Ryan giddy over Revis, Cromartie pairing

March, 24, 2010
3/24/10
8:13
AM ET
ORLANDO, Fla. -- When he considers the possibilities cornerback tandem Darrelle Revis and Antonio Cromartie will provide, New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan imagines legendary greatness.

Revis
Revis
Cromartie
Cromartie
"It reminds me of when the Raiders had Hayes and Haynes, where it was just 'Lockdown and here we come,' " Ryan said, referring to sublime Los Angeles cornerbacks Lester Hayes and Mike Haynes.

Hayes went to five Pro Bowls. Haynes went to nine and is in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

That's a lofty comparison, especially considering Cromartie's past two years have been disappointing on the field and off. But Ryan is elated to partner up Cromartie with Revis.

Ryan spoke with reporters Tuesday at the NFL owners meetings in Orlando, where he held court for the first time since the Jets acquired Cromartie in a trade with the San Diego Chargers.

"He might have as much talent as any player I've ever been around at the corner position," Ryan said. "He's got everything. He's got the size, the height, the length, the speed, the recovery speed, probably as good ball skills as any corner I've been around."

OK, let's keep in mind Revis was an All-Pro last year and Ryan banged the drum for Revis to win the NFL's defensive player of the year award. Cromartie was an All-Pro in 2007, when he led the league with 10 interceptions.

"That's going to be a pretty lethal combination," Ryan said. "It's going to allow us to not just roll our coverage to one corner or another, which we had to do a lot last year. We're not going to let teams lock in on what we're doing defensively.

"From a matchup standpoint, this will be a tremendous advantage for us.

"You might know there's man coverage over there, but you've got to deal with nine guys coming at you. I think that might be a problem."

Ryan believes the Jets will provide the right organizational environment to help settle Cromartie's turbulent life. The Jets advanced him $500,000 from his contract to address various paternity issues. He has seven children in five states.

"I think it's probably pretty obvious to him now," Ryan said. "He had some maturing to do. He's a nice young man. Is he perfect? Probably not, but I don't think anybody is. That's just some issues off the field. It doesn't affect him as a football player.

"We're going to let him come out here and be himself and join his teammates. He was there the first day of offseason workouts. He's just happy to get a fresh start, meet his new teammates. He had a lot of success at San Diego. It’s going to be exciting.

"I think our whole team is excited about seeing Darrelle Revis and Cromartie out there."

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