Because he rarely needed any help, regardless of who he was covering, the area patrolled by CB Darrelle Revis in his prime came to be known as “Revis Island.” It was where receivers went if they wanted to feel abandoned, because quarterbacks often chose not to challenge Revis.
After Revis picked off 18 passes in his first five seasons (2007-11), returned three of them for touchdowns, made All-Pro three times and the Pro Bowl four times, quarterbacks and offensive play callers became even more reluctant to venture onto Revis Island. In the next four years (2012-15), with limited opportunities, Revis picked off “just” 10 more passes, but he earned three more Pro Bowl nods and another spot on the All-Pro team.
He played as a starting cornerback until the age of 42 – a total of 20 years with 54 interceptions, six of which he returned for touchdowns. Green began his career as arguably the fastest player in the NFL, and 20 years later was still in the discussion. He played his entire career with Washington and made seven Pro Bowls. He picked off six more passes in 18 playoff games and returned two for touchdowns.
Green played in all 16 games 15 times, including 11 times in his final 13 years and played in a total of 295 games, the most ever for a defensive player. As a freshman at Texas A&I, he ran a 10.08 100 meters, and on his 50th birthday he reportedly ran a 4.43-second 40-yard dash.
Critics contend that “Prime Time” never tackled anyone, but he rarely had to because he was so good in coverage. In 14 seasons, he intercepted 53 passes and returned them for a ridiculous 1,331 yards (fourth in league history) and nine touchdowns, an average of 25.1 yards per return.
He also returned one fumble for a TD, six punts and three kickoffs, for a total of 19 return touchdowns, which stood as the NFL record until Devin Hester eclipsed it. He made eight Pro Bowls and was first-team All-Pro six times in his first 11 seasons. Sanders also played 641 games in Major League Baseball and in 1989 became the only player to hit a home run and score a touchdown in the same week.
Blount excelled at utilizing the since-outlawed physical style of play on the Steelers teams of the 1970s that won four Super Bowls and he was a big reason why. Even after rules were changed to favor receivers, Blount remained an elite performer.
He intercepted 57 passes; at least one in each of his 14 seasons, and in 1994 was named to the NFL’s 75th Anniversary All-Time team. In 1975, when he was the NFL’s Defensive Player of the Year, Blount picked off 11 passes. He also had six interceptions in three different seasons.
In a 17-year career, Woodson intercepted 71 passes (third in NFL history) and brought back 12 of them for touchdowns, the most in NFL history. His 1,483 interception-return yards are second best of all time. He was a seven-time Pro Bowl pick, including six straight seasons, and a five-time first-team All-Pro as a cornerback.
After switching to safety, he made four more Pro Bowls at that position. He had at least three interceptions in 13 of 14 seasons, missing only in 1995 when he played just one game because of injury.