FLORHAM PARK, N.J. - Revis Island has Rex Ryan feeling a little queasy.
When the Jets play at New England Thursdaynight, Ryan will come face to face with his worst nightmare: Darrelle Revis in a Patriots uniform.
"A little sick to my stomach,'' Ryan said of seeing the cornerback he loves so much wearing enemy colors. "I thought it was really weird last year when you saw him opening day . I don't know how I'll react when I see him over there.''
With Revis, a 2007 first-round pick, Ryan was able to blanket one side of the field while dialing up an array of exotic looks. With Revis in his arsenal, he could be as boisterous and boastful about his defense as he wanted. But after six years as the face of the Jets' defense, Revis was traded to the Bucs in 2013 for two picks that general manager John Idzik used to draft Sheldon Richardson that same year and Jalen Saunders (who has since been released) this past May.
The Jets had an opportunity to re-sign Revis as a free agent during the offseason after the Bucs released him. But despite the team's glaring cornerback needs, Idzik and owner Woody Johnson weren't interested.
During the four seasons when Revis was on his roster, Ryan made sure the football world knew he had the best cornerback in the game. But on Tuesday, Ryan danced around the question of whether he wanted his front office to re-sign Revis.
"Oh man, I'll tell you what. I'm not going to go there,'' Ryan said with a smile. "Let's just focus on the team right in front of us. The guy's an excellent player. He plays on somebody else's team.''
So is Revis still the No. 1 cornerback?
"If I say something, then I'm going to get ripped,'' Ryan said in an attempt to duck the question. "Richard Sherman is going to attack me or something. I haven't seen everybody, but the ones I see, yeah, I would think so.''
If there's anyone who knows how dangerous a weapon Revis is, it's Ryan. So don't expect Ryan to test him too often, especially under the bright lights of a nationally televised game.
In other words: the Revis Rules will be in effect, Ryan joked.
"No, we will see,'' he said. "Like anybody else, not too many [passes] are going in his direction.''
Jeremy Kerley, who played two seasons with Revis, has been sharing tidbits on his former teammate with fellow receivers Eric Decker and David Nelson. But even with all that intel, the Jets' receivers easily could get stranded on Revis Island if they're not careful.
"He is one of the best, if not the best,'' said Decker, who is preparing for a physical, one-on-one matchup.
Despite the ACL tear Revis suffered in 2012, Nelson said: "They call it Revis Island, and it's still Revis Island.'' But Nelson still is optimistic that the Jets can have success against him.
"It's going to be fun,'' said Nelson, who played three seasons in Buffalo before joining the Jets last year. "My second year in the league, [Bills receiver] Stevie Johnson had over 100 yards against him, so I've seen guys have success against him.
"I still believe he's the best corner in the game, and it's going to be a good challenge for us.''