"Quite honestly," the New York Jets coach 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 wild-card playoff victory, a performance that frustrated the Colts wide 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 NFL'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 he lacks the gaudy numbers some cornerbacks have.
Revis also received some negative press as he missed all of training camp in a contract dispute, and he sat out a few games while dealing with hamstring issues. But Revis was still selected for his third consecutive Pro Bowl despite having no interceptions.
Revis has said he fights 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 in Foxborough on Sunday probably will be more of the same, whether Revis is 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 by The Associated Press