A lot of folks are fascinated with the idea of All-Pro cover corner Darrelle Revis being matched up against mighty mite wideout DeSean Jackson in the upcoming game between the Eagles and Tampa Bay…
Personally, I'm more focused on the Bucs' big defensive tackle, the speedy-quick 6-4, 300-pound Gerald McCoy, who can literally dominate a line and take over the game at any given point of the contest. He played college football for the University of Oklahoma, and earned consensus All-American honors. McCoy was the third pick overall in the 2010 NFL Draft. This guy is so good, I don't see how the Eagles' center and guards can account for him on every play. Sooner or later, McCoy is going to break a guy down and make us pay…
But Gerald McCoy doesn't get the media attention he should, because most of it goes to Darrelle Revis.
And DeSean Jackson's duel with Tampa Bay cornerback Darrelle Revis, considered one of the league's top pass defenders, figures to be one of the more intriguing matchups during the Eagles' game against winless Tampa Bay.
"I'm sure he'll follow me," Jackson said Tuesday at the NovaCare Complex. "But I don't think he can run with me. I don't think he's as fast as me. I remember when I played against him two years ago (when Revis was with the New York Jets), he told me, 'You're too fast, man. Slow down."
Revis did a good job of containing Jackson in that 2011 game, however. Jackson caught just two passes for 28 yards in the Eagles 45-19 victory on Dec. 18 of that year.
Revis missed all of last season with the Jets after tearing an anterior cruciate ligament in the 2012 season-opener and was traded to the Buccaneers last April.
"He is still playing ball," Jackson said. "He's one of the best cornerbacks in the league. He has that elusiveness, plus he's alert and he's smart. He has intelligence and footwork. He's one of those guys who knows what he's doing. He's comfortable and confident playing press (coverage) or off the ball."
OC Pat Shurmur said on Wednesday that it's no secret the Eagles will be challenging Revis with DeSean Jackson. And Peanut isn't planning to be marooned on "Revis Island" on Sunday.
Although known primarily as a deep threat, Jackson showed his effectiveness in the red zone by catching a 6-yard TD pass from backup quarterback Nick Foles against the Giants. Count Shurmur among those who is looking forward to Jackson's contest with Revis.
"I really do believe that DeSean can be effective all the way up and down the field," Shurmur said. "A lot of DeSean's touchdowns come from outside (the red zone) because he's fast and he finds a way to get open."
"Revis is playing at a high level. And that reputation he has of being a shutdown corner, you know, you see that on tape now. I don't know if he's all the way back (from his knee injury), but he's playing at a very high level."
Jackson is off to a terrific start this season. He caught seven passes for 132 yards and a touchdown in Sunday's 36-21 victory over the New York Giants and now has 28 receptions for 525 yards – fourth-most in the NFL – with three TDs.
"Revis is a great player," Jackson said. "But I love facing guys who have the ability to go out there and be a shutdown corner. Anytime you have guys like that when you go into games, it gets the best out of you. You want to step your game up."
"Any guy trying to guard me one-on-one will definitely feel my speed and my ability to go deep down the field. I feel comfortable and confident regardles of who's guarding me."
Of course the only way to find out the potential of Jackson's ability to play against Revis may well boil down to keeping that big Gerald McCoy out of the Eagles backfield…
“I think that's the most challenging thing, that they have the no-huddle,” Bucs cornerback Darrelle Revis said. “We see it on film. … Sometimes the cameraman can't even get those guys on film because they've started the play.”
“It forces you to be on top of everything and be on top of your game plan,” Buc LB'er Mason Foster said of the no-huddle. “As far as changing anything, stick to your game plan and stick to your rules. You have to try to match their tempo and play at a high speed and try to get your call across the board and try to keep everyone on the same page.”
The Bucs have been pretty good this year on defense. They are 13th in yards allowed, ninth in rushing yards allowed per game and eighth in points allowed.
But DT Gerald McCoy said the players have to keep it simple and pay attention to their assignments or it could get out of hand.
“You've got to focus in on your assignments and what you've been told to do on that particular play,” McCoy said. “Just do your job. Don't try to do more. When you try to make a play, that's when they catch you off guard and hit those big passes or big runs.
“It's up-tempo,” he said. “You have to be ready for it. But I think how we prepare and how we train here, we'll be all right conditioning-wise. We have to ignore all the bells and whistles and focus on our keys.”