FLORHAM PARK, N.J. — Peppered by questions about Darrelle Revis’ decline and his supposed occasional lack of effort, Jets coaches threw their support behind their cornerback.
“If asked to do it, we’re confident he can cover anybody,” Todd Bowles said Thursday.
In an interview with Newsday last week, Revis admitted “my body’s breaking down.” Three days later, he allowed six catches for 101 yards by the Browns’ Terrelle Pryor in the first half of the Jets’ 31-28 win.
But Bowles insisted his high-priced cornerback is up to the challenge, even if he isn’t the player he once was. Reminded that Revis struggled against Pryor, Bowles said: “Yeah, and your kids also break things and you don’t lose faith in them, either. You see a guy practice, you know what he is. Everybody that goes 16 games in this league is not going to play 16 great games. You dust it off, you have a short memory as a corner, you come back and play.”
It’s clear that at 31, the four-time All-Pro has lost some of the attributes that earned him the “Revis Island” moniker. But Bowles, a former NFL defensive back and Super Bowl champion, wouldn’t bring himself to say Revis is on the decline. “Because he’s older, I’m sure where he lacks physically, he’s gotten smarter mentally. But he’s still a good football player,” Bowles said, adding he’s “not at all worried” about Revis’ confidence.
“Looking at him, there were a couple of plays he could’ve played better, but no, [I’m not worried],” defensive coordinator Kacy Rodgers said. “As we look at it, we’ve got to play better as a defense.”
Up next for the Jets’ secondary: Miami’s Jarvis Landry. Last year, Revis covered him exclusively, but it’s unclear what this week’s game plan will be. “They move him around a lot,” Revis said. “He definitely gets a lot of targets in their offense.”
He gave Pryor plenty of cushion. When asked if that was the game plan, Rodgers said: “Not necessarily. He made some plays and we made some adjustments. We played a lot better in the second half.”
Revis had little reaction when told his coaches had defended him. “It’s a long season. So no thoughts at all,” he said before being asked to assess his play halfway through the season. “I’m worried about the team. I’m not worried about how I’m playing,’’ he said. “We’re winning. We’re on a two-game winning streak. That’s all I care about.”
Echoing the sentiments of quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, Revis called Sunday’s AFC East game “a must-win” for the Jets (3-5). “During this time, the leaders, the veterans, we’ve got to step up, even take it to another notch,” Revis said. “We definitely understand the stakes.”
Despite his struggles, he insisted he hasn’t lost faith in himself or his ability, contrary to what Hall of Famer Michael Irvin thinks. “Totally disagree, but everybody has their opinion,” Revis said, responding to Irvin’s statement on WFAN that he’s “dealing with a confidence issue.”
“There’s no way about it,’’ Revis said. “I disagree. It’s his opinion. His opinion is his opinion and my opinion is my opinion.”