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Michael Irvin’s Postcard from Revis Island

Posted by Eric Allen on August 25, 2011 – 1:31 pm

If you were going to hand out a training camp MVP award, I don’t know if anyone could argue if it went to Darrelle Revis. And while Revis has been absolutely outstanding day in and day out, Antonio Cromartie has played awfully well in the shadows of No. 24.

There is nothing Revis can’t do on his Island. When we caught up with Michael Irvin this week, “The Playmaker” was effusive in his praise.

“He’s such a great corner. Watch him,” said the Hall of Famer who won three rings with the Dallas Cowboys. “He’s strong and his weight is positioned the right way. His feet never come that high off the ground. That means what? That means he always has ground contact. What do you need to cut? Ground contact. What do you have to do? React to receivers quickly. If my feet never come high, I’m in a position to react. It’s just phenomenal, all the little things he does, and he does them so well.”

Revis reads well and transitions effortlessly. If he guesses and a receiver gets a step, he can recover in an instant. He is a beast at the line and possesses great ball skills. The lasting image of camp for me was Mark Sanchez spotting a seemingly open Jeremy Kerley up the right sideline and rifling a ball in his direction. But in the split second that it took the ball to travel, Revis went to the phonebooth, put on his cape and extended to cut down the separation before hauling in an incredible interception.

“He’s just a tough player. He’s nasty, man. He’s so sharp,” Sanchez said. “He reads routes so well. He can react so well. His instincts are probably the best in the league, so it’s great practice for me.

“They keep saying, ‘The Revis rule, the Revis rule.’ Me, that’s my chance to try and get after him in practice. That’s when I can see what you can try to fit in, what you can get by with — and there’s not much. He keeps you sharp, he keeps you accurate. And when you’re not, he’ll make you pay.”

And that’s exactly what makes Revis special. Sure, he plays hard on Sundays, but he is possessed on the practice field.

“Not only is he the best corner in football — he might be the best practice player in football,” said defensive coordinator Mike Pettine. “He sets such a great example for our guys to come in here that all they have to do is look to him to see what it is to be a professional. He’s great in the meeting room and he’s great in the locker room. When he steps away from the building, he still has football on his mind and he prepares. When he steps on the field, it’s all business.”

After Revis and Irvin chatted for an NFL Network interview, I asked Irvin (a physical monster himself who played at 6’2”, 207) how he and Troy Aikman would approach going against the 5’11”, 198-pound Jets dynamo.

“We’re going to have to carefully game-plan exactly how we attack Darrelle. First of all, I can’t go through a game without you not throwing any balls my way. You’re not going to do that, so that’s out,” he said. “I am going to remove that, though, but we would have to stretch hard, look hard, work hard and try to game-plan against him.”

Add it all up and you can expect plenty of receivers to go missing on Revis Island once again in 2011.

Increased Aggression from “Cro”

Pettine told newyorkjets.com he likes what he’s seen from Cromartie thus far across from Revis. Even though the coaching staff didn’t have contact with Cro during the work stoppage, they worked on a project to help him if he re-signed with the Green & White.

“We’re very fortunate. We feel we have two No. 1 corners,” Pettine said. “The biggest criticism of Cro coming into the season was his not using his superior size and his long reach to get his hands on receivers. Dennis Thurman and Jim O’Neil did a real nice job during the lockout — they put together a cut-up of ‘Here is where you put your hands on receivers and here’s where you didn’t and these were the results.’ ”

When Cromartie re-upped with the Jets and returned to the facility, he was presented with the tape and the response has been a more physical approach at the line. Cromartie told reporters that he was going to play with a chip on his shoulder and he has been true to his word.

“I think it was very glaring to him that when he got his hands on receivers, by and large they didn’t catch a ball. The quarterback would look the other way. When he gave them free access, then that’s when we had some issues,” Pettine said. “I think he’s really taken that to heart and you can see his increased aggression, especially from his press technique, and I think it’s going to pay dividends for us.”

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Posted in Eric Allen | 8 Comments »

8 Responses to “Michael Irvin’s Postcard from Revis Island”

  1. By Troy on Aug 25, 2011 | Reply

    Well with Revis being Revis, and A-Cro deemed for a special year,this team needs to figure out how there are going stop the bleeding in the middle of the field ,this was s major issue last season ,with slot wr’s ,TE’s and Rb’s roaming free in the middle of the field. This is the reason why we gave up more 3rd and longs than any other team in the NFL. Good teams with smart Qb’s know to stay from Revis & CRO ,so they will attack Wilson and our safetys Smith and Leonard which both are very smart and physical both are below average in coverage(the only aspect Rhodes is missed) our LB’s are very average in coverage as well,I guess if your producing a pass rush it will help this problem ,but we havent shown one yet ,hopefully Pace at 100% w/help

  2. By davetharave on Aug 25, 2011 | Reply

    If Cro plays just a bit tougher it would be a huge asset, and he has the size to do it. What is the opposing OC gonna call on third and long ? Can’t go to either wideout, their slot receiver is gonna take a heluva beating.

  3. By Ed in Tucson on Aug 25, 2011 | Reply

    The scheme that Rex & co put together for the PO game v NE worked really well to stop the middle of the field gains. I’m confident that we’ll have a top 5 D this year. The O is where I have my doubts. MS has looked sharper, more accurate this year. If he can sustain that throughout the season & we can get our starting O line healthy at the same time we should be able to score enough points to win consistently. Can’t Wait!

  4. By commentman on Aug 25, 2011 | Reply

    Its great that we have corners who can cover like blankets, but if we don’t get a pass rush, they can’t cover forever.

  5. By HoustonJET on Aug 26, 2011 | Reply

    If Cro does decide to press constantly at the LOS, then this will pay huge dividends for us… Everyone keeps saying that we don’t have a pass rusher, and in my opinion I think those individuals are wrong… Look at our front 7, they are all big and athletic with speed… As long as the WRs are covered leaving the QB no option for a quick release, one of those front 7s will get to the QB… Just my $0.02…

  6. By Rod deployed on Aug 27, 2011 | Reply

    Edges DONE. What I’m worried about is the TE grokowski( how ever you spell it) dude from ne. We don’t have anyone that can match him. Revis on branch. Cro can shut down chad since he going to press this year. Wilson on welker. (Must Press). But rb out of the back field and Big te will cause big problems for J-E-T-S “D”.

  7. By Henry on Aug 28, 2011 | Reply

    The Jets may not have a conventional pass rush, but Rex Ryan manages to make it happen. The jets were 7th in sacks last season and that’s w/o a true pass rusher. Time for Pace to step up, although with his groin injury who knows, and hopefully Maybin will excel in Ryan’s Blitz happy defense.

  8. By gmany3k on Aug 28, 2011 | Reply

    it unbelievable that a pro player doesn’t know to play hands on defense at CB .@Troy Rex’s defense permitted all the yds in the middle of the field but didn’t give up the TD’s.see green bay game with rogers at QB

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