Darrelle Revis emerged as the best cornerback in the NFL during his time with the New York Jets. He appeared in just two games last season due to a knee injury, however, allowing other defensive backs around the league to enjoy the spotlight, including Richard Sherman.
The Seattle Seahawks corner had a strong 2012 campaign, racking up 64 total tackles and eight interceptions. He also finished his second season with 24 passes defended. He moved toward that elite class while Revis worked his way back from injury.
Now with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Revis said he'll put his track record up against anybody, but stressed Sherman shouldn't be worried about him. In comments passed along by Jarrett Bell of USA Today, Revis didn't sound interested in any type of personal duel:
He needs to quit attaching his career to my career. A lot of people need to have respect for this game. I'm not just talking about him. Respect what people have done to pave the way. Deion paved the way. Rod Woodson paved the way. Darrell Green. Mel Blount. Champ Bailey. Charles Woodson. Yeah, we're the next group, but you don't need to be getting into it with me.
At the end of the day, this is a fraternity. We're all in this together, competing. But you don't have to shoot nobody else down.
While people outside the locker rooms are always looking for additional storylines to help build intrigue, especially with the new season set to begin, Revis takes the right stance here.
The new Bucs corner has enough things to worry about in the coming months. Between getting back to full strength, acclimating himself to a new defense and getting on the same page with his new teammates, he has plenty of work to do.
Getting in a season-long battle with Sherman about who's having a better year isn't going to do anything for him. As Revis stated, his game film—which shows him shutting down some of the league's best wideouts on a consistent basis—speaks for itself.
At the end of the day, those results are all that matters. Anybody can claim to be the best, but those who prove it every Sunday don't have to talk about it. Revis has done that in the past and needs to remain focused on getting back to that level.
Sherman and Revis are both terrific corners who should be key assets for their respective defenses this season. Nobody should need a weekly war of words to understand that.