Wednesday, January 19, 2011
Darrelle Revis ready to erase a Steeler
FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan doesn't remember a single time a healthy Darrelle Revis ever was scorched by a receiver.
Revis Island was invaded a few times this year, but let's just say he had border patrol issues. A contract dispute caused him to miss training camp and led to a hamstring injury that dogged him for the first half of the season.
But he returned to his usual, dominant self in November and has been sensational in the playoffs. He'll return to his hometown Sunday to play the Pittsburgh Steelers in the AFC Championship Game.
"It's not like he's just playing corner," Ryan said at Wednesday's news conference. "A lot of times we'll give him the toughest down: 'You have no help. So that offense knows you have no help.' A lot of times that's when [an offense should] take a shot over there. We want you to because we think we have as good a chance of catching that football as you do.
"I've only seen it one other time in my life, and that was with Deion Sanders."
Revis held NFL receptions leader Reggie Wayne to one reception for 1 yard in the wild-card round, effectively erasing Peyton Manning's top target. Stats analyst KC Joyner credited New England Patriots receiver Deion Branch with one reception for 8 yards against Revis on Sunday.
Where will Revis line up Sunday against Pittsburgh? Will he be on Mike Wallace? Hines Ward?
Ryan didn't offer many specifics.
"We'll be multiple in what we do with Darrelle," Ryan said. "But there's only one of him. If we had more, that would be great. I'd sign up for that.
"But he's the best in the business. Regardless of who we put him on, that's probably not a good thing for that person."
Joyner, who has Revis allowing only 4.3 yards per target since Week 9, looked back on the Jets' victory over the Steelers in Week 15 for some clues.
In a column for ESPN Insider, Joyner wrote:
Revis was almost never assigned to cover Wallace: They did not square off in coverage on any of the 45 pass plays. On running plays, Wallace was on the field and lined up across from Revis only once.
The reason Revis didn't face Wallace is that the Jets had decided to assign Antonio Cromartie to the Steelers speedster. This tactic was fairly effective, as Wallace gained only 32 yards on three targets (two completions) when facing Cromartie in coverage.
Another problem the Steelers present the Jets is quarterback Ben Roethlisberger's ability to strike for big gains on broken plays. Revis said the Jets have practiced "plastering" receivers all week.
"If you're playing against a quarterback like Ben, just latch onto [the receiver] as tight as you can when the plays extend," Revis said. "A receiver might run a curl route or a slant, but his next read, if he sees Ben scrambling, then he'll break it off and run vertical, or maybe turn around and run to the sideline.
"It's hard for secondaries to do that."
Maybe not difficult for Revis.
But, as Ryan already noted, there's only one Revis.