FLORHAM PARK, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) — Darrelle Revis has shut down star wide receivers for years. Now, the struggling New York Jets cornerback is trying to do the same to critics.
Revis, in his 10th season, is off to a tough start after giving up some big plays in the Jets’ first two games. That has prompted some fans and media to question whether he has lost a step and is no longer the elite player he has been for much of his career.
“Just like quarterbacks throw interceptions, being out on an island, you’re out there by yourself,” said the seven-time Pro Bowl selection, whose “Revis Island” nickname came from years of routinely neutralizing top receivers.
“It’s definitely a tough position to play and I’ve been playing it for a decade now, so it’s definitely for me to just get better.”
A day after Cincinnati’s A.J. Green had a huge game against Revis in the season opener, a report on Sept. 12 by Bleacher Report cited anonymous sources saying that the cornerback arrived to camp not in prime condition because he was coming off offseason wrist surgery and unable to work out adequately.
On Wednesday, Revis said he believes that story came from his agents, although Bleacher Report’s Jason Cole — who reported the story — tweeted last week that it was “people who worked out with Revis.”
“He’s just taking shots,” Revis said. “But, it’s fine. Like I said, you take the good with the bad. That was a shot. But it’s all good.”
Revis was then asked if he believed the story was a shot on behalf of his former agents.
“Yeah, no doubt,” he said. “No doubt. Definitely.”
During the offseason, Revis fired agents Neil Schwartz and Jon Feinsod, who helped negotiate several big-money deals for him and making him more than $124 million.
“I knew where it came from,” Revis said. “I definitely knew where it came from. Like I said, it’s a shot. Yeah, it’s a shot.”
Revis has not spoken publicly about his reasons for parting ways with his agents, but he currently doesn’t have another representative, according to NFLPA records.
“If that’s how they want to approach it, that’s how they approach it on their end,” Revis said. “This is just how they approached it. That has nothing to do with me.”
Still, Cole previously discounted any assumptions, including a tweet by ESPN’s Andrew Brandt, that the sources were “something a fired agent would say.” Cole responded by saying, “Not in this case,” and added that it was people who had been training with Revis in the offseason.
In a statement to The Associated Press, Schwartz said: “As we previously stated, Jonathan and I only wish Darrelle the best of luck.”
Revis did acknowledge that he added a few pounds in the offseason as a result of not being able to fully work out while he recovered from his wrist surgery.
“When you have surgery, you do gain weight,” he said. “At the same time, I’m not using that as an excuse.”
During training camp, Revis routinely practiced in multiple layers and sweatpants to help him get into shape.
Revis also recently got into it on Twitter with NBA player J.R. Smith, whom the cornerback got to know while he was a member of the New York Knicks.
“Damn #Revisisland turning into a tourist resort. #JustSaying,” Smith tweeted during the Jets game at Buffalo, after Marquise Goodwin sped past the New York star for an 84-yard touchdown.
The next day, Revis responded with a Hall of Fame-style tweet of his own: “Still heading to Canton though. What about you???”
The tweet was later deleted and replaced by another in which he said both players won championships — Smith with the Cleveland Cavaliers — and “we both will go down in the history books.” Revis was bothered that Smith would take a shot “especially after we’ve crossed paths.”
“Like I said, there are a lot of eyes on me,” Revis said Wednesday. “So, I guess some of the guys from the NBA are paying attention as well. It is what it is, at the same time, I said what I said on Twitter and that’s that. I hope he understands.”
Next up for Revis is the Chiefs, and coach Andy Reid isn’t necessarily buying the notion that the cornerback is washed up.
“Listen, I know they’re saying he got beat,” Reid said on a conference call. “Maybe he gets beat one time, but the ones that people are saying, he didn’t have help on. There weren’t people in the middle of the field. That’s not his responsibility.
“I think that gets blown out of perspective. He looks pretty good to me to answer your question. He looks pretty stinking good.”
Reid added that, sure, Revis is getting older, but he’s also getting wiser on the field.
“He transitions so easy,” Reid said. “His hips and his ability to look back and run fast are unbelievable. I want him to get old. I’m going to try to talk to you long enough that he gets old. He’s a good football player.”
(TM and © Copyright 2016 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2016 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)