AFC East: John Randle

NFL Any Era: Darrelle Revis

January, 24, 2012
Jerry Rice and Darrelle Revis IllustrationWould Hall of Famer Jerry Rice manage to escape from "Revis Island"?
Starting this week, and ESPN The Magazine are working together on a comprehensive series that examines which current NFL players could thrive in any era. Tuesday's group included New York Jets Pro Bowl cornerback Darrelle Revis.

A panel of Hall of Famers created their top 20 and Revis came in at No. 15. Here were some comments:
JAMES LOFTON: "Sometimes the promotion of 'Revis Island' can enhance or even supersede someone's image. When you watch this guy play, how is he able to move the receiver off his spot? It's like Superman strength. Darrelle Revis has that same type of strength. When he puts his hand on a receiver, the receiver that is headed there ... is now over there. It's really slight and really subtle, and he's not pushing off, but he's just so strong and compact, he just moves them off their route."
JOHN RANDLE: "When you watch him, he's a quiet killer. Like a sniper because he's drawing attention to himself, but you know that receiver is not going to have a good game. That receiver is shut down. The quarterback looks out there and goes, 'Well, my No. 1 is down. Let's look to my No. 2.'"

This was a good selection by the panel. Revis' elite coverage skills and hand-eye coordination would thrive in any era. In fact, due to many rule changes that favor high-scoring offenses, this is the most difficult era in NFL history to be a corner. But Revis is doing just fine.

I've said before in the blog that Revis is on his way to being an all-time great. It's clear that current Hall of Famers are taking notice. We will have more on's Any Era project later in the week as other players in the AFC East are revealed.

Reed misses Hall cut, but closes gap

February, 6, 2010
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- Andre Reed deserves to be in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

He just has to wait his turn.

For the fourth time, the legendary Buffalo Bills receiver was a semifinalist who didn't make the cut. Receiver Jerry Rice, running backs Emmitt Smith and Floyd Little, guard Russ Grimm, defensive tackle John Randle, linebacker Rickey Jackson and cornerback and esteemed coach Dick LeBeau were selected Saturday for the class of 2010.

Nobody expected Reed to be honored with Rice and Smith on the ballot for the first time. That left two fewer spots available for the others.

But there were some interesting developments in this year's selection process that bode well for Reed's candidacy in 2011.

There had been a belief among Hall of Fame voters Cris Carter must be inducted before Reed could make it. But for the first time, Reed finished ahead of Carter in the process.

When the list of 15 semifinalists was pared down to 10, Carter and Tim Brown (in his first year of eligibility) didn't advance. Reed did after failing to make the final 10 last year.

And as Reed's career numbers continue to slide down the all-time list each season -- a tight end passed him this year, and Randy Moss, Torry Holt and Hines Ward probably will knock him out of the top 10 next year -- there was concern Reed's credentials would dim.

Maybe that won't be the case.

Reed caught 951 passes for 13,198 yards and 87 touchdowns. He went to four straight Super Bowls. Had the Bills won one of them, the chances for his induction would be moot. He'd probably already be in.

"It's not just about how many you caught, but when you caught them," Hall of Fame receiver Michael Irvin said on the NFL Network's induction show. "To go to four Super Bowls, that means all of your catches meant something. So hopefully he will be here one day."