It's been almost 3 years since we've seen Darrelle Revis in regular season form- September 23, 2012 to be exact, when Revis tore his ACL against the Miami Dolphins. Revis played his 2013 season for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and last year for the Super Bowl Champion New England Patriots. Now that Darrelle is back home in the green and white, what can we expect?
Will he be as dominant? Athletically, maybe not. Years and games wear on a man's body. But an older, wiser, and more mature Revis may compensate for a lost step- that is if there is one. What we can expect is Revis approaching every rep, practice, and game like it's his last. His workhorse and competitive mentality go above and beyond. Sometimes it's tough to fully evaluate where a superstar is in training camp and in preseason because proven players may not approach these days in the same way as regular season sundays. We've grown accustomed to watching Revis bring a game-like mentality to everything that he does.
Brandon Marshall has said that working with Revis everyday has made him "better than ever" and that it's crucial he shows up every play in order to not be embarrassed, as he has been in the past. Last year, Revis had an absolute field day against Marshall and the Chicago Bears. (I apologize for poor quality on some of these videos).
Jay Cutler was 0-5 with an interception when targeting Revis. Marshall ended the day with 3 catches for 35 yards, all of which occurred when Revis was elsewhere.
Let's not forget about this either:
Deviating a little off topic, I usually don't disagree with Jon Gruden, but I believe that was a correct no-call. Marshall falls and initiates the contact because Revis has the route covered perfectly. Marshall simply doesn't know what to do with himself as a result.
A couple of days ago in an interview after practice, Marshall talks about breaking through his potential and looking at the game differently because of the competition. In the past, Marshall was usually able to do what he wanted: He's a 6'5 receiver with tremendous hands, speed, and awareness. Now going up against Revis, Marshall considers each play a "chess match", thinking more about the technique of his releases and his positioning at the top of his routes. The continued practice against one another should work wonders for both Marshall and Revis when the regular season starts.
Revis at 5'11 is a perfect example of a corner who doesn't need superior length to succeed. His instincts, technique, and expertise more than compensate for a lost few inches say to a 6'3 Richard Sherman or 6'1 Patrick Peterson. Here's an example of Revis using his athletic ability and field awareness to put himself in the perfect position to make a play more commonly made by a longer corner:
Here's another example of perfect technique in a jump-ball single coverage situation - this time in the Pro Bowl against Anquan Boldin.
For a team that has lacked discipline, accountability, and well, talent the last few seasons, Revis' presence on and off the field is paramount. It's certainly easy to forget amongst all of the typical Jets hoopla that one of the greatest corners to ever play the game will be back out on the field for the Jets week in and week out. If you have a spare 10 minutes and haven't seen the E60 on Revis, highly recommend you check it out.