Wilson has tough task of replacing Revis for Jets
FLORHAM PARK, N.J. (AP) — The New York Jets were 30,000 feet in the air, flying back home from Miami and already planning for their biggest fear.
How in the world are they going to replace Darrelle Revis?
Revis is likely gone for the season with a knee injury sustained against the Dolphins on Sunday, and Kyle Wilson has the tough — and unenviable — task of taking over for the All-Pro cornerback.
"You're trying to enjoy the win, but at the same time, you can't enjoy it too much, knowing that your best player has suffered a significant injury," defensive coordinator Mike Pettine said. "As coaches, you're always in the world of assume the worst and hope for the best."
Their assumptions were right as an MRI exam Monday morning revealed a torn anterior cruciate ligament in Revis' left knee. While the Jets haven't yet placed him on season-ending injured reserve, the general feeling is that they'll have to try to get to the playoffs without Revis.
"That's the world in the NFL," Pettine said. "There's no sympathy cards in the mail, and every week's a short one other than your bye. We needed to move on and that's the approach that we took."
Wilson, the team's first-round pick in 2010, will start Sunday against San Francisco and the 49ers' tough trio of wide receivers in Michael Crabtree, Mario Manningham and Randy Moss. The Jets don't need Wilson to be great, just solid — as they've expected him to be since they drafted him.
"There's nobody that can just step in and replace Darrelle Revis," Pettine said. "We're not foolish enough to think we can just continue to do what we've been doing. But we have some pretty good players in that room as well. I think a lot of people take the knee-jerk reaction of, 'Well, the sky's falling and they lost their best player.'"
Not the Jets, though. And certainly not Wilson, who has been working toward this moment for two-plus seasons.
"That just goes into your preparation each week," Wilson said. "Either you're prepared or you're not. I looked at myself as more capable and well-prepared every week to do that and be in that position. I'm not going to look at it any different. Obviously, it's a nice opportunity and I'm definitely going to do everything I can, but I'm not going to change anything I've been working on."
Wilson has become close to Revis over the years as the two work out in the offseason together, and also have neighboring lockers. So his response was a bit curious when asked what his first reaction was when he heard of the severity of Revis' injury.
"I was just thinking that we had work the next day and it was the usual day after a game where you correct everything from the game," Wilson said. "I didn't really think too much about it."
It's not a slight to Revis in any way. Rather, he's taking his promotion in stride as his buddy begins the rehab process.
"I don't want to make too much of it," Wilson said. "I'm just going to continue to do the things I've been doing. They've worked well for me so far. I mean, I'm just looking to get better. It's been the same every week."
From all accounts, Wilson has improved steadily since coming to the Jets as a raw but talented rookie out of Boise State, where he was a huge star and big-time playmaker. Fans and media have been waiting to see some of that on a consistent basis.
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