FLORHAM PARK, N.J. (AP) — Sure, Tom Brady is great. So are Peyton Manning and Michael Vick.
But in Rex Ryan’s always humble opinion, they pale in comparison to Darrelle Revis.
“Quite honestly,” Ryan said Monday, “he’s the best player in football.”
Revis held Indianapolis’ Reggie Wayne to one catch for 1 yard Saturday night in New York’s 17-16 playoff victory, a performance that frustrated the Colts receiver and earned unsolicited praise from his coach.
“That tells you how good Darrelle Revis is,” Ryan said. “I know he’s probably not going to win the Defensive Player of the Year award, but the impact he has is amazing.”
Ryan lobbied hard last season for Revis to be selected as the league’s top defensive player after a season in which he shut down elite wide receivers week after week. Revis has been at it again this season, but lacks the gaudy numbers some cornerbacks have.
He also had some negative press as he missed all of training camp in a contract dispute, and sat out a few games while dealing with hamstring issues. But Revis was still selected for his third straight Pro Bowl despite having no interceptions.
He has said he has to fight boredom sometimes during games because of the lack of throws in his direction — including against Manning and the Colts. That’s even with Wayne leading the AFC and ranking second in the NFL with 111 catches.
“We were able to do some coverages during the game where we actually played man coverage strictly on his side regardless of who the receiver was and roll their coverage away from it,” Ryan said. “You only do that if you have Darrelle Revis. He’s an amazing once-in-a-lifetime player and we took advantage of him.”
The game against the Patriots at Foxborough on Sunday will probably be more of the same, whether he’s defending Deion Branch, Wes Welker or New England’s rookie tight ends Aaron Hernandez and Rob Gronkowski.
“When people see him over there, they don’t even throw to him,” Ryan said. “They realize that that guy isn’t open. I don’t care who the receiver is, he is not going to be open. We know that and we’ll try to take advantage of it again this week.”
Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.
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