Revis' replacements must learn 'to eat meat'

September, 28, 2012
9/28/12
6:13
PM ET
Defensive backs coach Dennis Thurman didn’t see the injury to Darrelle Revis, but he had a sinking feeling when his star quarterback didn’t get back on the field Sunday after tearing his ACL.

“The first thing that most people do is they get emotional,” Thurman said. “You can’t get emotional, it’s part of the game, it happens. Great players get injured and when they do, if you’re overly emotional about it, then you won’t prepare yourself the right way or you won’t get your players prepared to play.”

Thurman’s job this week has been about trying to architect an answer for a strong San Francisco offense without the best defensive player on the roster. Kyle Wilson by himself is not the answer, but Thurman can’t get into any of the scheme changes he might make without tipping off the opposition.

“We miss him obviously but basically it’s a group and as a group we have to make up for it,” Thurman said. “You can’t have one man; I mean Ellis Lankster is going to get to play a little bit more, Kyle is starting but as a group we have to step up. We can’t just think that one guy is going to step into his shoes and fill those shoes. It’s not going to happen.”

Wilson has matured, Thurman said. And he said the third-year player has improved with a full offseason and training camp during a critical time in his development. Asked about the struggles from Wilson’s first season, Thurman said he didn’t think his rookie year was that terrible.

“We didn’t draft the kid in the first round for no reason,” Thurman said. “He has physical talent, but now (with) his maturity and his gaining experience, I think Kyle is only going to continue to get better.”

Thurman pointed out the new Jets safeties, LaRon Landry and Yeremiah Bell and said they will have to pick up some additional duties, but Thurman is also expecting a lot out of Lankster and Isaiah Trufant.

“It’s time for them to go play, take the pacifiers out of their mouth, so to speak,” Thurman said. “They’ve got to go out and it’s time for them to eat meat. We’ll find out how they digest it.”
Jane McManus has covered New York sports since 1998 and began covering football just before Brett Favre's stint with the Jets. Her work has appeared in Newsday, USA Today, The Journal News and The New York Times. Follow Jane on Twitter.

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