New England Sports React

Welcome to Revis Island

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The signing of Darrelle Revis was sure to bring smiles to the faces of both Bill Belichick and Tom Brady.

With Aqib Talib having departed for Denver on a six-year deal worth $57 million Tuesday, the Patriots’ need for a shutdown corner to replace him became even more urgent. That’s why, just five hours after arguably the best corner in the league was released by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Wednesday, New England jumped at the opportunity to add him to their roster.

The Pats and Darrelle Revis agreed to terms on a two-year deal worth $32 million shortly following the highly-coveted corner’s release, bringing the entirety of Patriots Nation to a level of excitement that they’ve never truly experienced before. Sure, having Aqib Talib was a nice treat for Pats fans, but having Revis is on a whole different plateau. Going from one of the top-10 CBs in the league to the best changes the dynamic of the Pats defense tenfold, putting fear into opposing quarterbacks and turning the portion of the field that Revis occupies into a “no-throw zone.” The veteran corner will bring a physical style of play to a New England defense that seemed to play with more gusto due to the exceptional man coverage skills of the recently departed Talib. So how will they do with Revis on the field? One would think that the ‘D’ would gain even more confidence with a corner of his caliber out there, feeling free to blitz as they please knowing that the coverage in the backfield would be good enough to let the pass rush get there. Revis’s presence should also give the other corners the cahones to press the receivers they are covering, as was the case when Talib was with the team. It is likely that the Pats will play much more man coverage than in the past with him now on the roster.

Revis also has a playmaking ability as a CB that is unrivaled in the league and is comparable to a player at the safety position. He can create turnovers at any time during the game, giving a huge advantage to the defense. Having a corner with the ability to shutdown the opposition’s best receiver and turn the ball over is advantageous to the offense as well, especially with a quarterback like Tom Brady commandeering it. Just picture it now: Revis intercepts a pass on the opponents’ 35-yard line and Brady picks apart the defense in three plays to get into the end zone. Why, that’s a scenario that could play out more than once this upcoming season and is one that Pats fans should not be shocked to see.

All-in-all, signing Darrelle Revis was something the Patriots simply had to do. The relatively untested Alterraun Verner wasn’t the answer. Antonio Cromartie certainly wasn’t what he used to be. So when the former New York Jets superstar hit the market, there was nothing else the Pats could do but sign him. And this offseason, it seems, the Pats finally swallowed their pride to get their team to that next level. It can’t help but make you wonder; is this the year?

-Ryan Hartley

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