When you think of the best cornerbacks in Jets history, there’s really only one name that comes to mind: Darrelle Revis. He spent eight of his 11 years as a pro football player with New York, and he built up quite a reputation.
You don’t get a nickname like “Revis Island” for no reason, ya know. Revis hasn’t suited up in the NFL since 2017 with the Kansas City Chiefs. That doesn’t mean he’s completely shut off from the game, though. A quick peek at his Twitter feed shows he still pays attention to what happens on Sunday, especially when it comes to the Jets:
my day is so much better when the jets win.
— Darrelle Revis (@Revis24) October 23, 2022
If he’s paying that much attention to Gang Green, you’d have to imagine he’s got some thoughts about rookie cornerback, Sauce Gardner. You would be right about that, too. ESPN’s Rich Cimini captured some quotes from the 2023 Pro Football Hall of Fame nominee. Here are some of the compliments he threw Gardner’s way:
When you come in as a rookie, you want the elite players you’re playing against to respect you, and the only way you do that is be a playmaker. I think Sauce has the word ‘playmaker’ written all over him.
I think he has the potential to carry the torch on to be a great cornerback for the New York Jets. I think his ceiling is very high. I think he has all the tangibles. I think he has all the potential to continue to grow into a great player, a great corner and a great leader as he represents the New York Jets.
The biggest thing, in order to play fast, is film study and having a high IQ for football. It seems like he’s a student of the game, and he’s ready to take any challenge on when it comes to playing at a high level.
That’s some hefty praise coming from one of the Jets’ best defensive players in franchise history. Gardner’s NFL career is only nine games old, but he’s already getting compared to Revis. It’s a deserved comparison so far, as the rookie is ranked as the NFL’s best cornerback, according to Pro Football Focus.
For the first time in what feels like forever, New York is going into its bye week with legitimate thoughts about making the playoffs. A lot of that is credit to the defense and the secondary, which is playing among the league’s best. Gardner already knew he was proving he could play at this level so far in 2022. But when you get praise from someone you used to look up to as a kid, it brings things full circle. That validation is real.
Revis will get to see Gardner in person soon, too. He’ll be at MetLife Stadium on November 27th to enter the Jets’ Ring of Honor. Maybe that can act as a passing of the torch from one elite cornerback to another.