Florham Park, NJ– Late last night the news broke that Rex Ryan and owner Woody Johnson had personally flown down to Florida to speak to Darrelle Revis. Shortly after that news broke, reports of a deal finally being struck began to leak.
Jet fans were beginning to get extremely antsy, wondering if Revis Island had been lost somewhere in the Bermuda Triangle, some fans of the television show, “Lost,” might have been thinking Revis Island was stuck in a time loop and Jets’ management didn’t know the correct coordinates to locate Revis Island.
Well Jet fans you can breath easy now, because All-World cornerback Darelle Revis officially entered the building today and will begin practicing tomorrow.
It’s been a long and interesting day in Florham Park, N.J., as even the guy manning the media gate had jokes set-up on a tee, he asked, “Why is there so many people here, what are we giving something away today?”
Yes, in fact the Jets’ were giving something away today, something they have been holding back for all of training camp. Today the Jets’ finally gave the media access to Darrelle Revis. The news was known by all before practice started, but the waiting was not over. In fact the time-frame they gave to the media for Revis’ arrival equates to one waiting for the cable guy to show up.
Despite the wait, three words describe the energy and atmosphere here at the Jets’ headquarters, hectic, exciting and most important of all, relief. Hectic would describe the way the scheduling of press conferences were moved around like cars in a overcrowded valet parking lot. The excitement and relief were the common themes that were literally bubbling from the players, owner and, as expected, the coach. After all, this is the same coach who had previously gone on record saying he would give Revis a big kiss on the lips when he showed up.
Ryan explained the timeline of how everything unfolded. Ryan and Johnson flew down to Florida on Saturday to meet with Revis, Revis’ uncle Sean Gilbert (Yes, the same Sean Gilbert that once famously sat out an entire season) and the agents for Revis on conference call. Both Ryan and Johnson thought some progress was made Saturday night, but it wasn’t until Sunday that they felt confident the deal would be done in time for him to suit up against Baltimore a week from tonight.
When Ryan was asked if he thought a deal would have been in place even if he and Johnson didn’t take they trip to see Revis personally he said, “Yes, I think so. Absolutely. I understand people are trying to give us, maybe me, way more credit than I deserve. Maybe with Woody (Johnson) going down, I certainly think it helped because I don’t know how many owners would do that. Obviously, Woody recognizes how important Darrelle is to this football team. It was great. When he was down there, there was some good talks back-and-forth. We felt more confident when we got on that plane heading back that a deal could be reached.”
Revis echoed much of what Ryan said, especially the part about how much it meant to him that Johnson took the trip down to see him in person. Revis said, “It meant a lot to me. It shows the passion they have for me, to come down to Florida and, you know, just chatting with me and see if we could come to a common ground and both sides could see the right things. I think it was good, I got to know Woody a little bit more. That’s really the first time I actually sat in a conference room with him and just really got to know him, so it was a good deal. Me and Rex, we go way back, so it’s something where the love is there with me and Rex.”
When Revis approached the podium, he seemed mentally drained from the entire process, but more than anything he seemed relieved it was finally done and he could get back to doing what he does, and that’s play football.
Revis started the press conference with a message to his loved ones and an apology to Jet fans, “I just want thank everybody. My family, Mr. Johnson, Mr. Tannenbaum, Rex, and everybody who supported me. Sorry to the fans, this is a long process, it was rough on me. You know I’m a football player and I love to play the game and I’m happy it’s over with so I can go play football now.”
For all the NFL fans out there who wish they could be the GM of their favorite team, Ryan and Revis have a message for you, you don’t want the job. The whole process is something neither of them enjoyed and wouldn’t wish upon anyone.
During the middle of the negotiations the back-and-forth became too much for Ryan to handle and he said he threw a temper tantrum and walked out the door.
When asked about the temper tantrum Ryan said, “Yeah. I’ve had a bunch of them, as you guys know. I was just a little (like), ‘Come on.’ I wanted it to happen. Bruce (Speight, the Jets’ team spokesman) had a great saying, ‘(It’s) kind of like a boyfriend-girlfriend thing, but the parents won’t let you get together.’ That was kind of how I felt. He wanted to play. I wanted him to play, but for some reason, it wasn’t happening.” Ryan was later asked if he had a hard time remaining patient during the entire contract talk situation, Ryan said, “I would say that’s definitely not a strength, and this would be the last time I get involved ever. I think it’d be the last time I was ever invited.”
Revis was asked what the meeting was like and he said, “The crazy thing about negotiations, that’s the first time I’ve been in a negotiating room like that. You don’t want to be in one of those, both sides are scratching and fighting, they are just trying to do the right thing. Guys looking out for the organization and my agents and representatives are looking out for me. It was a little rough, I’ve never seen Rex like that… This process, I don’t wish it upon nobody.”
Revis made his first appearance towards the end of practice, after the media had left the practice field, but that doesn’t mean word of how his teammates welcomed didn’t get out to everyone in the complex. Rich Cimini, of ESPNNewyork.com, reported that Revis was welcomed back, by plenty of applause, some players bowing and even some players joking about the return of, “Revis Christ.” (http://tinyurl.com/2d684a3)
Revis explained he has been staying in the top physical shape he can be in, even though he admits game shape is a whole different story, but he is focused on bringing his best as soon as he steps on the field. Revis said mentally he is prepared and all caught up on his assignments for Baltimore.
When asked how much film on Raven’s receiver Anquan Boldin he has watched Revis said, “A lot. (Laughter.) I got my CDs before I left here so, you guys know me. I’m always trying to be the best and I’m always studying and do what I got to do, I always prepare myself.”
Jet fans can take solace in the fact that their savior is back. “Revis Christ,” has returned and there is no doubt the fans will be praying to him to lead this defense all the way to the Super Bowl.
Other Revis Quotes:
Kyle Wilson said, “We’re definitely happy he’s back. I’m not really sure how else to feel, but I’m definitely proud of him and glad to have him back.”
Antonio Cromartie – On what the presence of Revis means to him, “(Joking) (It means) it’ll be a whole lot easier. It’s going to be fun to have him on the left side. We feel like we have the best secondary in the NFL.”
When asked if the team’s expectations change with Revis back Cromartie said, “It doesn’t change. It’s always going to be the same. (We expect) to have the most wins at the end of the season. then you turn it up a little bit more for the playoffs.”
Jim Leonhard, when asked how much better the defense is with Revis, said, “It’s huge. One, you get him back and then just depth. All the rest of us who have been getting so many valuable reps in training camp, they’re back in the position where you kind of expect them to play this season. It’s going to be huge. We’re looking forward to it. We should be able to do a lot of things in the secondary.”
Woody Johnson had nothing but nice things to say about Revis today, but did manage to tell everyone about a shot he sent at Revis’ uncle Sean Gilbert. Johnson was asked if the Super Bowl was ever brought up in the discussions and said, “We talked about the hall-of-fame a little bit. How important it is to keep on the right track.” Johnson was then asked if he saw any reaction in Revis’ eyes when he brought up the hall-of-fame and Johnson said, “No, I was looking at Sean Gilbert at the time.” Gilbert might of won the contract battle he held out for, but he was never the same player after he sat the year out and this is obviously something Johnson was trying to get across to Revis and his uncle.
News involving other Jet players
Tony Richardson, who was cut the other day, is being brought back and will play in Monday night’s game.
To make room for Richardson and Revis the Jets waived rookie cornerback, you might remember the name as the guy who got hogtied to the goalpost in practice.
Safety Brodney Pool sat out practice again today, taking an easy day on the bike.
Tomorrow things should start to get back to normal around here and all the other details and hysterical sound bits will start to slowly leak out. So make sure to keep checking in with JetsInsider.com for all the latest Jets information.