The rehab and recovery of Darelle Revis from an ACL injury will be on display Tuesday night as part of the NFL Network series A Football Life. NFL Network Chief Correspondent Andrea Kremer, who was with Revis over the last several months, spoke to PewterReport.com about the series and gave insight on what the process was like.
Through all of the rumors, reports, and the disappointing 0-2 start to the season for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the arrival and difference cornerback Darrelle Revis has made has been somewhat pushed to the back burner.
What was one of the biggest story lines of the offseason – the trade of Revis from the Jets to the Bucs – has been lost in the shuffle to a degree.
But for those who are looking for a diversion from the drama, the two-time Emmy-nominated NFL Network series A Football Life
will be something Bucs fans will want to set their DVR up to record as Darrelle Revis: A Football Life
debuts Tuesday at 9:00 PM ET.
This installment of the popular series offers an inside look at the ordeal of a football star who had to relearn the skills that once made him a standout player.
NFL Network’s chief correspondent for player health and safety Andrea Kremer, who was granted exclusive access to be with Revis throughout the recovery, spoke to PewterReport.com on Monday about how the idea came about.
“About a year ago I sat in an idea meeting at the NFL Network and I threw out, ‘What if there is a player the caliber of an Adrian Peterson who suffers a season-ending injury, why don’t we see if we can document that,'” Kremer said. “Everyone kind of looked at me like I had four heads, and then Revis gets injured. I subscribe to the philosophy to ask (for things) and the worst thing is someone can say is no, so I reached out to his representatives. I knew Darrelle, I had worked with him some over the years, I didn’t have a close relationship with him, but I knew his agents fairly well and we just started talking. I said if we do this, we need to do it the right way, and do it before the surgery. We really have to be able to document the whole thing.
“I don’t think anybody knew what it was going to be. How was it going to work out? I think that it certainly turned out to be quite an investment time wise into chronicling what it has been like for him – not just recovering from his first ever injury – but at the lowest part of your career, having a team give up on you. And while he put on a good face for that it is not easy. There are a lot of unknowns and pressure that (makes) you want to come back, and (be) better than ever. And it really turned out to be arguably the top story line of the offseason.”
Kremer, who also is a correspondent for HBO’s Real Sports With Bryant Gumbel, was impressed with how humble Revis actually is, despite the way he has been portrayed by some over the years.
“This is not something he sought out, if anything he probably would have preferred not to do because it is just not his personality,” Kremer said. “I remember the first time we were going to shoot at the Buccaneers (facility) and the organization had given us carte blanche to go in the training room and all that. And I knew, without even asking, that we would have to go in there in a day when whole team wasn’t going to be there. Because he just isn’t comfortable with that. He isn’t comfortable with all the attention. He is a very, very private person an I think the attention that he wants is as part of the team, not separating himself in any way.
"I can tell you this in talking to some of his teammates, I don’t want to go as far as to say they are in awe of him, but well Johnthan Banks, we could say that about him (laughs). You forget, and I told him this, you forget you are Darrelle Revis and a lot of these kids grew up or were in college and watching you are now on the same field with you. So to his credit he doesn’t have an ego like that.”
Kremer was with Revis at the Week 6 game between the Jets and Indianapolis Colts when he returned to MetLife Stadium as a spectator; in the hospital as he went into surgery; as he rehabbed at the Jets facility, in Arizona and in Tampa; with his family in Aliquippa, Pennsylvania; and on September 8, 2013 when Revis and the Buccaneers opened the 2013 season against his former team, the Jets, at MetLife Stadium. Kremer said while the hour-long feature is about Revis himself, there was another person who made an impact on her during the nearly-year long process of putting it together.
“To me the star of the show is his mother, you can see where he gets his toughness from, and where he gets his drive from, no doubt.,” Kremer told PewterReport.com. “She does have a bigger personality publicly than he does. I will say this – she brought him up right. He is respectful. He is just a very, very good person and that comes from her. There is no question about it. Everybody, all the different producers I would bring in, the different crews, all walked away saying the same thing, he is polite, he is respectful. And you know, you think of those things as a given, but as we know, especially for professional athletes that isn’t the case.
“And you don’t get awards for that sort of thing, but believe me when you work as many times as we have worked together, it is very much appreciated.”
Kremer said one of the things that came through during her time with Revis, despite the most often present smile on his face, was the human element that many forget exists with professional athletes. From the uncertainty of the injury, the messy divorce from the Jets, to the unknown of where his next stop would be, fans will get to see a side of a professional athlete rarely seen.
“Look he is always trying to say the right thing, they (NFL players) all understand it is a business,” Kremer said. “They all say it and understand it but the thing you take away from this, and you see it when we are in the hospital with him, and he is in the hospital and he is wearing that nasty little shower cap that you have to have on when you go into surgery – you know what? He is not Darrelle Revis the multi-millionaire, he is not Darrelle Revis Pro Bowler or All-Pro, or first round draft pick. He is just like anyone else. He is venerable just like anyone else. And that’s what people have to remember about this whole thing. They are venerable. And the idea that you have had the first major injury of your career and the team gives up on you for whatever reason ... yeah that is not for the faint of heart. To come to a place where he is clearly wanted is something that gave him even additional motivation.”Additional Programming Note:
New this season, A Football Life: Backstory airs following each episode at 10:00 PM ET on NFL Network, hosted by Jenn Brown and Dave Dameshek. The 30-minute show provides a deeper look into the lives and story of each subject, features interviews with relevant individuals, and includes material that did not make the final edition of each A Football Life episode.
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