Still, the impacts of Darrelle Revis resemble a free-agent signing. We all know how good of a corner he is, but his impact on the team on his return goes far beyond his coverage skills. His absence has forced not only the defense, but the entire organization to step up. In turn, the organization is better for it.
I know what you're saying. "Wait, the Revis holdout was a GOOD thing?"
Well, it wasn't a good thing for Jets fans' blood pressure. But when a player of Revis' caliber is no longer there, it only forces the team to follow suit and accelerate their game. The most obvious example is rookie Kyle Wilson, who got tremendous experience starting at corner. Let's not forget he may resume his punt return duties now that he will defer to his starting nickel position.
Antonio Cromartie has to be relieved. He can be a #1 corner on mediocre teams. The Jets aren't a mediocre team. Cromartie, free of the pressure of trying to replicate Revis, is free to jump routes and cover lesser receivers. You know David Harris and Bart are excited to focus on blitzing and stopping the run. This defense has shown it can be good without Revis; their potential to be the greatest defense of all time has been laid out in front of them.
Even on offense, Revis' presence will help Mark Sanchez not push the ball too much. Punting is okay, because now, more than ever, you have a great defense to fall on. Without Darrelle, the thinking was "We don't HAVE to score, but who knows, they could drop a couple of TD's on us so we might as well take a shot."
Let's look past the on-field implications. For a team that lacked leadership and confidence, this is exactly what the doctor ordered. Morale in that locker room will be higher than ever. Each play will feel a sense of dominance, as if players on the Jets are unique to other players around the league; and that is exactly the kind of atmosphere Rex has been constructing since his infamous introductory press conference. You lose TJ, Faneca, and Richardson, but deep down those players realize that Revis was the reason for their success in 2009, and having a symbol of that success back in the locker room is invaluable.
It's the feeling that we have something you don't; that we have a weapon that you simply cannot game plan around or avoid. You have to beat it, and so far, no one has. The Jets are the team no one wants to play. Mission accomplished, Rex
So yes, call me crazy, but the Revis holdout was a good thing for the Jets. It has allowed each player and coach to push themselves, to dare themselves to be better. More importantly, it's back to Jets football: hard and fast. Every team in the league just peed a little, because as Rex said, "The Jets are comin, and I think that's gonna be more than you can handle."