FLORHAM PARK, N.J. — “Revis Island” will be under the bright lights of prime time as he tackles his latest challenge. But the Jets’ high-priced cornerback isn’t at all worried.
“I’m very confident,” Darrelle Revis said Tuesday. “I’ve been through the trenches, so it’s nothing new to me.”
Four days after being embarrassed by Bengals wideout A.J. Green in Week 1, the Jets secondary will try to contain Bills stud Sammy Watkins.
In, of all places, Buffalo. More than eight months have passed since the Jets’ last trip to Orchard Park. But time has done little to exorcise the demons of that crushing 22-17 loss that knocked them out of playoff contention.
“We have a bad taste in our mouth from last year,” Revis said, “and I’m sure it’ll carry over into this game.”
After starting 0-1, the Jets know there’s little room for error. Not in prime time. Not against an AFC East opponent. And especially not against this coach.
Rex Ryan was their defensive mastermind for six tumultuous seasons, and Revis was one of his greatest weapons. But in recent years, the questions about the cornerback’s ability to shut down No. 1 receivers without help have become more frequent. After Green’s 12 catches and 180 yards Sunday, the chatter grew even louder.
But Ryan doesn’t believe the detractors.
“Everybody’s going to be down on Revis because he had a poor game or whatever,” he told local media. “If he’s slipped at all as a player, he’s coming down from the very tip of Everest. That’s where he’d be coming down from. So, how far down? I’m not sure. But I know one thing: I know the kind of player he is.”
Jets fans want to see the 2009 or 2011 version of Revis, who’s 31. But since then, he’s had to rehab from major knee and wrist surgeries. But even though he acknowledged he’ll likely move to safety eventually, coach Todd Bowles said he isn’t worried about Revis.
“I don’t lose too much sleep over it,” Bowles said on a conference call with Bills writers. “A.J.’s a great receiver, he had a good day. Darrelle will bounce back.”
Bowles noted in his news conference that Revis has the freedom to decide whether to play off or press man coverage on each play — a luxury “not everyone” is given. “We give Darrelle a lot of leeway on the things he likes to do because he’s pretty sharp mentally and understands how people are trying to come at him,” he said.
Asked whether the coaching staff needs to give the aging corner more help during games than it did last year, Bowles said: “Who said he didn’t have help last year?”
Revis acknowledged he was “supposed to get help” on “the busted coverage” that led to Green’s 54-yard touchdown. But Sunday’s loss is behind them, he said. Just like their Week 17 defeat at Buffalo.
“We got knocked out of the playoffs, so that’s definitely going to sting a little bit when you’ve got team goals and you’re trying to accomplish them,” he said. “But it is what it is. It’s a new year.”