Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis warms up prior to a 2010...

Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis warms up prior to a 2010 game against the Steelers at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh. (Dec. 19, 2010) Credit: Getty Images

It's a fairly straightforward question that is probably asked every week in whichever locker room is getting ready to face the Jets: Is Darrelle Revis the best cornerback in football?

Hakeem Nicks decided to run a delay route against it.

For close to 10 full seconds of silence he looked around the room, avoiding eye contact, apparently trying to conjure the most diplomatic way to say no. What did he eventually come up with?

"He's a decent corner," Nicks said Wednesday. "He's decent."

Compared to the usual bouquets placed at Revis' cleats, that's tantamount to a slap across the face. But the Giants don't seem interested in throwing praise at the Jets' highly regarded cornerback. They plan on throwing footballs at him.

"Teams aren't really scared anymore," Victor Cruz said of Revis, whom quarterbacks usually avoid but who has had a few vulnerable moments this season. "He's got to earn his money this year. Teams aren't really backing down. I feel like we're going to do the same thing. We're going to go out until he physically stops us and we're going to spread the ball around."

Mario Manningham said Revis' mythology is inflated because teams are "too scared" to throw at him. But Manningham said he thinks the Jets' corners -- Revis and Antonio Cromartie -- get too much credit. He said their success is more about their scheme than their abilities.

The last time someone taunted Revis with patronizing remarks like the ones the Giants were using was when Jacksonville's Jason Hill said the Jets' secondary was "overhyped." Revis mocked Hill by saying he didn't know who he was. With Nicks and Cruz, though, the Giants have a pair of 1,000-yard receivers and a quarterback on the verge of 5,000 passing yards backing up their claims.

"We have to be disciplined and get our depth and get our positioning right and things like that," Cruz said. "As long as we do that, as long as we can stay disciplined and stay on the same page with Eli, we'll be all right."

Nicks did give Revis credit.

"He's a guy you're not going to just beat consistently," he said. "You just have to work your craft, go hard each play and make plays on him. He's a guy you're not going to just flat-out beat on routes. You have to make plays on him. If you can make plays, you'll be good."

Revis did not address the media Wednesday, but defensive coordinator Mike Pettine was made aware of the Giants' comments. "If that's where they want to go with the football, they're welcome to,'' he said of targeting Revis.

There's a question as to whether Revis will even be covering Nicks on Saturday. The Jets sometimes keep their corners locked on receivers, sometimes anchored to sides of the field.

"I ain't about to turn this into the Hakeem Nicks versus Darrelle Revis Show," the Giants receiver said after several questions. "This is the Giants versus the Jets."

Eventually, though, the two undoubtedly will be locked up.

"There ain't nothing to talk about," Nicks said. "He's a great player, I feel like I'm good. We'll see how this goes."

Great vs. good doesn't sound like much of an advantage for Nicks.

"I'm great," Nicks added, to balance the fight.

With Roderick Boone

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