Darrelle is playing a good four yards off of Dez Bryant. Therefore, he is playing “off” his man. Most Receivers and Quarterbacks have a slant route that they can check to, at the line of scrimage, if the Cornerback is playing off (like Revis is above). For example, when Revis played “off” against Stevie Johnson of the Bills, they turned to the slant route to pick up chunks of yards at a time. You can check the game highlights, to see how Revis frequently allowed an underneath slant.
But when Revis is playing off like he is, he’s well aware that the slant is a quick hit for the QB/Receiver, so he must disrupt the option when it occurs. Let’s see how he reacts when Bryant cuts inward.
This is an important step for a Cornerback. Revis is able to shift his body to run with Bryant fluently, while he is keeping his eyes on the QB… Tony Romo. That’s pure awareness right there!
Darrelle is susceptible to losing his man when looking back, so only a quick glance is necessary.
Watch how Revis is able to get his head turned around and continue to disrupt a Dez Bryant completion.
Revis turns his head and locates the ball rapidly. In fact, he’s in better position to catch the ball than Dez Bryant. Some say that’s when a Cornerback becomes the receiver… because he has a better shot at making the catch. The only thing that might stop Darrelle from making an interception, is a Dez Bryant left handed pass interference. I’ll let you make the judgment call!
Now let’s take a look at the final play of the game for the Defense.
Darrelle is lined up just a little differently here. He has his inside (right) foot forward, which gives Dez Bryant leverage to the sidelines. Tony Romo and Dez Bryant, would like to complete a back-shoulder fade toward the sidelines. A similar completion was executed to perfection, earlier in the game. Both Rex Ryan and Darrelle Revis were frustrated about that.
So they set a trap.
With a disguised Cover 6 coverage, Tony Romo doesn’t realize that Revis has help over the top from Safety Brodney Pool. If you’re Romo, and you notice that your best receiver is in 1 on 1 coverage with no help over the top, a back-shoulder fade is an efficient call. The cornerback wouldn’t be wise to be aggressive and jump a short route, if he’s alone in coverage. That’s because there’s no help over the top from a Safety. But Revis has help on this play, and Romo has no idea.
Revis, with his back turned, gets in front of Dez Bryant. He gives Romo the opportunity to throw it behind Bryant, where it’s very difficult for Revis to get to. But it’s all a set up. Revis wants Romo to think that the back-shoulder fade is there. By turning his head, Revis convinces Romo that he is playing man on Dez and not a zone. He’s dead wrong.
Revis gets his head turned around at the perfect moment. Bryant, at this point, knows that Revis Island has this one mapped out. The position advantage goes to Darrelle Revis. Now, it’s all up to #24 to catch the ball, and gain a few yards to help the Jets get into field goal range.
Intercepted by Revis.” – Jets announcer Bob Wischusen
…. and that’s how you Play Like A Jet!
There’s plenty more to come, spotlighting Darrelle Revis and breaking down game film! Keep your eyes peeled, as Part II of the Revis Project will continue, and breakdown why Darrelle Revis is so good.
Oh, and it feels great to mention Revis’ name, without worrying if he’s holding out. He’ll be in Cortland, folks!
Thanks for reading!
Coming soon: JETSerious Film Session: Revis Project Part II… Stay tuned!