Bucs would like to see top receiver on Revis Island
Darrelle Revis may not have to leave his Island anymore.
The Bucs Pro Bowl safety probably wondered why he wasn't locked up with Saints receiver Marques Colston on the game-winning drive last Sunday instead of second-year pro Leonard Johnson. Quarterback Drew Brees hit Colston, who lined up in the slot, with a 31-yard strike to set up Garrett Hartley's 27-yard field goal as time expired.
Revis was outside the numbers at left cornerback locking down rookie Kenny Stills on the play.
Bucs defensive coordinator Bill Sheridan said Thursday the Bucs would like for Revis to be matched up the opponent's No. 1 wideout.
"No, we definitely thought about it afterwards for sure,'' Sheridan said. "We do try and orchestrate that during the game, as far as getting him on receivers we want to have him cover or the coverage types that we play. He's not as dependent on having a half field safety behind him necessarily, and as we go forward every week when we game plan, we look at who's perceived as the top receivers of that team and how do we best matchup all our personnel, not just Darrelle.
"But you're right, he has a very unique skill set in that area and as we go forward we're definitely going to try and orchestrate that into scenarios when we can, whether it's man coverages or pressures or stuff like that. Like I said in hindsight we're geniuses but we talked about that after the game and as we go forward have a system where you can get that, where you can get him on a particular guy.''
It's hard to say which Patriots player Revis would draw. Their receiving corps is young and inexperienced. Tight end Rob Gronkowski and receiver Danny Amendola could be out, perhaps leaving Julian Edleman as their top receiver.
Revis is no stranger to playing Patriots quartebrack Tom Brady, whom he has faced 11 times in his career. Revis went up against Brady in his NFL debut, getting seven tackles in a 38-14 loss. He then got the first of two career interceptions against Brady as a rookie that season, the other coming in 2009. Revis has a 4-7 career record against New England, but has the consolation of a 1-0 record in the postseason, knocking the Patriots out of the playoffs in 2010.
"I've never played against anyone as good as him,'' Brady said Wednesday.
"There are some great corners I’ve been able to play against: Champ Bailey, Patrick Surtain, and that goes back a few years, but yeah Charles Woodson, I mean I love the way he plays the game still. But I mean Darrelle is certainly at the top.”
The respect is mutula, Revis said.
"We had out battles, back in my New York days,'' Revis said of Brady . "...He's a tough sucker, man.''