In DeSean Jackson's only prior meeting with Darrelle Revis, against the Jets in 2011, Jackson caught just two passes for 28 yards. (USA Today Images)
Tampa Bay’s Darrelle Revis has long been regarded as one of the premiere cornerbacks in the NFL. His nickname is Revis Island for a reason. But while he’s made a career out of shutting down opposing receivers, DeSean Jackson doesn’t believe anyone, even Revis, can cover him.
Jackson doesn’t lack for confidence. The speedy wide receiver had some interesting things to say about facing Revis in Tampa on Sunday.
“I’m sure he’ll follow me,” Jackson said. “We played him when he played at the Jets, two years ago or whenever we played them. He followed me as well. I’m definitely sure his coaches are confident in him. I don’t think he can run with me. I don’t think he’s as fast as me. It will be a challenge. He’s a great player. Nothing to take away from him. I’m focused on what we have to do here, which is win a football game. We’re not going to make it into a one-on-one battle, me versus Revis. It’s the Eagles versus Tampa Bay. At the end of that game, as long as we’re winning, that’s all that matters to me.”
Jackson complimented Revis several times in several ways. But he also maintained his assertion that he’s difficult to cover.
During Tuesday’s media session with Jackson at the NovaCare Complex, one reporter started off by stating, “You said before that you don’t think anybody can stop you one-on-one...” It was the beginning of a question that never got asked because Jackson, with a smirk, suddenly started talking.
“That definitely goes for whoever,” Jackson said. “Any guy trying to guard me one-on-one, man coverage will definitely feel my speed and my ability to deep threat, go down the field, do whatever I need to do. I still feel comfortable and confident regardless of who’s guarding me. Hopefully we’ll get some of those looks and be able to go down the field. If not, we’ll have to do underneath or hitches or whatever I need to do.”
Jackson is fourth in the NFL with 525 receiving yards and fifth in yards per catch with 18.8. He’s caught 28 passes on 50 targets to go with three touchdowns.
As Jackson mentioned, he faced Revis while the corner was with the Jets in 2011. Jackson caught just two passes for 28 yards in that game. But the receiver said the cornerback was impressed with his ability and told him, “You’re too fast, man. Slow down.”
Whether it was tongue-in-cheek boasting, proper chest-thumping or an attempt to get in his opponent’s head, Jackson augmented his self-reverential statements with praise for Revis.
“He has the elusiveness,” Jackson said. “He’s alert. He’s smart. He has intelligence. He has [foot] work. He’s one of those guys who knows what he’s doing. He’s comfortable and confident playing press or off the ball.
"He’s playing ball. He’s one of the best cornerbacks in the league. I love facing guys who have the ability to go out there and be a shutdown corner. Anytime you have guys like that when you go into games, it gets the best out of you. You want to step your game up. What he’s been doing -- like I said, he’s in a little bit different defensive scheme. … He’s moving inside, doing different things like that. We’re just trying to move me around, keep me fluid throughout the game and really just catch him off guard and do things we’ve been doing the past couple of weeks to get me open.”