SAN FRANCISCO — Darrelle Revis may not be the player he once was, but the Jets didn’t do the cornerback any favors, according to former teammate Bart Scott.
“They really don’t have a natural pass-rusher,” the former NFL linebacker turned CBS analyst said Monday at the network’s Super Bowl 50 luncheon event. “They don’t have a Von Miller, they don’t have a DeMarcus Ware. They don’t have an Elvis Dumervil or a Terrell Suggs . . . They don’t have that guy that’s sudden . . .
“It’s one thing to leave a guy on an island,” he added, referring to Revis. “But they didn’t even leave him on an island — they left him in orbit.”
There was a time when Revis didn’t need any help. Not too long ago, he was a one-man show, the league’s top shutdown corner. But now, there’s debate over whether the 30-year-old is still elite.
Jets general manager Mike Maccagnan doled out millions to upgrade the weak secondary he inherited, committing $127 million to cornerbacks in the first three days of the free- agency period in 2015. And the return of Revis — with a five-year, $70-million price tag with $39 million guaranteed — was the biggest signing of all.
Revis had five interceptions and his play was unjustly criticized, Scott said.
“Nobody is undefeated when it comes to Father Time. But I think the Jets were too predictable,” said the former 11-year veteran who played four seasons for the Jets under Rex Ryan. “Everybody knew that he was going to be on an island. Everybody needs helps sometimes, everybody needs just safety presence sometimes.”
Revis was roasted for his performance in the Jets’ 34-20 loss in Oakland, when rookie receiver Amari Cooper easily beat the veteran defensive back on several routes. Revis did hold Cooper to his lowest production of the season at the time, five catches for 46 yards. But that didn’t stop Revis’ critics from coming after him.
After the Jets’ 34-20 loss to the Raiders, three-time Super Bowl champion Darren Woodson emphatically said Revis’ best days are behind him. “His time as being the elite No. 1 cornerback is pretty much over,” the current ESPN analyst said during a Nov. 6 radio interview.
Scott, however, thought Woodson’s barb was misdirected.
“Woodson’s a safety. He’s never been Darrelle Revis,” he said. “So it’s tough for him to understand what’s being asked of Revis because he’s never been on an island before. I know what’s asked of those corners in those type of situations where it’s basically ‘Cover Zero.’ You can’t be right.”
Cooper wasn’t the only speedster that gave Revis problems. In Week 11, the Jets corner gave up a 61-yard touchdown to Texans receiver DeAndre Hopkins. The Bills’ Sammy Watkins also had a field day against Revis in the Jets’ season-ending loss to Buffalo on Jan. 3 when he caught 11 passes for 136 yards.
Scott faulted the lack of pass-rushing speed on the edge for some of Revis’ problems.
“I can remember watching Deion [Sanders]. Hell, I played with Deion [in 2004-05 with the Ravens],” he said. “But we didn’t send a text message to the offense that he was in flat-out ‘Cover Zero’ all the time. There’s such a thing as disguise.
“And if there’s no pass rush, eventually something’s going to become open.”