Darrelle Revis has been through a lot over his 10-year career, but this week was particularly difficult for him.
On Thursday afternoon, Revis' former Jets teammate Joe McKnight had his life taken from him at age 28. Just two days prior, 19-year-old Aliquippa, PA native DiMantae Bronaugh lost his battle with leukemia.
"It's been very shocking the news of Joe and DiMantae in the same week. Life is very short and we can't take it for granted," Revis said Friday. "Get the best out of life and the opportunities that are presented because you never know. I just spoke to the director of my foundation and I'm going to help fund DiMantae's funeral. These two incidents are very unfortunate and my condolences go out to their families."
Teammates with McKnight for three seasons (2010-2012), Revis recalled McKnight's as a prankster and an upbeat personality, calling him "a joy to be around."
"As a player, he was one of the most versatile players in the league during his time," Revis said. "He could play a lot of positions and we were able to move him around in different packages on offense. He was an awesome cornerback in high school too, so I think that's why Rex (Ryan) threw him on the defensive side as well."
Revis cited McKnight's clutch special teams play against the Cowboys on the 10-year anniversary of 9/11. With 5:08 remaining in the season-opening contest, the USC product shot up the middle to block a Mat McBriar punt. The ball would gracefully bounce into the hands of CB Isaiah Trufant, who tied the game at 24. Revis' interception of Tony Romo in the closing moments set up Nick Folk's 50-yard field goal as the Jets captured an emotional 27-24 victory.
"That 2011 game, he kind of sparked us and changed the momentum by getting that blocked punt," Revis said. "We went in to score — I remember Trufant picking it up and scoring. That's the type of energy that he brought, he was always like that on and off the field and it helped us win that game."
Bronaugh, who rushed for 1,262 yards two seasons ago at the same Aliquippa HS where Revis starred, participated in Revis' summer football camps.
"DiMantae was just your local kid who was trying to find a way out of some of his circumstances back at home," Revis said. "He was an active participant of some of my youth football camps back at home. I actually funded a travelling team where we went down to Drew Brees' football camp at Walt Disney World. He was one of guys who were selected to go."
Bronaugh was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia in August 2015 and missed the entirety of his senior season. However, his sprits remained high as he would often make appearances on the sideline including two weeks ago for the WPIAL 3A championship game between Aliquippa and Beaver Falls.
"I feel heartbroken, especially happening to him," Revis said. "This guy was probably going to be a DI prospect and get an opportunity to play college football and get an education. But leukemia came and ended his life. It's very unfortunate."