By Nick Shook
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It’s pretty safe to say, at 32 years old, Darrelle Revis isn’t going to rediscover his better, Revis Island version of himself.
But for a cornerback who joined a team in the final quarter of the regular season, he feels as though he did well enough to get another shot at playing in 2018.
“The material I put on [videotape] from the little time I had, not going through training camp and being here for the installs, I was OK,” Revis said, via ESPN. “I wasn’t great or my best ever. No way. But at the same time, for what I came in here and was asked to do, for the most part I’m happy with it.
“My situation is a little different than most. We all understood that coming in. I was trying to get on the same page with what the team was doing and playing catch-up basically. … Always room for improvement. But when you look at some of the stats, no touchdowns allowed … .”
Let’s look at those stats. Revis joined the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 12 and played from Week 13 through the wild-card round of the playoffs. He recorded 14 tackles and two passes defensed in that stretch, and is correct when he says he didn’t allow a touchdown during his abbreviated season. In fact, despite the smaller sample size (in terms of games played), Revis enjoyed what qualifies as a bounce-back season of sorts.
Darrelle Revis coverage statistics, 2015-2017 (via Next Gen Stats)
» 2015: 44.5 passer rating allowed (27-56, 370 yards, 2 TD, 5 INT)
» 2016: 102.5 passer rating allowed (51-79, 743 yards, 3 TD, 1 INT)
» 2017: 81.0 passer rating allowed (10-17, 122 yards)
Those numbers should be taken with a grain of salt, though. According to Pro Football Focus, Revis’ player grade has continued its fall off a rather high cliff, plummeting from a leveled-off 88.8 in 2014 to 77.8 in 2015, 67.5 in 2016 and 57.2 in 2017.
So where does he stand in 2018? Revis is a veteran corner armed with tons of experience, which aided him in his quick acclimation to Kansas City’s defense, which was nearing its peak complexity when he put pen to paper and donned a Chiefs uniform for the first time. Even defensive coordinator Bob Sutton was impressed by his quick study.
“I think it’s pretty remarkable what he has done considering he had no camp, no [anything] and he just dropped in here,” Sutton said before Kansas City’s playoff loss to Tennessee, again via ESPN. “It’s just getting back in that kind of condition and that type of reaction time and I think each and every week he’s been out here he’s been better from that regard. He’s a great technician throughout his entire career and I think that’s starting to come back little by little each week. Hopefully, he’s another guy who keeps ascending right now.”
If Kansas City wants him, they can keep him on his current contract, which is due to pay him $4.5 million and seems more than a little high for a corner of his caliber at this stage in his career. If they don’t, they can dump him without a single penny spent in cap penalty. With Marcus Peters, Steven Nelson and Terrance Mitchell, they aren’t exactly hurting for corners, but the experience helps.
Should Revis again become available, another team in need of some back-end experience and technical tutelage could scoop him up, though they shouldn’t expect much more than replacement-level performance.