In news worthy of a "Karate Kid"-style montage of his greatest moments, Darrelle Revis has been declared the best cornerback in the NFL today, according to the pigskin-covered minds at ProFootballFocus.com.
PFF's Sam Monson credits the New York Jets star with bringing the term "shutdown corner" "back from the brink of extinction." The site lists Johnathan Joseph (Houston Texans), Brent Grimes (Atlanta Falcons) and Nnamdi Asomugha (Philadelphia Eagles) as veterans that sit behind Revis in the pecking order.
Wrote Monson: "His ability to play all across the formation and take away an opponent's top receiver allows the Jets freedom to roll things to other receivers and gives them a luxury no other team really has.
"He has mastered the ability to be physical with receivers, keeping it just short of the point that he gets called for it, and that in and of itself is an art form."
Well said, and very true. Even in times of despair for the Jets last season, Revis remained the unimpeachable heart of the defense. With the exception of Stevie Johnson, Revis made No. 1 receivers disappear, a magic act he's been pulling off since 2007.
One game-changing play against the Miami Dolphins last October was the perfect example of what makes Revis so great. Covering all-world talent Brandon Marshall near the goal line, Revis got physical with the much-bigger receiver and knocked him off his route. With Marshall compromised, Revis stepped in front of Matt Moore's pass and galloped 100 yards the other way without being touched.
Would a less-respected corner get flagged for the physical nature of the coverage? Perhaps, but Revis earned that rope. Moore went to his best player in a big spot, but Revis won the toughest battle on the field.
He wins these battles week after week, year after year. And that's what makes him the best. Are you listening, Woody Johnson and Mike Tannenbaum?