Darrelle Revis makes the tackle against Nebraska
With 10 minutes of media availability remaining in the locker room Saturday, No. 1 draft choice Darrelle Revis made his first public appearance at Jets minicamp. And before greeting a large spring media flock, Revis had a chance to share midday pleasantries with his employer.
"I just thanked Mr. [Woody] Johnson for doing it," he said of the Jets moving up in the first round to select the standout cornerback from Pittsburgh. "Obviously they did it for a reason, and I'm happy Mr. Johnson is happy they bumped up and made this pick."
Revis, a sub-4.4 runner at his pro day, acknowledged that his life has picked up speed during the past couple of weeks.
"My head has been spinning everywhere, getting drafted and getting a lot of phone calls [about] endorsements and other things," he said. "And today I am excited to be here and learn the system."
The 5'11", 204-pound defensive back is participating this weekend alongside the three other members of the 2007 draft class, 14 rookie free agents and a number of tryout invitees.
"It's fast out there. Everybody's good, so you can't slack," he said. "You have to play hard and you have to work hard."
Prior to Revis, the last corner from Pittsburgh to play with the Green & White was Ty Law. After sporting No. 25 at Pitt, Revis had to pick a new number.
"Kerry Rhodes has 25. I took 24 basically because of Ty Law," he said. "He is from my hometown. He is a hometown neighbor. I know him, so I got his number."
Despite the connection, Revis does not study film on his predecessor.
"Me and Ty's relationship is basically just talking on the phone, getting techniques from him so I can better my game and be a better player," he said.
Coming from a Panthers program led by former NFL head coach Dave Wannstedt, the Jets' highly touted rookie said he reviewed the techniques of Patrick Surtain and Sam Madison with his college boss. On Saturday, Revis made his debut on the Weeb Ewbank Hall practice field.
"It has been great. We are rookies here for the same reason — to earn a spot on this team," he said. "We are friends here, it has been great, and the competition has been good. We just have to go out there and play."
Revis was asked about the regular-season opener, still close to four months away. What would he think of lining up across from Randy Moss, the Patriots' newest weapon, come Sept. 9 at the Meadowlands?
"I grew up watching Randy Moss. He is a great player. It is going to be a little crazy playing against a guy like that and I just think of it as football," Revis said. "We are a team. There is no one-on-one with me and Randy Moss. It's 11 as one. We have to play football."
Bender getting bigger
Jacob Bender, a Nicholls State product, is a big boy who continues to grow. The Jets' sixth-round selection, who is listed at 6'6" and 315 pounds, has gained 70 pounds since he arrived on campus. "I came to college at 245 and I left at 295. I gained 20 pounds this winter."
To gain strength, he worked diligently in the weight room and went on a strict diet. He continues to eat a lot of lean foods like chicken and fish but stays away from red meat. "You are supposed to eat every four hours. You don't want to eat huge meals. You eat decent-sized meals six times a day."
Nicholls State ran a triple option and Bender, who played all five positions along the line (left tackle is his natural spot), loved to explode off the line. "I like coming off the ball and smashing heads," he said.
Seventh-rounder Chansi Stuckey, a player who converted from quarterback to receiver at Clemson, soaks up the positional knowledge he can. "I think I am trying to turn the corner a little bit now. It was real tough in the beginning," he said of the transition. "I had my junior year and my senior year to kind of learn the intricacies of the position. I can never learn too much."
The 6'0", 185-pound Stuckey, who knows the field well because of his time spent reading defenses, carefully analyzes receivers with similar size. "I look at Laveranues [Coles] here. Jerricho [Cotchery] had a really good season, so I have been watching him too. Other guys are Marvin Harrison, Steve Smith and Santana Moss — guys who are my stature, same-build type players."