--Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis(notes) is still unhappy about his contract situation, and at least one analyst, thinks that Revis should pipe down. In a recent Insider piece, Football Scientist KC Joyner said that while Revis is the best cornerback in the NFL, he also benefits from Rex Ryan's defensive schemes. Joyner cites the numbers put up by Dwight Lowery(notes) and Lito Sheppard(notes) in the same system as proof. While I respect Joyner's work, I think he's way off-base here. It isn't just Ryan's scheme that is helping Revis' fellow defenders; it's also Revis' own ability to shut down one side of the field with his great range and allow those other guys to play shorter zones. Joyner points out that "In the three years before joining Ryan's defense, Sheppard posted YPA (yards per attempt) marks of 13.0 (2008), 8.1 (2007) and 8.2 (2006)." He posted a YPA of 6.0 in 2009, according to Joyner's stats. However, it's also important to note that according to Football Outsiders' numbers, the Jets allowed 4.1 YPA to #1 receivers (the ones Revis was covering by himself most of the time) in 2009; by far the best mark in the NFL and almost half the league average of 8.0 YPA. Like any truly great player, Revis affects the performance of everyone around him. Witness Revis' Week 11 performance against Randy Moss(notes), where Moss caught five passes for 34 yards, and Wes Welker(notes) grabbed 15 catches for 192 yards on the rest of New York's defense - the best day Welker's ever had.
--Ben Roethlisberger(notes) blames his recent legal travails on his own immaturity, but according to Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk, he's not quite ready to shut down the stuff that has landed him in trouble in the past. Florio interprets these comments to mean that Roethlisberger may find himself in similar circumstances, and I agree:
"Moving forward you have to make sure you make right decisions, and that right decision is going to have to be something I'll have to make when the situation presents itself, how the situation presents itself," Roethlisberger said during his recent interview. "You can't stop living, but you gotta live smarter."
We'll see how this goes, but the general consensus about Roethlisberger seems to be that he's dodged many bullets, and won't learn his lesson until he's truly held accountable for what he does off the field. And as much as I'd like to disagree with that notion, I can't. So far, his motivation to get things right has been minimal; there's simply the nebulous promise that the penalty will be worse if he ever does what he evidently didn't do (at least, according to one prosecutor) again. He's making bargains with a world he sees as an easy mark. So far, he's been right about that.
- Brad Childress