The coach knew exactly what he had in Revis during the cornerback's six seasons with the New York Jets. Contract squabbles poisoned the relationship between player and team, leading to Revis' trade to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last April.
Revis' name came up Friday as Ryan spoke to reporters from the inside of a New Era-branded ice cream truck on the corner of 39th and Broadway. (These are the kinds of things that only happen during Super Bowl week.)
Ryan was asked if he'd rather have Revis or Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman on his team. Ryan believes that Revis -- or the Revis who led the Jets' defense in 2009 and 2010 -- played the position at an unmatched level.
"I think when you look at it, Sherman's probably a guy that has played about as well as any corner in the league this year," Ryan said. "So that's great. But overall, I think the year that Revis had -- the first two years that I was here -- I don't think, not Richard Sherman or anybody -- can compare to the years Revis had."
"What we did with him. How we played defense -- put him on the No. 1 guy and locked him down and rolled our coverages, ran loaded zones away from him constantly. I'm not sure that's ever been duplicated."
This is not an oversell on Ryan's part. Revis was a remarkable weapon for the Jets before suffering his knee injury. Sherman has become the popular choice as the game's best corner, but a fully healthy Revis could change minds in 2014.