Attack Revis? No way, according to Rex
September, 5, 2013
By Rich Cimini | ESPNNewYork.com
AP PhotoRex Ryan had this to say about going after Darrelle Revis: "I don't see that happening."
FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- Bucs cornerback Darrelle Revis is coming off major knee surgery and hasn't played a football game in nearly a year. At his position, a player can be exposed if his reaction time is a split-second slower than usual.
So will the Jets test their former star Sunday at MetLife Stadium? What say you, Rex Ryan?
Ryan listened to the question, smiled and shook his head.
"We know him well," Ryan said Thursday. "That might be some team's philosophy, but I don't think it's going to be our philosophy. I can't even lie and say, 'Oh, yeah, no, absolutely, we're attacking him.' I don't see that happening.
"If I had my way, he'd rest it one more week," Ryan added, smiling. "I think that would be the best thing for him."
Revis, who didn't play in any preseason games, is expected to start for the Bucs even though it hasn't been made official. The Jets expect to see the Revis of old, the one that made four Pro Bowls from 2008 to 2011. But he's bound to be rusty. After all, he's human, supposedly. They should test him, in the air and on the ground, seeing if he reacts tentatively on a power sweep.
Wide receiver Stephen Hill seemed disappointed to hear they wouldn't attack Revis (if Ryan is to be believed).
"I wouldn't mind going after him. Why not?" Hill asked. "But that's the head man, so we're just going to definitely ... If that's what he wants, we're going to do what he wants. But other than that, I wouldn't mind. I'm not going to back down from competition."
Obviously, the Jets don't have any current tape of Revis to study, but their top four receivers are familiar with his game, having practiced against him last season, longer in the cases of Santonio Holmes and Jeremy Kerley. In meetings this week, receivers coach Sanjay Lal told his players, "You must be perfect" against Revis, whom the Jets traded last April.
"As a receiver, there's no margin for error," Lal said. "If you tip it off slightly, he's going to jump the route. He's the best I've seen at doing that."
Revis has uncanny instincts, which could allow him to compensate for any loss of quickness due to the injury. But the Jets expect him to be at full strength.
"If they're putting him out there for 70 plays, they must feel he's 100 percent or close to it, because he's a huge investment to them," Lal said.
The Bucs have a different defensive scheme than the Jets, so it'll be interesting to see how they use him. The Jets play man-to-man, and often left Revis on an island (hence, Revis Island) against the No. 1 receiver. The Bucs use a lot of Cover 2, a zone with safety help over the top. A pure Cover 2 would seem to minimize Revis' man-to-man skills.
Ryan called Revis a "once-in-a-how-many-years type player. He's a tremendous player." Five months after the divorce, Ryan still sounds like he wishes he never left.