By Tom Krasniqi (Twitter: @TKras)
The team’s biggest offseason acquisition was once again on display during Monday’s training camp practice at One Buc Place. Darrelle Revis is continuing his rehab from ACL surgery and the Bucs are taking it slow. Real slow. And they should, considering he’s their $96-million dollar man.
Revis was spotted shadowing receivers with backup quarterback Adam Weber throwing in his direction. He even fell to the ground a couple of times. Another step in the “plan” as the Bucs try and get him ready for the season opener against the Jets on September 8th. “The phase we’re in right now, I’m doing 1-on-1s with a couple of the receivers,” Revis told the media gathering after Monday’s practice. “I’m just getting back into it. I did some DB drills today.”
The Bucs are trying to decide if Revis will play, if at all, during the preseason. He definitely won’t play Thursday night’s opener at home against the Ravens. But the big question everyone wants to know is this: Will Revis be ready to face his former team on Opening Day at the Meadowlands? “I think that’s too far down the road,” Revis said. “Right now, we’re just trying to go day by day. That is the goal. We talked about that….. I want to be there. First day, first game and be out there, ready to go with my teammates.” It doesn’t sound like it’s a slam dunk that Revis will ready for Week 1.
The good news is that Revis says his knee feels good. “No swelling after practices,” said Revis. The Bucs aren’t taking any chances with their star cornerback. The plan is to progressively increase his workload with an eye towards the season opener. Bucs head coach Greg Schiano remains confident that Revis will be ready for the Jets: "I do. Yeah, I do".
It hasn’t taken long for Revis to acclimate himself to the defensive philosophy. According to Revis, Rex Ryan’s defense is not all that different from Schiano’s defensive scheme. “It’s the same stuff we do,” Revis said. “I’m actually excited about that…. it’s not totally out of left field where I gotta struggle to get into the defense.” The philosophy is the same: Press man on the outside and bringing plenty of pressure up front in the form of stunts and blitzes. Schiano is not sure if Revis will be ready to shadow the opposition’s top receiving threat from the opening snap. “Who knows, I don’t know if that will be [the case] on Opening Day if he’s ready to do that or if he’ll be ready to be a regular player. But certainly, as he’s ready, we’ll be ready,” said Schiano on Monday.
In New York, the Jets asked Revis to lock down the opposing team’s #1 wideout. The Bucs want Revis to do the same and he’s just fine with that. “We had numerous talks about that, me and coach Schiano,” says Revis. “I think that’s the plan. He’s very open to it and that’s what we’re going to do…..Me following the top receiver will help the defense a lot”. That’s how Revis got his nickname: Revis Island. The Bucs hope the likes of Roddy White, Julio Jones and Steve Smith get stranded there.
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