Revis gave the New England Patriots their defensive identity last season. Now he's on a defense with a group of former first-round picks in New York with first-year Jets head coach Todd Bowles.
“Never fall asleep,” Colts coach Chuck Pagano said. “It’s like fine wine, they just keep getting better with age. I don’t see any difference in Darrelle. He’s a great, great player and he’s very, very smart. Great competitor and he’s got all the physical skills, but he’s so crafty and he’s so smart. I was just watching the tape, I know he spends a great deal of time watching his opponent and figuring things out.”
The Colts faced Revis twice last season while he was with the Patriots. He totaled four tackles and didn’t have any interceptions in the two games, but he allowed New England to do different things defensively. The Patriots didn’t use Revis against Pro Bowl receiver T.Y. Hilton in either matchup. They had Revis matched up against Reggie Wayne during the regular-season meeting and against Donte Moncrief in the AFC Championship Game.
Hilton's status for Monday's game against the Jets is up in the air because of a bruised left knee.
"We’ll have to see come game time what their plan is with Darrelle and see what they’re going to do," Pagano said. "T.Y. playing, not playing, all that stuff plays into that equation. You’ve got to know, obviously, where he is at all times."
Revis doesn’t depend solely on his raw talent to shut down receivers. He watches film thoroughly so that he has an understanding of the tendencies of the receivers he's going against.
“You have to play great technique with him,” Moncrief said. “You can’t show what you’re going to do. You can’t put on the blinkers as [offensive coordinator] Pep [Hamilton] would say. He’s physical, but he’ll play more off technique. He wants to know where your stance is. He wants to know what the possibility is that you’re running a certain route, what you like doing the most. You can tell he studies a lot.”
Revis not only is capable of eliminating one half of a field with his coverage skills, but his presence impacts the rest of his defensive teammates. The Jets forced five turnovers, which they turned into 21 points, in their Week 1 victory over Cleveland.
“One of the best in the game, if not the best,” Colts quarterback Andrew Luck said of Revis. “He’s cerebral, he’s athletic. He still plays like he’s a 25-year-old, 26-year-old in terms of athleticism, but he plays with the experience of a guy who’s been around for a bunch of years.
“He uses all of the things to his advantage. He uses the sidelines to his advantages. He uses your splits, your motions, he’s a great corner. And they have a bunch of good guys out there besides him. They’re a stiff, big, strong team up the middle. They make it hard to get a rhythm going and that’s what we need to do.”