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Jets’ Revis has bravado covered

Cornerback continues to press the Moss issue

By Adam Kilgore and Monique Walker
Globe Staff / November 19, 2009

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FOXBOROUGH - The debate out of Foxborough yesterday wasn’t about fourth-down calls but how the Jets defended Randy Moss in Week 2.

Flash back to Sept. 20, when the Jets held Moss to four catches for 24 yards in their 16-9 win at the Meadowlands. Moss’s only catch of the second half was an 8-yard grab. After the game, Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis got the praise for shutting down Moss, blanketing him throughout the game.

But Moss wasn’t so quick to extend Revis much credit.

“All week, he was taking about being a shutdown corner, but there are no shutdown corners in the league because they have help most of the game,’’ said Moss. “I probably could be a shutdown corner if I had [Brandon] Meriweather over the top for the whole game. I think I could be a corner. You have to give credit where credit is due.’’

Now fast-forward to yesterday’s press conference. Bill Belichick was asked to explain what made Revis so effective against Moss in Week 2.

“Really, they played a lot of over the top coverage with Revis and [safety Kerry] Rhodes,’’ Belichick said. “They played over the top of him quite a bit, not always, but quite a bit.

“Revis is a good player. He matches up against basically every team’s best receiver. He’s tall for a corner. He has good length, good size, very good ball skills, runs well, good quickness, good on the jam, good tackler, good run-force player. He’s a good, solid all-around player. He doesn’t have any weaknesses.’’

Belichick gave Revis plenty of credit but again brought up the safety-help-over-the-top qualifier. Yesterday afternoon, Revis was on a conference call with New England media and was asked if he had help over the top with Moss.

“Everybody saw the game,’’ Revis said. “Everybody knew I was in man cov erage. Everybody knew that was the case. He’s supposed to say that, because that wasn’t his day. He got shut out, and he was frustrated by it. Which is cool.

“I don’t have nothing against him. I still think he’s one of the best receivers in the league. When we go up against each other, it’s great competition.

“If he says that, he does. But that’s on him. We play them twice a year. I have to see him again just as much as he has to see me again.’’

Revis was asked to clear things up: Was he on Moss by himself the whole game or did he have help over the top on some plays?

“I was man-to-man coverage,’’ Revis said.

Later on, he was told about Belichick’s explanation, that it looked to him that Revis sometimes had Moss himself, and sometimes had help.

“I don’t believe that statement,’’ Revis said. “That question is dead from now on.’’

Either way, Sunday’s matchup should give fans plenty to watch. Revis said the Patriots have adjusted how they use Moss since Week 2, playing him out of the slot more.

Moss enters Sunday’s game with a stretch of impressive performances. In three of the last four games, he has more than 100 yards receiving.

Against the Colts, he caught nine passes for 179 yards and two touchdowns.

Jets coach Rex Ryan called Moss the “best vertical receiver in football’’ but added, “I think we have the best corner in football.’’

Revis said he could consider the comments by Moss after the first game disrespectful, but he enjoys the matchup.

“I’m not going to disrespect nobody about anything,’’ Revis said. “If Randy beat me on a touchdown, yeah, he beat me. He’s a great receiver. I believe that I’m a great corner, too, but that’s just how it goes.

“When you play against the best, you got to bring your game. But also, you got to give respect to guys that you’re going against. There’s no trying to get into a jawing match or a trash-talking match with Randy Moss. I say what I believe, and that’s it. I love it. I’m sure he loves it, too.’’

Adam Kilgore can be reached at akilgore@globe.com; Monique Walker can be reached at mwalker@globe.com.

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