New York Jets coach Rex Ryan spent 10 seasons as a defensive assistant for the Baltimore Ravens, and during those 10 seasons he had two players — Ray Lewis and Ed Reed — who won the defensive player of the year award.
But Ryan says that this year, Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis deserves to win defensive player of the year — and he says Revis is having a greater impact than Lewis or Reed ever had.
“Of course, those guys deserve those awards, but I don’t think those guys even had the impact that Darrelle Revis has had on this football team,” Ryan said. “I think that’s why, I’ll get off my soapbox, he’s earned that award. It’s not right on my part to stand up here and not maybe try to sell that to the public. He’s earned this.”
The generally recognized favorite to win the 2009 defensive player of the year award is Packers cornerback Charles Woodson, and it was pointed out to Ryan that Woodson has more interceptions than Revis and is also a pass-rushing threat in the Packers’ defense. But Ryan said Woodson doesn’t compare to Revis as a pure shut-down corner.
“Yes, but Charles can’t go out on a corner like this guy can,” Ryan said. “He can move inside and he can blitz. Revis would be a great blitzer, but I’ve got the best cover guy in America sitting over here, so he’s going to be covering. He’s not blitzing.”
With the season in the home stretch, Revis is probably behind Woodson in the eyes of most defensive player of the year voters. But the Jets close out the year with a couple of big games against the Colts and Bengals.
If Revis shuts down Reggie Wayne and Chad Ochocinco, and the Jets win out and make the playoffs, Ryan may get his wish, and Revis may become the third of his players to win defensive player of the year.