Jets CB Darrelle Revis has been branded a number of ways over his 10-year career — seven-time Pro Bowler, five-time first team All Pro, future Hall of Famer and most notably, Revis Island. But to his teammates, he's the quiet leader.
Uncharacteristically, Revis was singing a different tune in the locker room following Sunday's 24-16 win over the Ravens.
"I usually lead by example and I just felt it was time to step up to the plate and share some of my thoughts," he told Eric Allen and Larry Hardesty on Inside the Jets. "I just basically told the whole team that you hear coaches sometimes, especially when you're on a losing streak, say never forget this feeling.
"But I flipped it and said never forget this feeling of winning because we were in such a slump. We kind of lost our way in the four-game losing streak and I just wanted to flip that and use that as a little bit of ammo to try to make guys think a little bit outside the box. And guys were really tuned into what I was saying so I just wanted to flip it a little bit."
Revis embraces his leadership role on a team that holds 21 players on the active roster with two or less years of experience in the NFL. Some of the young players said they felt inspired by the 10-year veteran's speech.
"Revis gave a good speech after the game, saying to remember this feeling because it feels great," said second-year DE Leonard Williams. "To come in the locker room seeing smiles on the coaches' faces and teammates' faces, we just have to keep it going."
The speech impacted more than the young players. Six-year RT Ben Ijalana thought it was "really cool" when the DBs finished Revis' sentence for him because they knew what he going to say.
"He has a point. We worked so hard. We've been in a slump and it's so hard to win games in the NFL," Ijalana said. "And that's why victories are so much sweeter— because it's a team victory.
"So it's important to savor it and understand this is the feeling we want. If we do what we need to do, we can have this week after week so continue to work hard."
Despite Revis' vocal presence Sunday, he's led by example for the majority of his career. The Pitt product has dealt with personal hardships this season, recovering from offseason wrist surgery and coming into the season with what he described as a "weight problem." Two weeks removed from a hamstring injury that sidelined him against the Steelers week 5, Revis is beginning to find his rhythm. Over the past two weeks, he's surrendered just four catches for 40 yards.
"During that whole time, I just had to continue to stay positive and it's definitely difficult to do when you're losing," Revis said. "Being one of the leaders on the team, I was just trying to stay positive and not try to be a distraction to what was already happening to us, the losing streak. And just continue to be a professional. And I knew that down the road once I get all healthy, I can still play at a high level. These last few weeks, I've been getting into my rhythm and it's been helpful."