Rex Ryan Thinks Darrelle Revis Is Underappreciated

former writerCorrespondent IJanuary 12, 2010

Earlier today, Charles Woodson of the Green Bay Packers won the Defensive Player of the Year award with a 28-14 edge in the voting over another CB, the Jets' Darrelle Revis.

Woodson tied for a league high with nine interceptions for Green Bay, returning three for touchdowns. Revis had six interceptions for the Jets and one touchdown, but a league high 37 passes defensed.

Revis, already a two-time Pro Bowler in his third season out of Pitt, anchored the number one ranked defense in football, which was also first against the pass.

Revis showed versatility during the season by being able to follow each opposing team's number one wide receiver in multiple formations. As opposed to traditional cornerbacks, who tend to play either on the right or left side of the field almost exclusively, Revis stalked a specific playmaking WR each week, lining up anywhere in the formation including in the slot to cover him one-on-one.

Jets fans coined the phrase "Revis Island" to describe Revis's coverages that eliminated each team's best passing threat, and left the likes of Randy Moss (twice), Steve Smith, Andre Johnson, and everyone else pictured in the brilliant photograph above, feeling like they were trapped on an island.

Woodson backers would argue that the former Heisman winner out of Michigan was a more versatile defensive player than Revis due to the Packers defensive schemes that used him more as a hybrid jack-of-all-trades type player as opposed to the classic "shutdown corner" role that Revis has perfected this season.

Woodson's responsibilities were similar to a free safety's role than a traditional cover corner's role in Dom Capers' defense, which enabled the Packers star to rack up more tackles than Revis as well as two sacks.

So who had more of an impact among the top two candidates for the defensive player of the year award? More importantly, if we can even have this discussion, how did Woodson double the number of votes that Revis had?

Jets head coach Rex Ryan commended the voters who voted for Revis, and in classic Rex Ryan form, had some very strong words about the results of the voting.

"I would like to congratulate the people that voted for Darrelle Revis. These guys obviously really know the game. And you've got to look at all the numbers, not just a number about this, or this stat or that stat," Ryan said to the media Tuesday afternoon.

"A number I think is interesting would be eight. And no, that's not the amount of touchdown passes Green Bay gave up against Arizona. That is the number of touchdown passes we gave up all season. And the biggest reason for that is Darrelle Revis," said the rookie head coach.

"There's plenty of things to look at. We had the No. 1 defense in the National Football League, by 35 yards a game. We were No. 1 in scoring, basically 187 points is all the defense gave up all season. That might be a consideration for NFL Defensive Player of the Year," Ryan continued.

Ryan went on to say another bold statement that he has been known to make from time to time.

"For me, this is the best year a corner has ever had, the most impact a corner has ever had in the National Football League. That's my opinion. But apparently that wasn't the opinion of everybody who voted."

Saints safety Darren Sharper set an NFL record with 376 yards off of his nine interceptions and three touchdowns, identical numbers to Woodson. However, because Sharper's big plays were from the earlier weeks in the season, voters seemed to overlook the New Orleans star, who finished with just three votes, tied with Broncos LB Elvis Dumervil who led the league with 17 sacks.

As for the potential distraction this could have on the coach of the team that happens to still be playing this week, Ryan doesn't sound too concerned, and neither does Revis.

"That's good for him," Revis said when told that Woodson had won the award. "I actually voted for him. [Winning that award] wasn't on my list of goals. You just try to play the best you can. Just like [Coach Ryan] said, the guys who know real football, they know the type of season I had."

"Revis is going for different hardware right now, so we'll see," Ryan stated. "We'll feel a lot better if we can put a ring on our fingers."

So who really deserved to win the NFL Defensive Player of the year? Vote in the poll and discuss in the comments.

(For more Mets, Jets and Nets analysis, visit my personal blog, MetsJetsNetsBlog)