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Tuesday, June 15, 2010
Secondary coach to Revis: 'Is this legit?'

By Rich Cimini

Secondary coach Dennis Thurman told ESPNNewYork.com Tuesday he had no idea that CB Darrelle Revis was making a contract-related statement by sitting out a few plays in Monday morning's minicamp practice.

That conflicts Revis' version of what happened. On Monday, Revis told reporters that Thurman knew what he was up to, saying, "We kind of joked about it" during practice. Ultimately, that put Rex Ryan in an uncomfortable position.

Ryan had no idea Revis was protesting until it was brought up by reporters in Monday's news conference. That scenario made it seem like Thurman was keeping Ryan out of the loop, but that's not the way it went down, according to Thurman.

"Anytime one of your players comes to you and says something about being lightheaded, you don't question it. You take it seriously," Thurman said. "Hell, I'm not a doctor or a trainer. When he said that to me, hey, you're out and Dwight Lowery goes in and we go from there."

On Monday, Revis said lightheadedness and a sore hamstring were the reasons why he took himself out. Eventually, he acknowledged it was contract-related. On Tuesday, he admitted he made up the part about the hamstring, but claimed he really was lightheaded. At the same time, he didn't back down from his admission that it was a mini-protest over his contract.

Thurman said Revis never indicated it was anything more than being lightheaded. There was no mention of a hamstring, Thurman said.

"I took him at his word and said, 'Go sit down,' he said. "I actually said, 'Is this legitimate?' He goes, 'Yeah.' Any statement he might have been trying to make, he wasn't making it as far as I was concerned. If he had another agenda, you'll have to ask him. To me, there was nothing behind it."

Let's back up a little. Doesn't it seem a little odd that Thurman would ask, "Is this legitimate?" Revis hasn't missed a game in three years, with absolutely no reputation for dogging it. By posing that question, Thurman seemed to be acknowledging that the contract dispute was out there, that it was some sort of issue. The skepticism had to come from somewhere.

Thurman said he always stays out of player/management relations, that he just sticks to coaching football. He said he took Revis at "face value." These days, it's hard to tell what that is.