NO OTHER rookie gets picked on more than a cornerback, who can be made to look like a stooge by veteran receivers. Thrust into the role of starting left corner for New York, which drafted him at No. 14 out of Pitt, the 5'11", 204-pound Revis has had some daunting assignments in his first five NFL games—and like most top rookies, has shown flashes of brilliance (he's tied for the team lead in tackles, with 33) along with the occasional lapse.
While the most notable receiver he has been matched up with was the Patriots' Randy Moss in the season opener, Revis says the trickiest cover for him has been Amani Toomer, the Giants' 12-year vet. When the two first met in the preseason, Revis, 22, learned the dangers of overzealous film study. He had watched tape of Toomer and saw that "usually, coming off the press, he tries to juke you, juke you, juke you—and then tries to get around you." Revis was ready for it, but then.... "One play, he acted like he was going to juke me and stopped and took a wide release to the outside [en route to a completion]."
There was no fooling Revis in the rematch on Sunday. He held Toomer without a reception in a 35--24 loss to the Giants, and his textbook slot defense on Toomer late in the second quarter contributed to a Jonathan Vilma interception that set up a Jets field goal. And the Toomer route that made Revis look so bad the first time around? "He didn't do it today," said Revis, with a relieved chuckle. "But I was waiting for it."