Jets' Ryan, Revis clear the air
As expected, Ryan met Tuesday night with Revis to discuss his highly publicized mini-protest Monday at minicamp. Ryan told ESPNNewYork.com on Wednesday morning that he's satisfied with Revis' explanation on why he sat out a few plays at the end of the morning practice.
Ryan, in a phone interview, called it "a great talk. It's funny because, when it's a football thing, we definitely see eye to eye. He knows what I expect of him and vice versa. We definitely see eye to eye."
Later, addressing the media after a minicamp practice at the new Meadowlands stadium, Ryan said he told Revis that he's counting on him to be a team leader.
The great thing is, he never has to apologize to me. Just go out, be yourself and that will be good enough for me.” -- Rex Ryan on Darrelle Revis
Revis created a firestorm by telling reporters that he asked out of practice as a way to make a statement about being unhappy with stalled contract negotiations. He also said he was light-headed, insisting that, too, was a factor.
Ryan was somewhat evasive when asked if Revis mentioned the contract situation as a reason for sitting out.
"He told me the same thing, that he was light-headed," Ryan said of the one-hour meeting. "That was not an exaggeration. The other part of it was, he definitely ... That's not who he is. He's a leader. Nobody works harder than Revis, with the exception of Mark Sanchez. That's who he is. That's what we talked about.
"The great thing is, he never has to apologize to me. Just go out, be yourself and that will be good enough for me."
Revis echoed Ryan's sentiment, calling it a "great conversation. We wanted to get on the same page. We got a little off-page and I skipped a couple of chapters in the book."
Curiously, Revis said they didn't talk directly about Monday's incident, but he added, "He wanted to make sure I wasn't doing anything out of character."
Ryan touched on the controversy after practice, saying, "For him, that's out of character and we spoke about those things."
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Revis, perhaps unwittingly, put his coach in a difficult spot Monday. Ryan found out from reporters about the protest. Some within the organization were upset that it went down that way.
Revis suggested that he told secondary coach Dennis Thurman, but Thurman told ESPNNewYork.com Tuesday that Revis never mentioned anything about the sit-out being contract-related.
"I actually said, 'Is this legitimate?'" Thurman said. "He goes, 'Yeah.' Any statement he might have been trying to make, he wasn't making it as far as I was concerned. If he had another agenda, you'll have to ask him. To me, there was nothing behind it."
The two sides are trying to renegotiate Revis' contract, which has three years remaining, but they're far apart. Revis wants to be the highest-paid cornerback in the league, seeking at least $16 million a year. The Jets are believed to be offering about $10 million per year, but with no guaranteed money, sources said. Revis called that an "insult."
The fans seem to be on Revis' side -- at least based on the reaction from the announced crowd of 12,000 at the new $1.6 billion stadium. Whenever he appeared on the giant video screen, the fans cheered.
Rich Cimini covers the Jets for ESPNNewYork.com.
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