Jets won't exclusively use Darrelle Revis 1-on-1 with Bengals' AJ Green

ByRich Cimini ESPN logo
Thursday, September 8, 2016

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- Are the New York Jets closing Revis Island?

In a tactical departure from previous years, cornerback Darrelle Revis won't be used exclusively on Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver A.J. Green on Sunday, according to the Jets.

"It won't be just Revis, it will be a lot of people," defensive coordinator Kacy Rodgers said on Thursday. "A.J. is a tremendous player. We've got to have 11 sets of eyes, knowing where he is. ... It's not necessarily a one-on-one matchup."

For nearly his entire career, Revis has covered the opposing team's No. 1 receiver on a down-to-down basis, often with no safety help. His ability to thrive in such situations spawned the "Revis Island" moniker.

He has made the Pro Bowl in seven of his nine seasons, establishing himself as one of the premier lockdown corners of this generation.

But now he's 31 years old, coming off offseason wrist surgery. Revis said he's healthy after missing some practice time early in training camp, but he understands the rationale behind the new approach.

"To start the season off, we have to be cautious a little bit because we have some tough games coming ahead," Revis said. "I think the game plan this week is very comfortable for everybody.

"We're going to try to switch things up a little bit this week for us to maybe wear [down] some of their guys on offense, just wear 'em down a little bit," Revis added."That's just mixing guys in and out or lining up guys in the scheme we're trying to do."

Green poses "every challenge possible," according to Revis.

The 6-foot-4 burner caught 86 passes for 1,297 yards and 10 touchdowns last season. Ordinarily, this would be the ideal Revis matchup -- best-on-best -- but the Jets have downplayed the Revis-Green angle.

"That's just one of many matchups," coach Todd Bowles said. "It's a team effort, and we've got to pick our spots, and I'm sure they have to pick their spots. It's not even about Revis and Green, it's about us against them."

Revis said this will make the defense less predictable because "it might be difficult for the offense to ID guys or see where guys are. It will be a lot of confusion, and it will be to our benefit. That's one of the things, coming into this week, we're trying to accomplish."

It wasn't a vintage Revis season in 2015, as he struggled against DeAndre Hopkins and Sammy Watkins, but he played most of the season with a torn tendon in his wrist. It affected his ability to play bump-and-run -- his forte.

"It's definitely good to feel good and be able to strike at the line of scrimmage and jam guys," he said. "For me, it took time and patience, and I'm finally at the point where I can actually do that."