Ten-Point Stance: Revis getting star treatment from refs

by | CBSSports.com National NFL Insider
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Darrelle Revis takes a pick to the house Monday night after mugging Brandon Marshall. (US Presswire)  
Darrelle Revis takes a pick to the house Monday night after mugging Brandon Marshall. (US Presswire)  

Over the past few years there's been an almost weekly ritual before Jets games. In the minutes before the contest begins an opposing assistant or head coach will approach game officials with a request: watch that Darrelle Revis. He holds every play.

Now, that isn't true. Revis doesn't hold every play. Not even close. He doesn't need to. He's that good. But about the only thing that can stop Revis these days are faux warnings to the refs before the contest itself begins.

One coach admitted to me Revis doesn't pass interfere any more or less than other defensive backs but feels crying wolf to officials before the game might get Revis flagged and hamper his aggression. "It didn't work," he said. "Revis still killed us."

Coaches have tried this, I'm told, repeatedly going back to last year. How it works is simple. An assistant coach will approach one or more refs before the game and say watch out for Revis holding our guys out of breaks. Refs will nod their heads and say sure. Then ignore the request once the game begins.

The strategy isn't working since penalties aren't being called in excessive numbers on Revis and Revis continues on an arc to be one of the best corners the sport has ever seen.

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This is how good Revis has become. The only way some teams see as a viable option to really stop him -- besides not throwing in his direction -- is to try and sway game officials to call penalties on him.

In some ways the opposite is happening. Revis is beginning to get Michael Jordan type treatment from game officials. His 100-yard interception return against Miami was sparked after he basically Ju-Jitsu'd Brandon Marshall to get to the football. Refs are barely calling penalties on him even when he does interfere.

Revis' play over the past two years has been historic. In many ways, Revis is doing for the cornerback position what Aaron Rodgers is doing for the quarterback position. Both men have people in football searching for new adjectives and historical comparisons to describe them.

His interception return against the Dolphins turned the game on its head, and that's an ability only a handful of corners throughout history possess.

The five best corners ever are Deion Sanders, Darrell Green, Dick Lane, Rod Woodson and Mel Blount. There are many in the greatness mix, including Lester Hayes, Herb Adderly, Champ Bailey and others (sorry, Ronde Barber isn't). Revis is becoming so good he's already working himself into the group of elites just outside the top five.

If you took Sanders and combined him with Blount, you'd get Revis. His physicality, combined with great speed, make him extremely difficult to beat.

And, it turns out, not even coaches whining to refs can stop him.

2. This is why Brandon Marshall is overrated. He dropped another touchdown pass on Monday night against the Jets. That's his fifth this season. Marshall has 54 dropped passes since 2007, the most in the NFL.

3. People close to Detroit runner Jahvid Best are expressing concern to him that he needs to strongly consider sitting out the year, I'm told. Best suffered his second concussion of the season this past week. He was forced to miss the final four games of his college career due to concussion-like symptoms.

4. The view of many around the league on Carson Palmer: He acted like a baby, and has been rewarded for it. Palmer's legacy has changed forever. For the negative.

5. A) Champ of the week: Revis. Is beginning to create a lasting legacy.

B) Chump of the week: Palmer = whiner.

C) Tweet of the week: (from Phsportsgoddess): "Question—who would win a race between Andy Reid and Rex Ryan? Answer—The doctor."

6. The coach doing the best job in the NFL so far isn't named Schwartz, Harbaugh, Jackson or even Belichick. The best coaching job thus far has been by Marvin Lewis. Remember, the Bengals were in chaos with Palmer refusing to come back, he started the season with a rookie thrower, and has captured the attention of players in a franchise that has been a legendary laughingstock. Sure, the Raiders have been in the same boat as well, and the Lions, too, but I think Lewis has been better than even those coaches. And that's saying something.

7. Of all the great rookie quarterback play this year, don't be surprised if Christian Ponder plays better than them all.

8. Mike Sims-Walker returns to the Jaguars. Deck chairs. Titanic.

9. Constant union critic and former player Jeff Nixon had this to say about the new collective bargaining agreement.

This issue might get some attention from current players. If what Nixon is contending is accurate I can't imagine any player happy with that arrangement. I wonder if players even know.

10. Why I like Buffalo quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick can be summed up in this quote following the Bills' loss to the Giants. This is called owning up to mistakes: "It sucks [losing]. This is one of the hardest parts about playing quarterback, when you don't get the job done and today I didn't get the job done. You know the two interceptions I threw, you couldn't ask for a better coverage, couldn't ask for a better play, couldn't ask for a better route. They were both the exact same thing with basically Stevie [Johnson] on a go route. I want to give credit to [Giants cornerback] Corey Webster. He made plays on both of them. That being said, I feel Stevie beat him and I underthrew both of them. You know, it's hard, we got two chances to win and Stevie's on a go. On both chances I would have said we'll win 100 percent of the time. And it didn't happen today and it's something I'll have to live with ..."

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