FOXBOROUGH (AP) — Darrelle Revis didn’t divulge much when asked about his preference for facing a rookie quarterback.
New England’s shutdown cornerback officially is a Patriot.
“I can’t give you all of that,” the five-time Pro Bowler said with a laugh when questioned about potentially baiting Oakland rookie Derek Carr into a mistake or two Sunday when the Patriots (1-1) host the Raiders (0-2).
Chances are, though, Revis will do just that.
The eight-year veteran was acquired during the offseason to bolster a mediocre defense and already is making a major impact through just two weeks.
New England’s defense ranks near the top of the NFL in most major passing categories, leading the league in interceptions (five) and opponent’s completion percentage (54.4), while standing fourth in yards per game (166) and first downs (19) allowed.
Revis hauled in his first interception in a win over Minnesota last week, a pivotal play early in the second quarter that sparked New England to a 30-7 victory.
But it’s not only his on-field play that is providing a positive presence for the Patriots.
“He’s a great player, not just technique and what he knows about the opponent, but the knowledge of the overall game,” said safety and captain Devin McCourty. “I think he’s been able to be a leader for the corners, a guy to watch, and when you’re watching him, they understand he’s doing it the right way.
“Play in, play out, every down, he’s out there and he has great fundamentals, and I think that’s helped the team out a lot just being a role model and a leader for that group.”
Logan Ryan can attest to that. The second-year cornerback may be positioned opposite Revis on the field, but sits alongside him in the locker room. Ryan cited Revis’ desire to win every route as a foundation for his success.
“A five-time Pro Bowler and to still come out on a new team and feel like he has a lot to prove, a lot to learn, I think that carries over to everybody,” Ryan said.
Revis spent most of the season opener shadowing Miami speedster Mike Wallace, who ended up getting the better of Revis: seven catches for 81 yards and the tying touchdown that helped the Dolphins to a stunning win over the Patriots.
Seven days later, Minnesota receiver Greg Jennings was stranded on Revis Island. The nine-year veteran caught just one pass for 4 yards on four targets.
“That’s what they say when you go on the island,” McCourty said with a smile. “That’s what they say — not much happens over on the island.”
Now it’s Carr’s turn to test Revis, who likely will be matched up against James Jones.
In his first season in Oakland after spending seven in Green Bay, Jones broke out in a loss to the Houston Texans on Sunday, catching nine passes for 112 yards and a touchdown.
Revis is well aware of Jones’ playmaking ability. It’s Carr he doesn’t know much about.
He doesn’t seem to care, either.
“My main objective is just watching my guy,” Revis said. “Doing my job and watching my guy.”
So far, his job has made everybody’s else’s just a little bit easier.
“The first two weeks, we’ve been covering guys really good,” McCourty said. “I think as a safety, you understand that and you know what you can do. The two guys at corner are locking their guys up and you can play free and just read the quarterback and know you’ll be all right.”