Darrelle Revis listened to the question — how does he feel physically this year, compared to last year at this time — and nodded his head.
The future Hall of Fame cornerback then flipped off his hat, which was embroidered with his personal logo, and pulled an “AFC West” champs hat from his locker.
“Let me throw this one on instead of this one,” Revis said with a laugh.
This was Sunday, just moments after the Chiefs clinched their second straight division crown with a 29-13 win over the Miami Dolphins, and the symmetry was clear.
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Revis, 32, is happy to be back in the NFL, and winning football games again. He’s been with the Chiefs a month now, and he’s put a sometimes-tumultuous 2016 season — in which his last team, the New York Jets, went 5-11 — in the past.
“I’m not really concerned about that,” Revis said, referring to last season. “A lot of people give me (stuff) because of what I’ve accomplished. I’m being real, man. A lot of people give me (stuff) because I’ve done so well. On Sunday, it was like ‘Who is he covering?’ I’m over that.
“Right now, this is a good organization I’m a part of. They treat me first class, the guys are stand-up guys. We have a lot of personalities in here, and this is what I wanted to be a part of. Winning team, winning attitude.”
The comment, however, was more rooted in Revis’ satisfaction with being a Chief — and how he’s been treated in Kansas City, overall — than it was about his last stop. The 11-year pro was signed in late November to shore up an inconsistent cornerback group, and over the past four games, he’s logged 163 of 272 snaps (59.9 percent) as the team’s nickelback, while surrendering seven catches on 14 targets.
“I think the nice thing is he’s come in and worked — I think he’s settled in nice,” quarterback Alex Smith said. “It’s hard to come into that situation with that amount of time off to a group that you aren’t really in on, and I think he did a nice job just coming in, working, just showing through his practice and how he’s playing what he’s all about. I think guys have appreciated that a lot.”
From Revis’ standpoint, things are progressing well. He’s recorded eight tackles and two pass deflections and seems to be feeling better weekly as he continues to adjust to football speed after missing organized team activities, training camp and three-fourths of the regular season.
“I’m feeling pretty good, you know?” Revis said. “Coming in the middle of the season, for me it’s been enjoyable to get back to playing football. It’s a process as well, me not playing all year with the team.
“I haven’t had a lot of reps … I’ve been training as much as possible but you can’t emulate any game speed when you’re training. So I’ve got thrown in the fire and I’m doing the best I can in terms of the role I’m playing right now.”
Revis said he’s happy with the gameplan the team has set for him. The first month was about getting back into the swing of things. Now, as the season enters the critical point — the team has clinched a playoff berth entering its regular-season finale Sunday at Denver — he hopes to contribute even more.
“As we continue to win, hopefully I’ll get more snaps and get out there a little bit more,” Revis said. “We’re a team that has a veteran coaching staff and experienced players, and it’s good, man — we understand how to win (and) we’ve been showing that all year. Guys have been doing it before I was here. I’m enjoying it.”