Absent Revis has role in 'Hard Knocks'

Updated: August 12, 2010, 1:04 AM ET
By Rich Cimini | ESPNNewYork.com

CORTLAND, N.Y. -- In the debut episode of "Hard Knocks," aired Wednesday night on HBO, New York Jets general manager Mike Tannenbaum paints a grim picture of the Darrelle Revis negotiations, wondering aloud if it's time to "move on" without him in 2010.

The Revis storyline is weaved throughout the episode, but the most telling scene occurs in Tannenbaum's Lexus as he and assistant Ari Nissim are driving back from their secret, three-hour meeting last Friday with Revis' agents in Roscoe, N.Y. -- two hours from training camp.

"They haven't said one thing I agree with at all," an exasperated Tannenbaum tells Nissim, a backseat camera recording the entire conversation. "You know what's so funny? We're so freakin' far apart that I feel like a failure. Six months later, we haven't moved the needle. I just don't get it. We've tried everything.

"God, I wish I had another card to play here. ... In good conscience, we can move on. We can go trade for a corner. ... In good conscience, why don't we move on and try again next year?"

That Tannenbaum mentioned a potential trade is a new twist to the Revis soap opera, an 11-day holdout. The Jets are high on Antonio Cromartie and No. 1 pick Kyle Wilson, but they evidently feel they will need a reinforcement if Revis doesn't sign by the regular season.

The show's producers wanted to film the actual negotiating session, which occurred at the Roscoe Diner, but Revis' agents declined. Instead, they showed before and after conversations with Tannenbaum and Nissim.

Of course, only the naive would believe that Tannenbaum isn't posturing for the cameras, knowing Revis' agents will be hanging on every word. In an earlier scene, Tannenbaum, Rex Ryan and owner Woody Johnson are eating lunch on a patio outside Ryan's training-camp office, and the head coach tells his two superiors, "We will not be bullied by anybody. ... Nobody. Nope. Not in our DNA."

There are a couple of light moments regarding Revis' absence. On the first night of camp, Ryan tours the players' dorm during bed check and, talking to no one in particular, says "Revis, where are you? Come on, Revis. Come on home."

In the team meeting on the first night of camp, Ryan mentions Revis in his address to the team.

"Hey, guys, we don't have Revis in this building right now," Ryan tells the players. "Does it matter that Revis is not here? Goddamn, he's pretty [expletive] good. He's pretty good, OK? But you know what guys? It isn't about one guy."

The rest of the show highlights Ryan's charismatic personality (and his penchant for cursing), along with Bart Scott, Kris Jenkins, Mark Sanchez, the high-profile additions and the compelling competition at fullback between Tony Richardson, Jason Davis and rookie John Conner.

Jets legend Joe Namath is featured on the day he visited camp, and he detects a flaw in Sanchez's game -- the way he cups his hands behind center. Sanchez fumbled a couple of times on a rainy day, so in a quarterbacks meeting, Namath explains the technique he used.

It wouldn't have been a Jets show without some Ryan bravado, and that comes at the top. In the team meeting, he tells the players they have one goal and "that's to win a Super Bowl. ... If we play our best, we'll beat every team in this [expletive] league at their best."

Rich Cimini covers the Jets for ESPNNewYork.com. Follow him on Twitter.

Rich Cimini

ESPN New York Jets reporter

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