What Darrelle Revis Meant To A Die-Hard Jets Fan Growing Up

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I knew this day would come, I just didn’t think it would be this quickly. Today, I donned my #24 2010 Pro-Bowl jersey and said goodbye to one of my heroes, as the New York Jets informed Darrelle Revis of his impending release. My heart aches every time I realize I’ll never see 24 run out of the tunnel again at Metlife Stadium. Don’t get me wrong, Darrelle was tough to watch this season, but don’t let that jade your thoughts of the seven other unbelievable seasons he had in green and white, dominating the cornerback position like we’ve never seen. Especially in a league where it’s become nearly impossible to defend the pass, making his run that much more special.

It’s not fun watching our superstar heroes growing up get old, a lot of the players we grew up idolizing are staring down retirement, reminding me I’m not a teenager anymore. I can remember Revis getting drafted back in 2007 when the Jets intelligently moved up in front of his hometown Pittsburgh Steelers and New York Giants to select the University of Pitt stand-out, and it ended up being the best selection this franchise has ever made.

The Jets are in the midst of an excruciating rebuild, these upcoming seasons could get ugly. So to cheer myself and any other Jets or Revis fan up, let’s go down memory lane of all the good times Darrelle gave us with his jaw dropping play on the gridiron.

What made the Aliquippa, PA native so special was his ability to do everything as a corner, the total package. Revis’ game had no weaknesses at its peak. He could cover the shifty quicker guys just as well as the bigger physical receivers at ease. Oh, and he would come up and pop a running back at the line of scrimmage with his adept tackling ability.

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The 4-time All-Pro’s preparation was unmatched, his film study was well-documented as being one of the true savant’s of the position. Combine those with precise footwork and incredible football instincts and you have the best corner of this generation. Watch this play smothering Deion Branch for about 10 seconds, his footwork mirrors that of the receiver like he knew his next move before Branch. Same goes for Reggie Wayne in the 2011 playoffs above.

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I can honestly say I’ve watched ever Jet game Revis ever played in, and watching him grow into the best corner in the league was quite the joy. He had his struggles like most secondary guys do in their rookie seasons, but I saw something special in his 2008 sophomore campaign where he made the Pro-Bowl and came down with a one-handed interception on Anquan Boldin.

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Rex Ryan comes into the fold and employs Revis in his press man-coverage scheme as Darrelle enters his prime and it’s a match made in heaven. 2009 Revis is the BEST year from a cornerback I have ever seen, it’s a shame they gave the Defensive Player Of The Year Award to Charles Woodson after that season. 24 coined his signature “Revis Island” by following around the top receivers in the league week after week and shutting down every big name in the NFL, you name it he’s done it. Check out the stats below. Darrelle Revis was targeted 108 times with only 40 completions (37 percent), for 439 yards and 2 touchdowns.screen-shot-2009-12-28-at-5-19-01-pm

I could go on and on about the greatest player to ever put on a Jet uniform but I’ll spare people the time and just talk about my favorite interception he made. 2010 Playoffs in San Diego, Revis on his back makes an improbable interception. I still don’t get how he caught it over Vincent Jackson. This sparked the Jets to go on and win as huge underdogs against the Chargers. Give it a look below. If you want to relive every pick Revis had as a Jet, check it out here.

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I’m going to miss seeing 24 out there, but I’m damn sure proud Revis donned the green and white and will go down as the best player to ever be apart of this organization. A first ballot Hall-of-Famer and a lock for the Jets Ring of Honor to have his number 24 retired. I’ll be there wearing my Revis jersey when they enshrine you in Canton, homie. Thank you for the all the memories on the field for eight seasons you made my childhood Sundays a joy, putting a smile on my face when I went to school Monday morning after a Jets W.

Thank you for being a leader on the team and a true role model off it, as someone I could look up to that represented himself with pure class. There was nothing better than you calling Bill Belichick a “jerk” on SportsCenter. That alone makes you a Jet for life.

You set the new standard of contract negotiations as the ultimate mercenary, which I’m sure future players will thank you for. You genuinely changed the game and that’s what it is all about. A shut down corner that we will never see again.  I’ll have your signed jersey framed in my room for the rest of my life. #ThankYou24

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