ORLANDO, Fla. - Bill Belichick gave a straight-forward answer when asked why the Patriots signed Darrelle Revis.
"I think he'll help our team," he said at Tuesday morning's AFC coaches breakfast at the NFL's annual meetings. "I think he's a good player. Does a lot of things well. Look forward to working with him."
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Belichick said that the Patriots "keep tabs" on all of the players in the league and as they head into the offseason try to project who will be re-signed, who will hit the market, who will be tendered and who could be released.
"We thought he was a potential release, but we didn't know that," he said of Revis' departure from the Buccaneers. "He was under contract. They could have kept him. But they didn't and when they didn't then ?"
The Patriots swooped in.
"That's the process," Belichick said.
Meanwhile, two tables away from Belichick, Rex Ryan was talking about having to see Revis in a Patriots uniform.
"Last year was kind of weird when we first started the season and that was the first time it happened that he was in a different colored jersey," Ryan said of opening the 2013 season against Revis and the Bucs. "But once the ball is snapped, it's like, he's another guy wearing number 24 out there. Obviously you know what kind of player he is, but he's somebody else's player now. That's where I look at it. This is two different teams in two years for him and not us. He's not ours. Maybe when he first went to Tampa I still saw him as my player, but that's not the case now. It's somebody else's player. Like I said, he's the enemy now."
Ryan was asked how his new wide receiver, Eric Decker, will match up against Revis.
"I guess we're going to find out," he said. "Twice a year we're going to find out."
Belichick was even more uncertain - or at least portraying himself as such - about the impact Revis will have on the Patriots.
"Darrelle is a good player," he said. "We'll see how it comes together with us, what his role is, and how exactly he fits into our scheme and so forth. We'll just have to see how that comes together. I mean, I don't know."