NEPD Editor: Oliver Thomas
Brandon LaFell’s first four months with the New England Patriots have been an acclimation process. The former Carolina Panthers wideout has had to learn the nuances of a new offense and the ball placement of a new quarterback.
And he’s had to do so against five-time Pro Bowl cornerback Darrelle Revis.
When the first full-pads practice of training camp was held Saturday morning, the 5’11”, 198-pound Revis held his own against assignments in 7-on-7, 11-on-11 and even 1-on-1 drills. He was physical at the line, sudden in and out of breaks, and active at the catch point, intercepting quarterback Tom Brady twice.
In one matchup, though, the 6’3”, 210-pound LaFell shed Revis as he cut to the back right corner of the end zone. When he did, Brady found him for a touchdown.
Those victories seldom come versus a player of Revis’ caliber. That’s something his counterpart is well aware of.
“Revis is always tough,” said LaFell after the third day of training camp practice on the fields behind Gillette Stadium. “It’s just not today; it was all during OTAs, all last season when he was with Tampa. Every time I play that guy he’s always tough. He don’t take no days off in practice.”
LaFell hasn’t battled many corners who bring it in practice like Revis. But during his time in Carolina, he did battle one.
“Captain Munnerlyn,” LaFell said. “He always came out there wanting to be the strongest, wanting to be the fastest, wanting to always be aggressive. Revis reminds me a lot of him, but Revis is much bigger, much stronger.”
Practicing against the coverage of corners like Munnerlyn and Revis is, more so, competing. But the 27-year-old LaFell sees the bigger picture.
He sees that the competition is going to help both the secondary and the receivers.
“It’s definitely going to make us better,” LaFell added, “because the harder it is out here every day, the easier it’s going to be on Sundays.”