Revis, great? Yes! Shutdown corner though? Doesn’t exist.
It can’t be that hard to throw on Darrelle Revis!
Don’t get me wrong. I totally respect the guy, as he probably is the best cover corner in all of football. But I’ve been watching this game of football for a while now, and there are two things I know. One, anybody can be throw on. And two, any wide receiver can have success by design.
Even the Best Corners Get Dusted:
Tackling my first point of contention, some of the best corners in the history of the game have been done in. I’ve seen it with my own eyes. I saw Deion Sanders himself beaten by Jerry Rice. I’ve seen Champ Bailey dusted by then-named Chad Johnson. I watched Charles Woodson, in his prime, done in by Marvin Harrison, past his prime. To stop sounding repetitive, even the best cornerbacks get done up from time to time by worth while wide receivers.
Now it stands to reason that everybody thinks it’s impossible to throw on Revis, because he really hasn’t been thrown on all season. However, that doesn’t mean that Revis has been perfect. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. It’s more like the chicken and egg thing. Some people think teams aren’t throwing at Revis as a result of all the success he has had. But in reality, much of Revis’s success has come because teams aren’t throwing at him. And when teams do throw at him, because that throwing in his direction was probably met with such angst during their week of preparation, most teams mess up their execution and Revis picks them off.
Now, I’m not saying this to deprive Revis of all the success and accolades he has had this season. Once again, I think he’s the best cover corner in the world. I’m just pointing this out, because just like Deion, Champ, Woodson and the dozens of great corners before them, Revis has EARNED a reputation, which in turn has made teams afraid of him, thereby causing him to look even better.
So while I’m not sure which side of the chicken or the egg theory you side with, I just want you to be aware that there is some give and take when it comes to Revis’s reputation. And while he is as good as they come, he isn’t Deion or Ronnie Lott (yet), and even those guys were done in by good receivers every once in a while.
Any Wide Receiver Have Success by Design:
This point mainly tackles the issue of how to throw on Revis. For starters, I understand that most wide receivers and quarterbacks are intimidated by Revis, which causes them to make mistakes when trying to complete passes on the sideline. So immediately, if I’m facing Revis, I’m putting my #1 guy in the slot. That makes for easier completions, which should allow me to keep my #1 guy involved without my quarterback worrying about Revis’s impeccable reaction time on those deep outs and 9 patterns. Also, putting Revis in the slot is a great overall strategy, because it takes away from the Jets ability to shut down an entire third of the field and prevents the Jets from tilting their coverage and cheating away from Revis’s side of the field.
Now, have any of you heard of Wes Welker? Pretty good wide receiver, right? Certainly. He catches all kinds of passes. Gets all the 3rd downs. Seems like no one can stick him, right?
I love Wes Welker. Great player. However, he is neither the fastest nor even the quickest wide receiver out there. While he does have great skills and is a great athlete, rarely does he face a corner that he is more athletic than. The fact is, Welker runs all of his routes out of the slot, and that is a superior advantage in the passing game. When a receiver is in the slot, he is closer to the quarterback, the corner doesn’t have the sideline to help him out, and crossing routes from slot guys are almost impossible to defend. That’s why Wes has like the greatest numbers ever, because not only is he always in the slot, but he’s the primary focus in the offense from the slot position.
Understanding the offensive advantages of the slot, you should now comprehend why putting the #1 wide receiver in slot when facing the New York Jets and Darrelle Revis is imperative. With so many options, and with a good receiver exploiting them, it would be nearly impossible for Revis to shutdown a guy of #1 receiver status from the slot position. If he can do that this week against the San Diego Chargers and Vincent Jackson, not only will he deserve his due, but he’ll deserve his place in heaven, because that would just be down right miraculous if he pulled that off.
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