FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- Rex Ryan went through a lengthy explanation of why he isn't about to come right out and say he's going to put his All-Pro cornerback on the Patriots' All-World wide receiver Sunday.
With Wes Welker putting up some ridiculous numbers, bringing his league-leading 40 receptions and 616 receiving yards into the AFC East contest between the Jets and Patriots at Gillette Stadium, it seems natural that the Jets would have Darrelle Revis shadow him. But Ryan was coy, refusing to shed much light on a matchup that has many eager to see if it indeed occurs for the entire game.
"You do a lot of things schematically, so sometimes you will take that approach -- put him on the best," Ryan said. "Sometimes we'll play him on the right, on the left. We look at all those type of matchups, but we don't play just one coverage. If we were playing straight man coverage or something like that, then maybe we would."
Finally, Ryan offered up: "I'm sure Darrelle will have an opportunity to cover him."
That would pose a different challenge for Revis, who typically lines up on the outside. The 5-9, 185-pound Welker sees most of his snaps in the slot, creating a different dynamic between him and quarterback Tom Brady and making him difficult to cover because he can break his route a myriad of ways.
"He's tough in the slot," Revis said. "He's probably the toughest receiver to cover in the slot. Usually, there's a nickel back on him or a dime back on him and he reads them very well. He breaks away from your leverage. If you're inside, he's breaking outside. If you're outside, he's breaking inside. He does a great job of that.
"When you watch him and Tom play, it's like, 'If I break this way, throw it outside; if I break that way, throw it inside, away from the defender.' You always see him catching the ball away from defenders."
Welker, who burned the Jets for 15 receptions for 192 yards in the Patriots' victory in November 2009, is on pace for 160 catches, which would break Marvin Harrison's single-season record of 143 set in 2002. He's also on track to rack up more than 2,400 receiving yards, which would shatter Jerry Rice's 1995 mark of 1,848.
But Jets defensive coordinator Mike Pettine knows the Pats have more than just Welker.
"I think there are too many other weapons," Pettine said. "Yes, we'd like to hold Welker to [a] number, but at what cost would it come?"
Notes & quotes:C Nick Mangold (ankle) is listed as questionable, but he said Friday that he expects to play . . . The NFL fined Ravens nose tackle Haloti Ngata $15,000 for leading with his helmet on a hit to Mark Sanchez's back that caused a fumble returned for a TD last Sunday.