FLORHAM PARK, N.J. — Darrelle Revis refused to get into all the trash talk.
Sure, the New York Jets cornerback heard that one Giants wide receiver called him merely “decent,” while another insisted that teams no longer are afraid of him. All he could do was chuckle.
“I mean, I’m not a monster,” a laughing Revis said. “So why would anybody be scared? I don’t know.”
On Wednesday, Victor Cruz told reporters that Revis has to “earn his money this year” and that teams “aren’t really backing down” from the All-Pro cornerback. “Teams aren’t really scared anymore,” Cruz added. Hakeem Nicks said Revis is decent, before then saying he’s “great.”
As far as Revis is concerned, they can just keep talking.
“We’ll see on Saturday at 1 p.m.” Revis said, referring to the showdown between the Jets (8-6) and Giants (7-7) at MetLife Stadium.
But, doesn’t it bother Revis that wide receivers are calling him out?
“No, because I don’t even know who this guy is, really,” Revis said. “So, no.”
Which one, though? Nicks or Cruz?:
“Whoever said what,” Revis said. “I’m not entertaining it. If I wanted to watch entertainment, I’d look at some reality shows or something, watch TV.”
Revis said he has only heard of Cruz in the preseason and his comments went “in one ear and out the other.” He got a few extra laughs when teammate Marquice Cole shouted from the other side of the locker room: “Revis (stinks)!”
“It really don’t matter what people say,” Revis said. “It don’t matter what I say. It don’t matter what other receivers say. If it’s on paper, it’s on paper. You’ve to go out there and play on Sundays, and this game is Saturday, and you’ve got to prove it.”
Cruz has 1,194 yards receiving and needs 150 in his last two games to top Amani Toomer’s team record set in 2002. Meanwhile, Nicks has 1,096 yards receiving, making him and Cruz the first pair of Giants receivers to have 1,000 yards in the same season.
“They’re receivers,” Revis said when asked of his impression of the two. “That’s what they are.”
Revis has proven himself to be much more than just a cornerback. He has routinely shut down some of the best receivers in football week after week, going on a few years now. He has been called the best at his position by several around the league, an assessment Jets coach Rex Ryan has supported since the day he took over.
“I’d call out a lot more guys, and that list would be a lot longer before I would get to Revis,” Ryan said. “But you know what? That’s good. That’s a competitor. You want to face the best and you’re certainly going to face the best when you face Darrelle Revis.”
Jacksonville wide receiver Jason Hill said Revis and the Jets’ defense were “overhyped” earlier this season, and then didn’t even play. Buffalo’s Stevie Johnson had eight catches for 75 yards and a score against him last month, a rare game in which Revis appeared to get beat over and over. But, the Jets insisted, it was all part of the game plan — to give Johnson the short stuff and not let him beat them deep.
“I think it’s been an amazing season,” Ryan said of Revis’ performance. “It’s easy to call out a guy. You know you’re playing most of the game (and) he has no help. I mean, zero help. He almost has zero help a lot of times, and I don’t know if it’s ever been done. Has he given up a couple of completions? Yeah. And the funny thing is, we’re surprised. It’s like, ‘Oh, he gave up an 8-yard route. What’s going on with Revis?'”
Well, nothing. He is still playing at an elite level, and his teammates find it amusing that anyone ever doubts him.
“I guess some people feel they need to get into trash talking,” cornerback Kyle Wilson said. “The talking’s going to stop come gametime. We all know what Darrelle can do.”
Added cornerback Antonio Cromartie: “I like people getting riled up. I hope they keep talking, I hope they talk on Saturday, too, on the field.”
Cruz, when asked about Revis on Thursday, didn’t want to get into it.
“We know what type of game this is, it’s an intense game,” Revis said. “People are going to say what they want to say. We’ve been hearing it all week, the jawing back and forth. You expect that and you just go with it. Whoever says what on both sides, we’ve got to go out there and play. That’s the biggest thing, and that’s how you should approach it.”
Oh, and if the Giants intend to test Revis all day on Saturday, defensive coordinator Mike Pettine says that sounds good to him.
“If that’s where they want to go with the football, then I welcome that,” Pettine said. “Some of our things are geared where we’re going to put him in a difficult spot, but again, he’s the best corner in football.”