|Patriots secondary will have younger players stepping up in place of Darrelle Revis, Brandon Browner||04.21.15 at 5:03 pm ET|
FOXBORO — The Patriots’ secondary will look a lot different this coming season, as opposed to last year’s Super Bowl winning squad.
Arguably their two best cornerbacks in Darrelle Revis and Brandon Browner departed via free agency, to the Jets and Saints respectively. Without adding any major players to their secondary in free agency, it would seem the team will go into 2015 with some of the younger players stepping up and taking on more responsibility.
Defensive captain Devin McCourty is already moving on from having Revis roaming the secondary with him.
“Who? We’re past that,” McCourty said jokingly. “No, we’re still friends.”
With the two starting corners departing, some of the younger up-and-coming players on the defense will now need to step up in Malcolm Butler, Logan Ryan and possibly Alfonzo Dennard.
McCourty said he believes in those guys, as he’s seen the hard work they’ve been putting in.
“I’m excited for all those guys,” he said. “They’ve put in a lot of work. I was in Arizona with Logan for a little while and since I met him when he was freshman in college he’s always one of the guys putting in extra work trying to get better. I think Malcolm is a guy, he came in last year really not knowing anything to expect and now making a great play in the Super Bowl, I think it’s exciting for him. For all those guys, when you’re young in the NFL you just want to try and learn as much as you can year in and year out. I don’t think they should worry what everyone will try and ask them, just try and get better.”
Although they may not be the biggest of names — the organization did sign a few veterans to potentially help out the secondary. Chimd Chekwa, Bradley Fletcher and Robert McClain are all cornerbacks who have joined the team this offseason.
Being the most experienced member in the secondary, as well as a captain, McCourty knows it’s his job to get those players acclimated to playing in New England.
|Ex-Pats CB Darrelle Revis claims he was hacked following heated exchange with fans on Instagram||04.13.15 at 12:18 am ET|
After an apparent profane exchange with Patriots fans on social media over the weekend, former New England defensive back Darrelle Revis said Sunday via Twitter that his Instagram account had been hacked.
Revis, who signed with the Jets last month after a year with the Patriots, appeared to trade barbs with fans on Instagram who were upset about him leaving for New York, using several profanities along the way. However, after the exchange surfaced (thanks in large part to a story via Deadspin), both Revis and the Jets indicated that the account had been hacked. The remarks were later deleted, with Revis adding on Twitter the whole thing was “no big deal.”
|Darrelle Revis is gone, but his offseason coach remains close to Patriots DBs||03.30.15 at 3:49 pm ET|
Despite the fact that Darrelle Revis isn’t with the Patriots anymore, some New England defensive backs still are going to spend at least part of the offseason working with the man who played a role in helping shape Revis into an All-Pro.
Will Sullivan, who is the offseason position coach for Revis (the corner calls Sullivan “the best positional coach I’ve ever had … period!”), spent a chunk of last offseason working with several of the Patriots defensive backs as well, and those players plan on sticking with Sullivan this offseason at his facility in Arizona.
According to Sullivan, Devin McCourty, Logan Ryan and Tavon Wilson either have plans to work out with Sullivan or already have been out to spend time with him at his facility.
“Some of them are already here working with me — I’ve been in contact with all of the guys who were here last year,” Sullivan said. “Logan has been out here — he’s been working with me for the last couple of weeks, reviewing film and what he did wrong last year. I think by now, we’re five games in. We’ve already done plenty of self-scouting and talked about how this year is going to be a big year for him.
“Tavon is supposed to come out next week. He’ll be out here with me until he has to head back. And I think Devin is set to come out here sometime in the summer — he usually likes to come and work out when his brother Jason can come out, too.”
Ryan has been the one who has received the bulk of the attention to this point in the offseason, according to Sullivan. He’s well aware that with the loss of Revis as a free agent, more will likely be on his shoulders in 2015.
“On Logan, I’ll say it like this: I think Logan, in his first year, he surprised people with his production. The times when he was asked to fill in the last two seasons, he’s done a good job,” Sullivan said of Ryan. “My thing is that now he’s a solid guy who you can stick in there. Now it’s about him taking that next step, if he’s given that opportunity. In 16 games and the playoffs, can he compete consistently against No. 1 and No. 2 receivers.
“Has he progressed? Definitely. I think Logan has been competitive since Day 1. It just boils down to whether or not he’ll be able to step up and take advantage of his opportunities,” Sullivan added. “Look, we saw it in the Super Bowl — defensive backs in New England don’t have a long leash. Everybody around the league knows that. They don’t hesitate to sit guys down. It’s just part of the culture there in New England. You have to be a tough-minded son of a gun to succeed there, to know that one game I might get 10 snaps, and then the next game I might be starting. They move guys around a lot.”
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|Darrelle Revis: Patriots’ offer ‘wasn’t in the ballpark of what we were looking for’||03.25.15 at 7:09 pm ET|
Even though the Patriots didn’t pick up Darrelle Revis’ $20 million team option for 2015, the team still had a chance to sign him — just like every other team in the league — via free agency.
Ultimately the Patriots did make an offer to Revis, but it fell short of what he was looking for.
“Obviously I’m not going to speak to numbers,” Revis said on The Michael Kay Show in New York Wednesday. “But I had the option — the $20 million option — that they could’ve exercised and they didn’t. We tried to work on a deal, and the deal, we felt that it wasn’t in the ballpark of what we were looking for. We moved on and they moved on too. Had a great conversation with Bill [Belichick], and we moved forward just like they did. That’s how you look at it.”
Revis ultimately signed with the Jets for five years and $70 million, with $39 million guaranteed. Some may say Revis only chose the Jets because of the money he was offered. He said it takes both sides to agree upon a deal.
“Contracts are contracts. We all know that, man,” said Revis. “Both sides have to agree on the deal and the numbers are the numbers. If a team doesn’t want to pay you money, they won’t pay you, they will give you a lesser deal. If they want to pay you, they will pay you. Everybody knows that. It’s not just one side. Contracts don’t get done one-sided. They get done with both sides agreeing to the terms.”
Playing for the Jets for the first six years of his career and then being traded to Tampa Bay in 2013, Revis said he was actually surprised the Jets would be interested in bringing him back for a second time. It was a place he wanted to return to, a place he calls “home.”
“I think at that point I was surprised,” Revis said. “It was a lot of back-and-forth with the tampering, what Mr. [Woody] Johnson said. There was just a lot of stuff going on at that time. In free agency they were one of the teams that called. The Jets were one of the teams that called. It was a bunch of teams. It was the Steelers, it was Cleveland, it was the Chiefs, it was the Packers, Baltimore — I mean, it was every team as well. Guys were willing to fly down and meet with me.
“The whole situation was like I said, it will always go back to that is where I got drafted. That is where I felt most comfortable. That is where I feel familiar with. I know a lot of people in the building and I felt like for me it was time to come home.”
|Report: Jets file tampering charges against Patriots for Robert Kraft’s Darrelle Revis comments Monday||03.24.15 at 8:56 pm ET|
The rivalry continues.
According to Pro Football Talk, the Jets have filed tampering charges against Robert Kraft and the Patriots based on the owner’s comments Monday about Darrelle Revis who is now a member of the Jets.
“We thought we made a very competitive offer,” Kraft told reporters while speaking at the NFL owners meetings. “I speak as a fan of the New England Patriots — we wanted to keep him. We wanted him in our system, and we have certain disciplines.
“We had hoped it worked out. It didn’t.”
The owner continued to say how he hated losing Revis, but trusts Bill Belichick to make the right decisions for the organization.
“As a fan, in March and April, I hate to lose [Revis],” Kraft told reporters Monday at the NFL owners meeting in Arizona. “But our real focus is what goes on in the fall and winter. I put my faith and respect with Bill [Belichick]. We have a lot of discussions, and he’s done pretty good the last 15 years. The fan in me argues all the time with him, but he has a pretty good record.”
Kraft was asked if he was talked out of matching the Jets offer by Belichick.
“No. I listen to what he says,” he said. “We discuss things thoroughly, but he has done a pretty good job. Once again, the emotion and fan in me, you want to keep all the good players and we have a salary cap. I know what it’s like when you lose a game in the fall and the winter, so the emotion of the spring has to have some discipline if you want to be good long-term. I think he’s proven to be a pretty good manager of our resources.”
This is likely in response to the Patriots filing tampering charges against the Jets for Woody Johnson‘s comments about Revis back in December.
Tampering rules prohibit: “[a]ny public or private statement of interest, qualified or unqualified, in another club’s player to that player’s agent or representative, or to a member of the news media.”
Jets have filed tampering charges against Patriots based on Robert Kraft’s Monday comments about Darrelle Revis, per league source.
‘ ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) March 25, 2015
|Bill Belichick on Darrelle Revis signing with Jets: ‘It’s NFL free agency … That’s not a big story’||at 12:31 pm ET|
The coach was in midseason form, not offering much to the media on hand in the nearly 40 minutes he spoke at a roundtable.
Belichick commented for the first time on losing Darrelle Revis to the Jets, but the coach offered very little.
“It’s NFL free agency. It’s like that in the NFL,” Belichick told reporters. “Players leave teams and go to teams in free agency every year. That’s not a big story.”
The Patriots could have picked up the $20 million option on Revis’ contract to keep him in New England for 2015, but the Patriots declined without really expanding on the answer.
“It’s NFL free agency,” Belichick said. “We do what’s best for our football team.”
As for how the Patriots defense will look without Revis at corner, Belichick muttered, “I don’t know.”
Belichick was also asked about losing cornerback Brandon Browner, as the Patriots also declined to pick up his option for 2015 and Browner signed with the Saints.
“You should ask Sean [Payton] and the Saints,” Belichick said, saying Browner is no longer on the Patriots’ roster.
He was also asked to expand on losing Vince Wilfork, as the defensive tackle signed with the Texans last week. Belichick didn’t even answer that question.
“I released a pretty comprehensive statement on that,” he said. “I think that about covers it.”
The owners’ meetings wrap up on Wednesday, with the NFL draft scheduled for April 30-May 2.
|Sal Paolantonio on MFB: Jets should have ‘significant draft pick’ taken away for tampering||at 12:13 pm ET|
ESPN NFL analyst Sal Paolantonio joined Middays with MFB Tuesday morning to discuss the latest from the NFL owners’ meetings, including the latest on the tampering charge against the Jets and Deflategate. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.
Jets owner Woody Johnson made comments at his season-ending press conference about Darrelle Revis while the cornerback was still under contract with the Patriots. The Patriots reportedly filed tampering charges to the league, and then at the start of free agency Revis signed with the Jets.
Paolantonio believes the Jets should be disciplined with a “significant draft pick” taken away.
“They definitely broke the rule and the Jets should be punished,” said Paolantonio. “I think the NFL takes tampering very seriously and they should. Free agency is as unfeathered as you could possibly get it. We just saw a crazy round of free agency in the NFL with trades and teams signings players to these outrageous contracts and all kinds of player movement all over the league. You don’t have to be talking expeditiously to members of the media or to the public about other teams players.
“It’s not the way these ‘partners’ in the NFL want to be doing business with one another and I think the NFL is going to take it seriously. I think Woody Johnson did speak out of turn. I think he did break and rule and I think they should be docked a significant draft pick.”
The Deflategate investigation led by Ted Wells is now in its second full month. Paolantonio said there are a few theories to why the investigation is taking so long to complete.
“I don’t want to conjecture about that,” he said. “I think there are a lot of theories about why it is taking so long. One, that it was handled poorly. Two, that their investigation has determined that it was wide-spread all over the league. I know they talked to a number of teams around the league about it. So maybe that is also a plausible theory. The third is they don’t have the Patriots dead to rights and they don’t know what to do.”
For more Patriots news, visit weei.com/patriots.