|Jets rookie Revis faces tall order in defending Giants' Burress|
|Written by Admin|
|Friday, 05 October 2007 10:46|
``I was surprised,'' the New York Jets' rookie cornerback said. ``But week in and week out, some teams are going to come at you and some are not.''
The Buffalo Bills certainly did last Sunday, challenging him regularly and forcing him to make plays and adjustments throughout the Jets' 17-14 loss. Revis was beaten a handful of times, but also broke up a pass late in the game to give New York a final attempt at a comeback.
``Opportunities are going to present themselves and they did last week,'' Revis said. ``It's something where you want them to throw the ball because you want to make a play. I'm sure balls are going to come my way this week and I just have to make a play.''
He should get plenty of chances Sunday against the Giants and Plaxico Burress, who has caught 19 passes and leads NFC receivers with six touchdowns.
``It's not a challenge for me, it's a challenge for our whole secondary,'' Revis said. ``We have to have guys on him and be physical and aggressive with him. I know he's a great receiver. He made a lot of plays and will continue to. Our job is to play the game plan and go play football.''
The Giants' plan likely includes taking advantage of their noticeable height advantage over the Jets' secondary. For starters, Burress is 6-foot-5, while Revis is only 5-11. The Giants also have the 6-3 Amani Toomer and 6-5 tight end Jeremy Shockey. At right cornerback, David Barrett is 5-10, as is starting safety Erik Coleman, who might miss the game because of a concussion. Coleman's possible replacement, Eric Smith, is 6-1, while Kerry Rhodes, the other starting safety, is 6-3.
``They're a play-action team and you don't want Plaxico to get behind you,'' Revis said. ``If he does, he can hurt you. It's a competition, nothing that you can get scared or worried about.''
Coach Eric Mangini realizes the difficulty of covering a big receiver such as Burress.
``Plaxico is a big man that can run, builds as he goes down the field,'' Mangini said. ``A lot of big men can't time up the ball in the air the way that he can. He's got a really good sense of when the ball's going to come down and when he should leap so that he can maximize his size advantage.''
Revis welcomes the challenge.
``If action comes, you have to play,'' he said. ``If it doesn't, you still have to play. It's almost like a lose-lose situation. You've just got to play, man, and do your job.''
The Jets traded up during the draft to select Revis out of Pittsburgh with the 14th pick after an outstanding college career. Some wondered how long it would take for him to get rid of the rookie jitters, especially after missing a big chunk of training camp.
``It's been over since I walked in here,'' Revis said with a smile.
He's fourth on the team with 27 tackles and leads the Jets with four passes defensed, but is still looking for his first NFL interception.
``I'm surprised everyday by watching him out there,'' said Barrett, who added that Revis doesn't play like a rookie. ``A guy of his caliber, I know he has talent and skills and he's very nice out there with his feet, but watching him out there on the field against other teams, it's definitely a pleasure.''
The Giants, who also drafted a cornerback in the first round in Aaron Ross, have seen why the Jets wanted Revis.
``There's a reason he was drafted as high as he was,'' Giants quarterback Eli Manning said. ``He's a talented player. He has good speed. We just have to go out there and see if we can get some completions on him.''
Against the Bills' 5-10 Josh Reed, Revis matched up well with his speed and height. He was also physical, as displayed when he knocked the ball away from Reed on a third-down play with 2 minutes left and the game on the line.
``I have liked what I've seen,'' Mangini said. ``I like his work ethic and I like his approach after he gets into a difficult situation. ... You're always looking for a player in any position, especially the cornerback position, to have a short memory.''
As well as a player who doesn't back down from challenges.
``The one thing coming in here, guys see you playing in college, but here's a different level,'' Revis said. ``They've got to see you play so you can keep getting their respect.''