Before the much talked about knee injury, Darrelle Revis created a place called “Revis Island.” It was a place where only he lived, and a place where he thrived.
Revis Island refers to placing Darrelle on the best receiver the opponent has and playing the rest of the game like it’s 10-on-10. Revis takes out his man, and he’s not to be worried about. And when a DB comes up with a nickname for his style of coverage, you know it must work.
Well, the knee injury is starting to heal, and the boat is ready to bring #24 back out to his home. In and interview with members of the media today, Revis said he and coach Schiano expect the style of coverage to recreate Revis Island in Tampa Bay.
Revis talked a lot about his recovery, in which he said things like, “I fell on the ground a couple of times and got back up,” and “no swelling after practices… there’s never been no swelling after practices, which is good.” He also went as far as to say he’s “very confident” he’ll be out there against the Jets.
So what does Revis Island mean for the Buccaneers defense. First, as Darrelle pointed out himself, it should allow “Gerald and those guys” get after the quarterback. The more time the top option is locked down, the more time the defensive line has to get that push. But what it also does is it allows the safeties to focus more on the middle of the field. Barron and Goldson should be able to come up and help with the run, blitz, and cover TE’s or others heading out for routes over the middle.
Usually you want to have a safety back to make sure the big play doesn’t happen to the number one receiver. But with Revis on his island, that shouldn’t be necessary. It basically tilts the field toward one side which makes it awfully difficult to find passing or running lanes.
Revis’ impact, if he indeed does return to form, will go so much further than simply limiting the top receiver to minimal damage. It also shifts the focus of the rest of the defense on other guys. In the past, the Buccaneers had to rely on zones, safety help, or other tactics to control the Roddy White‘s and Marques Colston‘s of the world. Well now, those resources can be used else where.
Revis Island is coming back, and it’s going to be fun to see how it changes the entire look of the Buccaneers defense.