When the Patriots and the Jets played in Week 2, Randy Moss caught four passes for 24 yards. He caught one for eight yards in the second half, during which the Patriots scored no points. The credit immediately went to Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis, who blanketed Moss throughout the game. Revis said afterward he stood across from Moss on the sideline when the Jets offense was on the fied. Revis is one of the best cornerbacks in the league, and the performance, it seemed, only reinforced that.
Only after the game, the Moss did not have glowing things to say about Revis. This, instead, is what Moss said:
“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.”
So, all of that is background for what went on today. This morning, Bill Belichick was asked what made Revis so tough against Moss back in September.
“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.”
The coach gives Revis plenty of credit, but again brought up the safety-help-over-the-top qualifier. Which is fair – he’s the expert, he watches the tape, he knows.
Except Revis still disagrees.
“Everybody saw the game,” Revis said. “Everybody knew I was in man coverage. 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, plainly.
Later on, to try to shed further light on how exactly Revis shut down Moss, he was told about Belichick explanation, that it looked to him like sometimes Revis had Moss himself, and sometimes he had help.
“I don’t believe that statement,” Revis said. “That question is dead from now on.”
Ooookay. The bottom line is that Moss and Revis are two of the best players, and their matchup will make for excellent football Sunday. And Revis did allow that he felt disrespected when Moss made his comments after their first game.
“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, 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.”
Revis also provided some insight into how Moss has had such big games recently. In watching film of the Patriots recent games, Revis has seen a difference between now and Week 2.
“They’re putting him in more places to get him the ball,” Revis said. “They’re putting him in the slot a little bit more so defensive backs can’t get their hands on him so he can get a free release, sprint down the field, and catch acrobatic catches. The gameplan this week and what we’re doing, it’s on me to change my game up a little bit on him.”