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Revis on Beckham battle: It's preseason

While impressed with Beckham, Darrelle Revis isn't excited for the two's matchup Saturday night

FLORHAM PARK: New York Jets all-pro cornerback Darrelle Revis knows all about the phenomena that is Odell Beckham Jr.

He's watched the replays of "the catch," heck, he admits it's probably the best he's ever seen. He's looked at the stats, after all, those 91 receptions for 1,305 yards and 12 touchdowns in 12 games are impossible to overlook. 

Revis has even hung out with Mr. Popular himself. But as far as seeing Beckham on the field for the first time Saturday night, well, he doesn't care much about that. 

"It's a preseason game," Revis said. "This is for our team to get better. That's all I'm really focusing on." 

In just a few days, and for about three quarters, arguably the game's best cornerback will match up against the league's most up-and-coming star in the "Snoopy Bowl," the annual exhibition game between the New York Giants and Jets. With this the 'dress rehearsal' and most meaningful of the meaningless four 'practice games' leading up the season, Revis and Beckham should see an awful lot of each other. 

In the past, the Battle for New York has always had some sort of storyline surrounding it, despite the fact the game doesn't have any barring on the regular season. Former Jets coach Rex Ryan usually found a way to create a headline, a Giants player or two would comment and the back pages of papers would be filled with fun banter between the two sides. 

"It's kind of a cross-town rival. There's been more to the game, for both organizations," Revis said. "You're trying to see who's the best in the city. It's just something where this is, from a game standpoint, it's going to be a little more magnified towards a regular season game."

But with Rex now in Buffalo, and Todd Bowles as tight-lipped as Tom Coughlin, there hasn't been much talk in the days leading up to the game. In fact, just about the only talk heading in is how Beckham will match up against Revis.

Speaking to reporters on Wednesday, Beckham, who was placed on the cover of this year's Madden 16 video game, had nothing but kind words pertaining to Revis and spoke glowingly of the corner. 

"Why would you not want to go against the best in the league," Beckham said. "the Patrick Peterson's, the Richard Sherman's, Revis, the Joe Haden's. That's what you come here to do is put yourself in the best position possible to go against the best. 

"He's clearly one of the best. It should be a tough challenge, but I'm looking forward to just being able to go out there and compete." 

While Revis spoke highly of what Beckham did last year, he admitted he hasn't watched film of him or broken down his play. In fact, other than highlights, Saturday night will be the first time Revis sees Beckham in action. 

What Revis did comment on is how Beckham is going to need to step up his play in year two. While he was a relatively unknown a season ago, teams will now be game planning specifically to stop No. 13. Even leading up to their preseason game, the Jets had receivers Saalim Hakim and Walter Powell wearing practice jerseys with Beckham's number on them to prepare for him Saturday. 

"He's gotta step up to the challenge," Revis said. "He definitely is maybe a target for coaches to game play, or maybe slide the coverages over his way, or maybe a safety, or maybe a double team. The guy did awesome last year. This comes with it in years after. It's something that he has to work at. 

While Revis downplayed the two's upcoming battle, there's no denying his competitive nature will have him going when the two are on the field together. Will it be as heated as when the Jets and Giants face each other Week 13? 

No, but for a preseason battle, it's not too bad. 


Connor Hughes is the New York Jets beat writer for The Journal Inquirer and He can be reached on Twitter (@Connor_J_Hughes), or via email (

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