I'm spending 50 days ranking the top 50 players of the Bill Belichick Era, from No. 50 down to No. 1. (Click here for a criteria on how I made my selections.)


Today we reach . . . .


Years With Patriots: 2014

Games: 16

Playoff Games: 3

Honors: Super Bowl winner (2014), All-Pro (2014)


How good was Darrelle Revis in 2014? I felt he absolutely deserved to be in the MVP conversation. How much of an impact did he have on the Patriots defense? He allowed the team to change its scheme, playing press coverage on the outside, usually assigning Revis to one wideout with the express command to shut that guy down. That made every other secondary player’s job easier. How much does Revis have in common with the guys who immediately precede him on this list – David Patten and Stephen Neal? Not a lot. They were workaday guys, players grateful for the chance in New England and extremely team loyal because of it. Revis knew (and knows) his unique skill put him on different footing than most every other player in the league and he doesn’t have to be beholden to a club or a coach. He’s a mercenary. But in his one season here, he didn’t demonstrate a sense of entitlement or a “better than” vibe. He meshed perfectly with the other players in the secondary and on both sides of the ball. Selfishly, he was a pleasure to talk to because he was extremely open about his craft and surprisingly willing to take as much time with the media as necessary. He was only here one season, but the Patriots won a Super Bowl in that season. He was their best defender. He belongs right here.