FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Patriots cornerback Darrelle Revis was expected to provide the New England defense with an elite cover corner who limits the impact of opposing wide receivers.
So far, however, Revis has not been unleashed. He has played a fair share of zone and dropback coverages instead of man-on-man.
“A.J. Green is one of the best receivers in the league,” Revis said. “I have a lot of respect for him.”
Former Patriots cornerback and current football analyst Ty Law -- who is a childhood friend of Revis’ -- said on Comcast Sportsnet New England that Revis needs “free reign” from Bill Belichick to cover the opponent’s top receiver. Law added that Revis needs to return to what he does best -- man-to-man, bump-and-run coverages that take the other team’s top receiver out of the game.
“I don’t know. Is that coming from Ty?” Revis laughed when asked about requesting to stick with Green for the entirety of Sunday night’s game. “Maybe I could. I don’t know. But at the same time, it’s a team effort on defense. It’s not just one individual on defense. And that’s how you have to look at it.”
“Whatever is best for the defense gameplan-wise to help us win, that’s what we are going to do. The goal of this is getting a win. Doesn’t matter if I am inside, outside, coming off the edge.”
Revis did acknowledge that in the past, he has requested to cover the opposing team’s top receiver for the whole game, though he would not specify which receivers he has done that with.
“A bunch of people,” Revis said. “A bunch of receivers.”
Revis feels like he is in a good place with the team and Belichick to make such a request.
“Yeah, I feel comfortable approaching Bill,” Revis said. “Whether it’s on the field or if it’s something that’s an issue off the field. Bill is very open to players coming off the field and talking about things on the field.”
If Revis does talk to Belichick about manning up with Green for the whole game, the timing might be perfect to do so. The Patriots get cornerback Brandon Browner back this week after he served his four-game suspension. At 6-foot-4 and 221 pounds, Browner has a strong presence as a huge corner who can play man on the other side of the field.
“We are excited to have [Browner] back, it’s been too long,” Revis said. “He brings a lot of physicality to our defense, and we are looking forward to that from him and being aggressive and bring that physicality to the defense.”