There’s a perception that Bills receiver Stevie Johnson has found the way off Revis Island. The Jets disagree with that notion. Strongly.
“Stevie Johnson’s a good receiver and he’s caught some balls, but I wouldn’t say he’s got Darrelle Revis’ number,” coach Rex Ryan said, per Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News. “He goes up against all types: Big, strong, fast, shifty. He goes against them all. And I’ve never walked out of a game saying, ‘This player got the best of Darrelle Revis.’ Never. Never felt that way. Do you realize how special this guy is? It is amazing what we ask him to do.”
(And there’s the latest comment that will be printed and laminated for the next round of contract negotiations.)
Linebacker Bart Scott has an explanation for the belief that Johnson can beat Revis, one on one. “It’s like Michael Jordan playing against Dominique Wilkens and Dominique gets 20 and it’s like, ‘Ohhh! He lit Jordan’s ass up!’” Scott said. “Come on, man. Nobody’s indestructible. A lot of times when he gives up yards, he’s got the whole half of the field with no help. Everybody was doubling everybody else on the other side. It’s easy for [Johnson] to get [some yards].”
Revis realizes that any success by any receiver will be used against him. “That’s the position I’m in,” Revis said. “The success that I’ve had is the reason why maybe people criticize me a different way. You just roll with the punches. I’m not panicking over nothing. I know how to play ball. I play great ball. I’m not panicking because a guy got 70 yards.”
Actually, it was 75. More importantly, Johnson scored a touchdown in Week 12. It was the only touchdown Revis surrendered all season.
“You’d almost sign up for that now,” Ryan said regarding Johnson’s potential production in Week One. “That’s their No. 1 receiver. If they’re going to spend a ton of their time throwing [at Johnson], we’d probably say, ‘If you’re going to catch seven balls for 70 yards, go for it. That’s fine.’ That doesn’t usually beat you.”
And that’s all that matters, really. The Jets beat the Bills twice last year. And seven of the last eight. If the Jets can make it eight of nine, the ugliness of the preseason will be quickly forgotten.