybody that’s here — players, coaches, I think everybody understands there’s going to be turnover. There will be things like that. Again, it’s just an all-new start.”
That all-new start includes veteran free-agent pickups Robert McClain, Bradley Fletcher and Derek Cox, as well as rookies Darryl Roberts and Jimmy Jean. They join a group of returnees that includes Super Bowl hero Malcolm Butler and Logan Ryan, as well as former practice squadder Justin Green.
“I think all of our guys in our group have worked extremely hard, whether it’s in the classroom or the weight room,” Boyer said of the new additions. “The field work (and) the offseason coaching sessions we get to do out here.
“Again, when you get to a competitive situation in training camp, that’s what you’ll see. The chemistry that you’re building. Right now, you’re just trying to see if guys can pick up this, can they pick up that.”
Boyer indicated Thursday that there’s been some good carryover for the veterans, even during these early stages of the season.
“I think it’s like anything else in any other profession. I’m sure all you guys have had experience at other places — there’s some carryover, and then, there’s things that are different,” he said, gesturing toward the media. “I think it’s the same for the guys who have come in from different programs. I think there’s a little bit that carries over, and then, I think there’s a little bit that’s new.
“I think the important thing for all of our guys to remember is whether or not it’s corners or safeties, linebackers, defensive line, offensive players. It’s for everybody to get on the same page. That’s how you build a team, and this is just the infancy stages of building a team. And that’s really what we’re trying to do.”
On Thursday, a lot of the focus was on Butler, who was disciplined for missing the first OTA workout because of a missed flight, and was subsequently forced to sit out practice sessions. He was back on the field in front of the media for the first time Thursday, and looked like he hadn’t missed a beat.
“I think Malcolm has had a productive offseason. I think he’s been pretty productive. What we’re asking him to do, I think he’s improving,” Boyer said of Butler. “(But) I think we need to continue to improve. I think (Butler) needs to continue to build on that. And then when I think when we get to training camp and get into a competitive situation against our offense and we start working a little bit against the Saints, I think you’re going to see some things there. Not just Malcolm (but) everybody in our group.
“All that stuff will play out in time.”
|Trying to figure out Darrelle Revis’ dramatic reversal on Tom Brady, Deflategate||05.21.15 at 2:12 pm ET|
The comments from Darrelle Revis regarding the Patriots and Deflategate weren’t tremendously surprising — after all, the former Patriots cornerback went all-in on the heel turn among New England fans in March when he decided to return to the Jets. So when he said “(the Patriots) have a history of doing stuff. You can’t hide that. Tom was there when they did that stuff in the past,” it wasn’t all that shocking.
While Revis was quick to note that quarterback Tom Brady was a “Hall of Famer” and will “go down as one of the greatest — if not the best — quarterback that’s ever played,” his most recent comments stand in stark contrast to where Revis stood in the days before the Super Bowl. The week after the AFC title game, the cornerback was asked for his thoughts on how Brady handled things when he talked to the team about the Deflategate.
“He stood up and spoke and said, “I know this is a distraction and we have to keep focus as a team,'” Revis said of Brady. “We have a big game to play and that is something he wouldn’t do. (Brady) wouldn’t break any rules. It was basically just to clear the smoke.
“I think at that point you want your leader to stand up and say a couple of words for us to move forward because it can be a distraction and it can bother us,” he added. “This whole experience, this Super Bowl experience. Definitely it shows a lot of character in him to stand up and speak to the whole team.”
Not so sound overly naive, but such a dramatic 180-degree turn for Revis in a four-month period is truly jarring. Why did he do it? It’s always possible that time — and the benefit of hindsight — has given him the opportunity to speak more freely than he did in the past. So we’ll give him a pass there. Was it possible that he never really considered himself a Patriot, as Manish Mehta suggested on WEEI Thursday morning? Perhaps. After all, no player in the free-agent era has done a better job maximizing his financial potential than Revis, a practice that has left some questioning his loyalty. (Some would call him a mercenary.) Maybe this is just his own way of demonstrating brand loyalty.
In the end — despite all of the nice things they said about each other over the course of the 2014 season — the only thing certain is the fact that Revis’ flip-flop will provide more bulletin-board material for Brady when he goes up against his old teammate for the first time Oct. 25 at Gillette Stadium.
New York Daily News Jets columnist Manish Mehta joined the Dennis & Callahan show Thursday morning to talk about Darrelle Revis’ comments to him regarding the Patriots and Tom Brady. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.
Revis spent one year with the Patriots, winning a Super Bowl title, but then departed for the Jets via free agency after the Patriots didn’t pick up his $20 million option. Mehta was asked if Revis never felt like a Patriot, and he said that would be “fair to say.”
“That’s probably fair to say,” said Mehta. “He hasn’t came out and told me that specifically, but judging by his reaction to coming back to New York and feeling comfortable in this area. It is a place he had played for obviously at the outset of his career and an area he likes a lot and an organization — even though it is a different coaching staff now.
“I think that is fair to say, although he hasn’t came out specially and told me he never felt like a Patriot because I think when he was with [Bill] Belichick he learned a lot from Belichick, he bought in and he obviously played a great deal in their Super Bowl title.”
Mehta said Revis wasn’t reluctant to say what he did about the Patriots on Wednesday, as he’s the type of player to speak his mind when he wants.
“No. I wouldn’t say that,” Mehta said. “He also has a history with the Patriots prior to playing for the Patriots, that a lot of these other guys who have played for Belichick didn’t have, so he does have a unique perspective. The thing I know about Darrelle Revis, knowing him since he came into the league years ago is that he does speak his mind. He took a brief rest there up in Foxboro, but his personality is such that if he believes in something he’s going to say it and he’s obviously a caliber of player that carries a lot of clout. He doesn’t really care what you think, if that’s what he believes he’s going to share it with you.”
Mehta did add Revis still has great deal of respect for Brady and feels like he will be a Hall of Famer.
“I will say that Revis was very clear that he’s always had a lot of professional respect for Tom Brady and he does think he’s going to be a Hall of Famer, without a doubt and he does think he’s one of the greatest quarterbacks,” said Mehta. “The way he described it was, ‘if not the best’ quarterback to ever play, so in terms of how any potential wrongdoing with these footballs affects Brady’s legacy, I think Revis believes that Tom Brady is an all-time great regardless of what happened. He just doesn’t have the fact, he doesn’t know what happened. He was unaware of it.”
|Darrelle Revis speaks out on Tom Brady: ‘Tom was there when they did stuff in the past’||05.20.15 at 6:56 pm ET|
But in an interview with Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News, Revis took some thinly veiled shots at Brady and the Patriots in the wake of punishment handed down for their alleged role in Deflategate.
“Everybody’s blowing it up because it is Tom Brady,” Revis told the Daily News Wednesday. “I understand that. But if [the NFL] feels he did the crime or he did something and they want to penalize them, then that’s that. [The Patriots] have a history of doing stuff. You can’t hide that. Tom was there when they did that stuff in the past.”
The remarks were the first from Revis since the punishment was levied by the National Football League.
Revis, according to Mehta, made it clear that he was unaware of any wrongdoing by Brady in his one season with the Patriots that ended with a Super Bowl title.
But Revis did hint that the franchise’s rule-breaking history, such as Spygate, likely played a role in this latest punishment.
“New England’s been doing stuff in the past and getting in trouble,” Revis told Mehta. “When stuff repeatedly happens, then that’s it. I don’t know what else to tell you. Stuff repeatedly happened through the years. You got SpyGate, you got this and that and everything else. Obviously in those situations in the past, they had the evidence. So they did what they needed to do.”
|Resetting Patriots depth chart: Cornerback||04.30.15 at 10:27 am ET|
With the majority of free agency completed and the draft looming, we’re going to take a look at the Patriots depth chart by position, and try and assess the level of need going forward. We’ve broken down each position on the offensive side of the ball. On defense, we’ve taken a look at the defensive line, linebackers, safeties and now lastly, cornerback.
Current depth chart: (2014 regular-season stats via coaches film review and Pro Football Reference): Logan Ryan (33 tackles, 3 INTs, 6 passes defended, 2 forced fumbles), Malcolm Butler (18 tackles, 7 passes defensed), Kyle Arrington (41 tackles, 4 passes defensed, 2 forced fumbles), Alfonzo Dennard (13 tackles, 1 pass defensed), Chimdi Chekwa (15 tackles, 2 passes defensed), Bradley Fletcher (53 tackles, 1 interception, 22 passes defensed, 1 forced fumble), Robert McClain (49 tackles, 2 interceptions, 5 passes defensed)
Lost in free agency: Darrelle Revis, Brandon Browner
Gained in the offseason: Chimdi Chekwa, Bradley Fletcher, Robert McClain
Other changes: There haven’t been any other changes, but the two players lost may be the two biggest events of the Patriots’ offseason. Revis and Browner’s presence in the secondary made the entire defense better and paved the way to a Super Bowl win. Without adding any big names at the position, the cornerback position will be the position to keep an eye on most between now and the start of the season to see who emerges. As of now it would appear Ryan and Butler would be the starting corners.
Is this a major area of need going into the draft? Yes. Losing Revis and Browner and not making any big splashes at the position in free agency, it would seem the team is in a position to select a cornerback high in the draft. While the team may not take a corner in the first round, a second or third round pick definitely remains a possibility.