Just a day prior to being selected for his second consecutive Pro Bowl, Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis warned newyorkjets.com that Chad Ochocinco had a message for him on Twitter.
"He already tweeted me, saying something about being an inmate on Revis Island and he's escaping or something," Revis said with a laugh.
It was the first strike from the Bengals' eccentric wideout and a friendly Twitter war has ensued. Revis, a much more subtle sort than the artist formerly known as Chad Johnson, hinted that he wouldn't mind a couple of exchanges.
"Me and Chad are good friends, and I'm sure there is going to be a lot of maybe me and him going back-and forth a lot on Twitter," he said.
Sure enough, Revis greeted his followers today with:
Good morning world. I just woke up from this crazy dream. @OGOchoCinco came to Revis Island and disappeared.
But as we all know, The Ocho (as some refer to him as) doesn't like to go away. He delivered a series of tweets Tuesday — complimenting the league's best corner with lines such as:
technique is awesome- good patience at the line-bump n run stab and stay high on the receivers allows easy pass breakups
and then playing boxing promoter with lines like:
there's a reason they changed the game to 8 o'clock at night-they should put our match up on pay per view."
You could envision Revis' smile when he posted "i see u startin already" at one point. While the Defensive Player of the Year candidate and Curtis Martin Team MVP, who has six interceptions (one returned for a score) and an NFL-high 34 passes defensed, is not considered a talker, he's been seen jawing a little bit more as the season has progressed.
"A little bit. I don't know, I guess the beast is just coming out in me," he said. "I try to stay quiet and be cool and collected on the field."
The Pro Bowl invite was a mere formality for No. 24, but he's getting more and more national support for Defensive Player of the Year consideration. In his "Monday Morning Quarterback" column, Peter King wrote, "It'll probably be a close vote, but I'm leaning toward Revis. He's been matched against Andre Johnson, Randy Moss, Marques Colston, Steve Smith, Roddy White and Reggie Wayne a total of seven times, and he hasn't allowed a 70-yard game. He's been the definition of shutdown corner. He combines wily coverage with a physical presence, and, at 24, there's not a young defensive player in football I'd take over him."
The 5'11", 198-pound Revis, who was selected with the No. 14 overall selection out of Pittsburgh in 2007, is humbled by the praise but he's focused on a playoff berth. And if the Jets can top the Bengals Sunday at the Meadowlands, Revis will be dancing for his first time as a pro.
"It would be great. You talk to a lot of these veterans in here and some of them play their whole NFL careers and never even touch the playoffs. This would be a good treat for Rex as a first-year head coach and it would be my first playoffs, too," he said. "It would be fun and exciting to try to get a win and just keep moving forward in the playoffs."
Even though Ochocinco's hype has been entertaining (he probably should help promote that Pacquiao–Mayweather fight), who knows how much he'll see the field Sunday against Revis. We do know that if the Jets defeat the Bengals, they're almost certain to visit Cincinnati for a rematch on Wild Card Weekend.
So hopefully we'll see the showdown. The 6'1", 192-pound Ochocinco is Carson Palmer's favorite target with 72 receptions, 1,047 yards and nine touchdowns. Revis has faced him twice before (No. 85 averaged four receptions and 80 yards) and calls him the best wideout he's ever had to cover.
"He's fast, he's quick, he's elusive. He is not one of your bigger wide receivers like Randy Moss or Terrell Owens, but he's fast and he's smart," said Revis. "Crisp routes and he can fly, he can go. I've played against him before and it's been good battles, but this one will be for the gusto."