Darrelle Revis has been dreadful in the New York Jets’ first two weeks of play, drawing questions as to just how much he has left in the tank.
Question marks, question marks, question marks …
The phrase that has been so often attached to cornerback Darrelle Revis throughout his second go-around with the New York Jets. Here we are entering Week 3 of the 2016-17 NFL season and the question marks have never been so prominent.
Does he still have it? Is he just old? Will he ever be elite again? Can he keep up with the best of the best in the sport?
Last year was a matter of Revis merely getting by. Despite getting absolutely burned in two of the most pivotal games of a potential playoff-driven season, the other 14 contests. which featured a formidable Revis, shone through.
This year, with one more year of age attached to his name, it is a matter of answering these questions rather than dodging them. Simply put, Darrelle Revis’ decline has flared up at an all-time high.
For the Jets, the reliance on his production has never been more crucial for the state of the secondary.
In Week 3, it is no longer about fooling around; it is no longer about sliding by. Darrelle Revis needs to walk the walk before he can talk the talk.
His assignment? Jeremy Maclin of the Chiefs, and Gang Green’s faith in the shutdown nature of “Revis Island” is nonexistent. In fact, all primary wide receivers have experienced is clear water, blue skies, and undiminished sunlight.
The 31-year-old, who is signed through 2017, is currently $17 million of dead space. When you are the focal point of a team breathing legitimacy, yielding tremendous aspirations, past performance does not persist. The pressing question is, “What can you do for me now?”
No, Revis should not be taking it to Twitter, defending his Hall of Fame candidacy.
Instead, his sole focus should be shutting down a guy who he would have tormented in his prime. Yes, his prime, which is currently a thing of the past.
Evidently, he is a step slower. Obviously, there are faster, more explosive, receiving targets throughout the sport. That comes with human nature and the progression of any human body.
With that said, one factor still present with the former superstar is a brain, which likely has not deteriorated — something he used to his utmost advantage while mowing through the league in his mid to late 20s.
He does not have the luxury of taking gambles, matching elite wideouts step for step, and ultimately reaping the benefits.
If it comes down to permitting a 100-yard output rather than a 250-yard output when facing a Maclin, Revis must choose the former. That is the difference between bursting forth and laying back; realizing your age and maintaining an illogical notion of fortification.
Whether it is a new style, a new game plan, or simply a new persona, it needs to happen — and promptly. The Darrelle Revis of old does not cut it anymore, and there is no nostalgia — except hoisting a Lombardi Trophy with an arch rival — that will protect him.
A stretch of brutality for the Jets, and Revis, is about to get underway. For their supposed “elite” corner, it is time to put up or shut up.
The time frame of regained respect must start now.