Jets defensive backs coach Dennis Thurman said this afternoon that he didn't see the play when it happened, when star cornerback Darrelle Revis tore his left ACL in the third quarter against Miami on Sunday.
Thurman did acknowledge, however, that he knew something wasn't right once No. 24 left the field.
"When he came to the sidelines and he didn't come back out, or I didn't hear anything, the longer it took, the worse it got in terms of how I was feeling," Thurman said. "But we had a game to play. We had a game to finish. We won it. We played OK. But we'll have to play better going forward. I think we're up for the challenge."
The Jets will begin life without their All Pro CB on Sunday afternoon when they host the San Francisco 49ers. Like the Jets, the 49ers enter the contest with a 2-1 record. A season ago, they finished the regular season 13-3 and advanced to the NFC title game before eventually falling in overtime to the Super Bowl champion New York Giants.
"We understand what's coming," Thurman said. "The 49ers are a good football team. They have excellent receivers. They can run the football. They have a good scheme. They're going to come out and be ready to play. They lost last week in a game everybody thought they'd win. Obviously they've been in Ohio bonding. So we'll get their best shot."
Now in his fourth year on the Jets coaching staff, Thurman wouldn't get into specifics but did say the defense has made some adjustments due to the current situation.
"We've tweaked some things because we have to," he said.
Kyle Wilson will replace Revis in the starting lineup and the DBs coach said he's seen a significant level of improvement in maturity from Wilson, now in his third year in the NFL. Wilson has already started in Revis' place this season: at Pittsburgh when No. 24 was still recovering from a mild concussion he suffered against Buffalo in Week 1.
"He goes out and he can execute the terminology, all of it," Thurman said of Wilson. "We didn't draft a kid in the first round for no reason. He has physical talent. But now it's maturity and he's gaining in experience. I only think Kyle is going to continue to get better."
San Francisco presents a solid receiving unit highlighted by the trio of Michael Crabtree, Mario Manningham and Randy Moss. Moss and Manningham are still freshly new to the 49ers system in their first year with the club. Yet Crabtree, their first-round selection in 2009, is coming off a season in which he produced career highs in receptions (72) and receiving yards (874).
It's hard to determine how much Revis' absence will affect the Jets as the season progresses. But it's certainly clear his position coach hasn't lost hope.
"This is a team game," Thurman said. "You know he's a big part of our team, there's no doubt about that. So will he be missed? Yes. But the group has to compensate for it, not just one individual. And that's our defensive unit, the entire secondary, the coaching staff. We're all in this together. So as long as we're in it and we understand what we have to do, we go out and execute, we should be fine. I really believe that."