Is Revis Island still a scary place for receivers to go? Do teams still fear getting stranded there? Or has it turned into a relaxed tropical resort?
Last season, Tampa Bay Buccaneers star cornerback Darrelle Revis was on the comeback after he suffered a torn ACL with the New York Jets a year before. Add that to the new defense he had to learn, and that is possibly where the lackluster numbers come from.
Many claim the legend of Revis Island was born in 2009 when he had career highs in interceptions with six, and pass deflections with 31. 2009 was the year that Revis shutdown the NFL. He became the cornerback to watch.
In 2010, Revis was hampered by a hamstring injury causing him to miss three games. The injury also affected his stats which were less than spectacular. Revis recorded 32 combined tackles, two recovered fumbles, ten pass deflections and zero interceptions.
The 2011 season brought better numbers for Revis, who had the best season of his career. The healthy Revis played in all 16 regular season games recording 52 combined tackles, four interceptions (one of those went for a 100-yard touchdown return) and 21 pass deflections.
The 2012 season looked like another spectacular year until Revis tore his ACL, thus ending his season and his time with the Jets. Revis was traded to Tampa Bay in April of 2013 and quickly became a face of the Buccaneers Organization. Revis was expected to have an immediate impact and turn the ship around for Bucs.
Revis’ first season with Tampa Bay looked in some ways like the 2010 season on the stat sheet. Revis only recorded eleven pass deflections and two interceptions, but recorded 50 combined tackles and had two forced fumbles. It was not a terrible season for Revis, who earned the SN Comeback Player of the Year Award, but not his best either. It seemed like Revis was still not completely recovered from the injury. Missing a year of football can really affect a football player’s game, and Revis has to re-discover his comfort zone.
Now the 28-year-old is getting ready for his eighth year in the league, and for Revis it is a critical one. If Revis can post stats like he did in 2011 and with the secondary that Tampa Bay has, The Buccaneers can be a defensive force to recognize.
So back to the question that started this post, is Revis still a shutdown corner or has he lost a step in his game? Can Revis show that he is better than Richard Sherman? This year will be a big one in determining the answer. It should be a look at the Revis of old, and it will be a bounce back season, because this season he will finally be 100 percent to start the year.
After the 2010 season with the hamstring injury, Revis returned and had a career best year. Now two years after the torn ACL and constantly hearing about the best corner in the game over in Seattle, Revis will set to prove he is still the best corner in the league. This should be a breakout year for Revis in the Bucs uniform.
Add in Johnthan Banks, Mark Barron and Dashon Goldson; it could be a no fly zone in Raymond James Stadium in 2014.
Follow Hunter Robinson on Twitter @HRob718