JETSerious Film Session: Revis Project Part I


Today, JETSerious will focus in on our very own shutdown Cornerback in Darrelle Revis, and how he’s able to dominate his opponents in coverage. Specifically, we are going to focus in on Week 1 of the 2011 season, where Revis was matched up against Dez Bryant.

A shutdown Cornerback is unheard of in such a pass-happy league like the NFL. The Jets, however, have one in Darrelle Revis. But what makes him a shutdown Corner? Obviously, it’s his ability to SHUT DOWN receivers. But what helps him to do so? Is it his speed? His strength? What about his footwork?

It’s debatable, but one thing’s for sure—his technique.

Hard work has gotten Darrelle near perfection, but what’s so great about his technique? JETSerious will break it down, and show step by step, how Revis takes his receiver out of the game.

*I apologize for any blurred photos, due to my limited access to film.

Click here, if you missed JETSerious Film Session: David Harris Project Part I

Click here, if you missed Harris Project Part II


Week 1, 2011 Jets vs. Cowboys

Darrelle excels best, when he’s lined up in 1 on 1 coverage against a receiver. Most other cornerbacks don’t have such a heavy workload like Darrelle. This is because other cornerbacks around the league will get help over the top from a Safety. Usually, Revis is without Safety help. That’s how he got his name “Revis Island”, because he takes his man out of the game when they come to his territory, or island.

Most Cornerbacks have similar fundamentals in the pre-snap phase, when they line up in man-to-man coverage. It’s best to get a low and square base–so that you’re in prime position to jam the receiver out of his break.

When Revis (below) is in his pre-snap stance, he’s at a low squatting position. This is important because, although Revis has excellent upper-body strength, his lower body power helps him tremendously. He can push off of his legs to keep a balanced form. It will dictate who is getting pushed around, whether it’s the Receiver or the Cornerback… one or the other.

It’s overlooked how crucial a stance really is to a CB, because if he gets thrown off balance…well, that’s pretty much a TD for the receiver who’s 1 on 1 with a CB and no help over the top.

We’ll continue to break down Revis’ technique, as we focus more on his press coverage abilities.

As Dez Bryant releases off the line of scrimage, Darrelle gives him a jab with his left arm. He pushes Dez towards the sideline, and eliminates a lot of routes he can run. It also disrupts the initial release and timing of the route.

With a firm base, Darrelle is able to shove Bryant to a direction that will favor Revis as the play progresses.

It’s difficult to tell from this angle, but Darrelle is able to and is excellent at glancing at the Quarterback’s eyes when jamming his man off the line.

By leading Dez to the sideline with his left arm, Revis is able to reposition himself, and run step-for-step with his man.

When Revis is at this point in his coverage, he thrives using a mirror-image type of route next to the receiver. It allows him to be in the same area as his man at all times. Even if he struggles, and falls a step behind, you will see him turn up his speed and make a play on the ball as the receiver should.

Dez Bryant decides to pull on Revis’ arm, to help create separation in his button-hook route. It’s obvious that Revis is still in great position and running with Dez step-for-step.

So, Dez tries to get away with an offensive pass-interference call. Unfortunately for the Jets and Revis, he does.

However, you will see in the next shot, that Revis STILL has position on Dez. It is pretty incredible that Revis can stop and reverse his feet so quickly.

Tony Romo would be foolish to consider throwing it here, where Darrelle Revis completely blankets Dez Bryant.

Before we break down Revis’ coverage when playing off, let’s check out how good Revis truly is at jamming a receiver…

 Even without the “hands to the face” penalty, Darrelle Revis is able to overmatch his man on his island.

The fact that Darrelle Revis is holding his own and not falling back against Bryant, proves how strong he is.

Revis, at only 5’11  is simply overpowering a 6’2 receiver in Dez Bryant. Darrelle Revis is one strong athlete.

Here’s what one player had to say about Revis’ strength, on NFL’s Top 100 Players of the NFL:

He’s a lot stronger than people think… he’s kind of like the schoolyard bully at times.”          -Wes Welker

Jump with us to page 2, where JETSerious breaks down more of Revis’ coverage strengths from this Sunday Night matchup.

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.

Revis gets his hands on Dez and disrupts the quick slant. But the play is not over. Let’s focus on Revis’ hips, as Dez continues his route, attempting to shake Darrelle.

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!

Pass interference or not, Revis gets the deflection.

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!

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