Although some are saying New York Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis is not the elite player he once was, “Revis Island” remains an expression still very much in use by his opponents.
“Revis Island” refers to the place where even the best receivers are reluctant to go when Revis covers them one-on-one. CBS recently featured Revis on 60 Miunutes, going in depth about everything from Revis’s playing style to his manner and humble lifestyle off the field, from his tremendous work ethic to the stigma he’s faced for consistently negotiating his contracts.
CBS correspondent Armen Keteyian says of Revis: “He has turned the do-or-die position of the cornerback into an art form. A suffocating defender with cat-like instincts. In a single play, witness the full spectrum of his skill, the burst of speed, the ability to shadow, step-for-step, the best wide receivers in the game and shut them down.”
The highest paid cornerback in the NFL, Revis has had five contracts with three teams in nine seasons. But with every contract renewal, Revis “starts from scratch” in the off-season at a cornerback camp, focusing heavily on the fundamentals of the position, and movements of the eyes, hands and feet.
Revis’s performance coach Will Sullivan calls him “a guy that’s come in every single year rebooting, and then making sure that you’re getting a newer version.” Sullivan and Revis emphasize the importance of the first 5 yards, where the corners are allowed to use their hands in a manner resembling a martial art. The 60 minutes Overtime video below showcases Revis in this space, where he attempts to use “angles and leverage” to “disrupt the timing” of the offensive player.
During the full segment, you will see Revis visiting his home town and high school playing field, discussing how viewing art translates to his calm demeanor on the field, and of course, working out vigorously (at around the 5-minute mark). The video also highlights Revis’s habit of studying and analyzing his opponents (like Odell Beckham Jr.) on film leading up to competition (5:40), as well as his ability to read a receiver coming out of the huddle (5:20).