A.J. Green just earned a little more credibility, as if he didn’t have enough already.
Darrelle Revis, once the best corner in the NFL, will not be putting the Bengals’ wide receiver on “Revis Island” this Sunday. Now 31 and coming off a wrist procedure this offseason, the veteran corner will have help in covering the five-time Pro Bowler.
"It won't be just Revis, it will be a lot of people," Jets defensive coordinator Kacy Rodgers said on Thursday, per ESPN’s Rich Cimini. "A.J. is a tremendous player. We've got to have 11 sets of eyes, knowing where he is... It's not necessarily a one-on-one matchup."
Revis certainly respects Green’s ability — he mentioned the receiver presents “every challenge possible” — but the Jets’ decision to give the defensive back help seems more as a measure of comfort for the corner than a gesture of respect for the receiver.
"To start the season off, we have to be cautious a little bit because we have some tough games coming ahead," Revis said. "I think the game plan this week is very comfortable for everybody.
"We're going to try to switch things up a little bit this week for us to maybe wear [down] some of their guys on offense, just wear 'em down a little bit," Revis added. "That's just mixing guys in and out or lining up guys in the scheme we're trying to do."
While the Green-Revis matchup is the most intriguing of any of this week’s battles on either side of the ball, it’s only one of many matchups New York will have to deal with when Cincinnati is in possession.
"That's just one of many matchups," Jets coach Todd Bowles said. "It's a team effort and we've got to pick our spots and I'm sure they have to pick their spots. It's not even about Revis and Green, it's about us against them."
Coming off a down season in 2015, in which the veteran struggled in matchups against DeAndre Hopkins and Sammy Watkins, this seems like the right move for the Jets to make to help their star corner transition back into action. While he’s not “Revis Island” anymore, the former Super Bowl champion is still one of the best players at his position and will be one of the best ever, when it’s all said and done.
The Jets hope mixing things up on defense will “be a lot of confusion” for the Bengals and present a challenge “for the offense to ID guys or see where guys are,” as Revis mentioned. The Bengals, on the other hand, will likely look for ways to create mismatches on the other side of the field with guys like Giovani Bernard and Tyler Boyd, as well as working the ball in the run game with Bernard and Jeremy Hill.