Darrelle Revis recently admitted to the New York Daily News that, before signing with the Patriots, he had his agent reach out to the Jets to initiate a reunion. In other words, returning to play in Rex Ryan’s defense was Revis’ first choice after being set free by Tampa Bay.
Obviously, the Jets declined. They weren’t interested in bringing the shutdown corner back to New York.
As the story goes, Ryan couldn’t wait to get him back in his secondary. It’s no secret the Jets coach loves Revis. But he was trumped by his superiors. That said, owner Woody Johnson and general manager John Idzik will likely live to regret rejecting Revis’ overture, especially given the place he landed.
Based on the fact Ryan and the Jets are back to their boastful ways with nothing but an 8-8 record to back up their claims, and a cornerback corps that’s not exactly an elite group with Dee Milliner and Dimitri Patterson pegged as the starters, shunning Revis and handing him to the Patriots could prove as humiliating as Mark Sanchez’s butt fumble.
Just ask former Jets linebacker Bart Scott. He believes Gang Green is headed for trouble, particularly the two times they’ll square off with the Patriots in the regular season.
“I think they’re definitely going to regret it,” the CBS analyst told the Herald. “They made New England a team, even a defense, they haven’t been able to be since Ty Law. (Having Revis) gives (coach Bill) Belichick so much flexibility. I think we’re going to see a blitzing, aggressive New England defense, which is scary.”
While Peyton Manning and the Broncos have leapfrogged the Jets on the rivalry scale, Ryan & Co. still crank up the animosity meter. The Revis component only serves to add more spice to the mix.
The Patriots meet the Jets in weeks 7 and 16, with the first encounter being a Thursday night tilt on CBS. Already, analysts are licking their chops over what Revis will do to Eric Decker, the former Broncos receiver who signed a lucrative free agent deal to be the Jets top receiver.
“The problem for the Jets is he’s probably going to cover Decker,” ESPN analyst and former Jets coach Herm Edwards told the Herald. “That’s going to be fun to watch.”
Solomon Wilcots was a little more direct when it came to the Revis-Decker matchup.
“I have all the respect in the world for Decker,” Wilcots said. “But that’s not a fair fight.”
Scott, meanwhile, takes the matchup to another level.
“Eric Decker doesn’t exist anymore,” he said. “Because every time you play Darrelle Revis, you’re going to go to a little island. So (the Jets) aren’t going to get from (Decker) what they wanted out of him because he’s going to be erased.”
The Jets passed on Revis even though cornerback is a position of great need. Scott even referred to their defensive backfield as being in a state of “disarray” at the moment.
Milliner, the second-year defensive back out of the University of Alabama, caused a bit of a stir last week by terming himself the best corner in the league when asked his opinion. Naturally, corners have to be confident, but that notion was ridiculous. He took a page out of Ryan’s false bravado playbook on that one. The bottom line for the Jets is they’re still lacking in the defensive backfield. And they turned away Revis at the door.
“They still have a pretty good defense. Their front seven is really good. Do they miss (Revis)? Yeah, they miss him,” Edwards said. “No doubt, a guy of his caliber, one of the best corners in the league, they miss him. But they’ve moved on. Once he went to Tampa, I never felt he’d come back to the Jets even though he may have wanted to because he likes Rex Ryan. They have a great relationship, but it just wasn’t going to work out there.’’
It didn’t work because Jets management, which endured a pair of holdouts by Revis (in 2007 and ’10), didn’t trust being able to keep him long term, or keep from having to renegotiate deals. Neither Johnson nor Idzik wanted to go back to having the headache.“Sometimes it’s tough for a billionaire to be out-negotiated or out-leveraged by a millionaire,” Scott said. “Revis always had the leverage, and always had outlets and language in his contract to be able to maneuver. They just don’t want to deal with it.”
While Revis publicly claimed he has no hard feelings toward the Jets, Scott views it differently. He sees Revis as feeling scorned and believes we’ll eventually see that play out when the two teams meet.
“The big thing is respect. It’s not about whether he’s good enough for the Jets. What that let him know is it’s personal. And since it’s personal, we’ll add something to this rivalry,” Scott said. “It’ll be, ‘I’ll tell Bill Belichick what was said in (Jets) meetings about him. I’ll tell Tom Brady what people thought about him over there. I’ll tell certain players what was said about them, to put that extra chip on their back. And I’ll carry a chip, and we’ll kick their butts even worse.’
“So you’ve given the Patriots and Darrelle all the motivation to be (ticked) off, and to prepare extra.”
Scott said the fact Revis has an understanding of not only the Jets defense, but their concepts will also come into play. The Border War plot thickens.
Laying down the Law
Ty Law’s induction ceremony Friday night, held in the plaza outside the Hall at Patriot Place, was a treat. As has been the custom at these events, former teammates of the new inductee share stories on stage. So at the end of the night, a panel of Lawyer Milloy, Rodney Harrison and Otis Smith shared stories. We’ll relate one of Milloy’s, because it best illustrated the swagger and confidence Law exuded as a player. And it brought the house down.
As Milloy explained, the players in the defensive backfield would have to take an oral exam every Friday in front of Belichick.“We’d have to do a little essay, because all of us had an individual that we were assigned to (cover),” Milloy said.So one by one, players would get up in front of the room, and give Belichick and the rest of the team the rundown on their specific assignment.
“My test went something like: Tony Gonzalez. Went to Cal. Played basketball. Right-handed. Really good in the end zone. Might double-team him, but I got him,” Milloy said. “I’d go on for like 10 or 15 minutes. So everybody would go on, the rookies included, and then Ty would go at the end.“Ty played with swagger. He had the toughest job on the field taking out the best receiver. And no matter who the receiver was, I remember my rookie year, he’d go up there and say, ‘Ty Law. I got Eric Moulds. F-’im.’ And sat down. It was like that every single week. It didn’t matter who we were playing. . . . That was his attitude. At the end of my career with him, we’d just wait for it. ‘Jerry Rice.’ And we’d go, ‘F-’im.’ ”
Catching on with guru
Last week, both Julian Edelman and Danny Amendola mentioned working with Brady’s fitness guru, Alex Guerrero, to help endure the rigors of a 16-game season. Edelman managed to make it through last season without injury. No doubt Amendola is hoping to do the same.
“In the offseason, we all kind of work together, vibe off each other, trying to pick each other’s brains and go from there,” Amendola said when asked if Brady had pointed him in Guerrero’s direction. “Alex is a great man, a great body healer. He does a lot of great things. I’ve worked with him a couple years now. I feel great and I’m trying to improve every day.”
Brady has worked with Guerrero for more than a decade. Asked about the man he once described as his “body coach”, Brady gushed.“He’s been someone I’ve been very lucky to work with for a long time,” Brady said. “He’s my best friend, and he’s phenomenal at what he does — probably the best in the world — so I’m pretty lucky.”
Ex-Pat Gregory goes to KC
Steve Gregory, who was with the Patriots the past two seasons, finally got a job, signing with the Chiefs Thursday. The 31-year-old safety was released by the Pats in February.
“It didn’t make sense to me why I wasn’t with a team,” Gregory told the Kansas City Star. “I feel like I’ve been pretty productive and had a good year last year, but for whatever reason things happen the way they do. My whole career has kind of been a prove-yourself kind of thing, grind it out, and make everyone earn everything you do.”