Reality Check

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I try not to be a hater. Being a realist and being a hater should not be mixed up, but that often happens these days.

One public official talking about something a lot more important than football recently lamented, “The elevation of political correctness over sound, investigative judgment.”

Where am I going with this?

I’m going to Revis Island.

Today is Darrelle Revis’ birthday. He turned 31.

And the Jets did some posts on their Facebook page about celebrating Revis’ birthday.

And most of the fans responses expressed their birthday wishes to Revis, and many lauded him as “the best.”

I have to be honest, whenever I’ve even dipped my toe in the water this off-season on twitter about Revis’ salary perhaps not being commensurate with his current skill set, I’ve been attacked.

There are a lot of fans that are into hero worship when it comes to Revis, and if you dare question him on any level, they attack like pit bulls. It’s almost politically incorrect to question Revis. Some people seem to be living in a parallel universe.

There is a narrative being pushed by some writers and many fans that Revis had just two bad games.

I don’t agree. There were more. Oakland, Houston and I don’t think he did a good job on Sammy Watkins in either Jets-Bills game. In the first Jets-Bills game, he gave up two key third down receptions, playing too far off, not playing the sticks. His performance against Watkins in Week 17 is well-documented.

Now in some cases there were some bad plays mixed with good plays in particular games, like the Dallas contest.

Yes Revis had a pick deep in Dallas territory. I believe Matt Cassel was called “intentional grounding” on the pick.

“They don’t come easier than that,” said Phil Simms.

That was a positive play, but also in this game, Revis was beat for a touchdown by Dez Bryant, who was basically playing on one foot. Bryant was put on IR after this game.

Bryant caught a 10-yard TD on Revis. Bryant caught it in front of Revis, and then broke a tackle taking it into the end zone. This was first-and-10 on the ten.

“Look how far Darrelle Revis is off Dez Bryant,” said Simms.

Why would Revis be playing so far off Bryant who was basically running half speed on a bad wheel? Revis wasn’t covering a speedster like Antonio Brown or Mike Wallace, who you might want to back off a little at times.

Look, Simms isn’t an analyst who criticizes a lot. He’s a big high-road guy, so for him to say that, it had to be pretty bad.

Look I’m not a hater. I’m a realist.

To pay Revis $17 million this year at the age of 31 has to be one of the worst structured deals in Jets history, right up there with the Mark Sanchez extension.

Perhaps some of that money could have gone to Mo Wilkerson. Revis at perhaps $7-8 million per at his age would have made a lot more sense. I’m sorry if that is sacrilegious to some people. That is how I feel. I’m not going to pander.

So while the Jets and some of their fans celebrate his greatness today, I look at this differently. I’m moving him to safety now, in 2016! I know they would never do that. It would be an admission of what a mistake the contract was.

Like Charles Woodson who made the switch to safety in his 30’s, I think Revis would be a great safety. He’s lost a step, and that doesn’t matter as much at safety. He’s still got terrific instincts and ball skills. He’d make a heck of a safety.

But there are a lot of egos at works here, so I know it’s not going to happen.

So at cornerback, they better use him differently last year, and I think they will. Give double-team help more than they did in 2015. Don’t put him on an island as much anymore, since he doesn’t run as well as used to. Why do you think he kept playing so for off receivers last year?

So while Revis’ birthday was a reason for many to celebrate, it was a reminder to me of his age, and how things just aren’t the same with the all-time great Jet.

Father Time has caught up to him a little. It happens to all of us eventually.

July 14, 2015

Premium will return by next TUESDAY at 9:30 pm. Going on a short vacation.

Dan Leberfeld
Dan Leberfeld
Publisher of Jets Confidential Magazine. Call 1-800-932-4557 (M-F, 12-4) to subscribe. Co-host of Press Coverage every Saturday on SiriusXM NFL Radio from 11-2.

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