One Monday, exactly at noon, Buccaneers general manager Mark Dominik and head coach Greg Schiano walked into the media studio to introduce their latest acquisition, Darrelle Revis, to the Tampa Bay community. Both could hardly contain their smiles as their sat on either side of Revis and began talking about the process to add arguably the league’s most talented cornerback.
"Obviously a very exciting day and I’m very happy to be back in this room, I can tell you that in terms of a press conference of this magnitude for our organization,” Dominik said. “Again, this speaks to our ownership. Bryan Glazer is here in attendance. The Glazer family has once again stepped up to help us build the best team we can possibly be because we want to be back in the playoffs and be a contender and win championships.
“We had an opportunity that arose over the last several months I would say, and certainly came to fruition over the last couple of days as far as adding a premier defensive player in the league at a position of much need for our team, and bring a lot of character to our team, both through his leadership and his play.
"I’m very excited about having Darrelle Revis on this football team, being a member of our football team, being a member of our community and helping us win a lot of games."
Schiano was quick to heap praise on the Glazer ownership group and was also all smiles when talking about Revis.
“I too want to recognize the Glazer family and the commitment their making to our football team and continue to make to our football team,” Schiano said. “And I’d also like to recognize the great job that Mark Dominik did in patiently working through this process.
“Certainly Darrelle Revis is a player that is going to help our team immensely but it wasn’t easy and I saw Mark work through the frustration and be patient and get done what ultimately is best for our football team. And lastly, but not least, we’re thrilled to have Darrelle with us, not only as a player, who I view as the best defensive back in the game of football, but a tremendous person. And he’s going to be a great addition to our team and out community, and we’re all thrilled to have him.”
After the initial pres conference, Revis made his way over the media workroom for a more relaxed and casual sit down with the media. Revis was a mixed bag for 15 minutes. Funny at times, serious when talking about his goals, his engaging and humble personality really came through to those in attendance. Some of the New York writers who were down for the press conference, who have covered Revis for years, said that is Revis. An overall really good guy who is accessible to the media, but super competitive who despises losing.
In the casual sit down, Revis talked about the long process that led him to becoming a Buccaneers.
“I’m happy, I am happy,” Revis said. “It has been drug out for months, since January, since the season has been over. Especially at a hard time for me. I have never been injured, I have never had surgery. This was a big deal for me trying to keep my head straight, rehabbing and doing what I do.”
Revis was asked if he perhaps felt a bit of hurt by the Jets not trying to keep him and was also asked if feeling wanted by the Buccaneers made up for it.
“I guess today was the kind of the breakthrough,” Revis said. “Yesterday I walked around and a lot of the guys wasn’t here. I know a couple of the guys on the team, which is great. Also I tell you what when I walked in the weight room this morning and VJ (Vincent Jackson) and Donald Penn and the whole team started clapping."
Revis was laughing as he continued the story.
"So the first person I pointed out was D.P. (Penn) and said, ‘Yo, settle down! I gave him a handshake and I’m like ‘I didn’t know you talk and off the field… and VJ was like, yeah he is like this all day.’ You come to a pile on the field sometimes when you play Tampa in the past, and D.P. is running just his mouth. That was good to see, I think that was a breakthrough, to answer your question, for me to be welcomed by the players and teammates.”
Revis was asked how he felt to get that kind of welcome.
“I can’t even really put it into words,” Revis said. “The only think I can say is it shows how much people respect you and people look at you as a player. These are my peers. We scrap out there at practice, we eat together, you have that locker room camaraderie, so it’s good man. Like I said I know a couple of these guys… I know Josh (Freeman), I know V Jax (Vincent Jackson) I know Eric Wright, I know D.P. so the more I am here I will get to know people and build relationships and friendships with other people on the team.”
The conversation turned to the type of player Revis is and the goals he has set for himself.
“This is the reason why you play ball, to get that Lombardi trophy,” Revis said. “And hold it up and share that with your teammates. Getting that ring, getting that Lombardi that is what you want. That is why we play this game. So I experienced it(the playoffs) and we had some good runs up in New York. But through that experience, we were all on the same page. I mean from offense to defense to special teams everybody had one goal. And that is what we have to have here is the one goal. It is a different feeling, you are winning and playing well, and you get in the playoffs… once you get in the big dance it is right there. It is that close.”
Revis went onto to respond to a players question about how important winning is to him.
“I think you have to understand my background,” Revis said I came from a background where we won high school championships in Pennsylvania. Mike Ditka, Tony Dorsett, Ty Law, I’m about winning. That’s all it’s about.
“When I got drafted by New York I was on the phone with Mike Tannenbaum and I was like 'this is the best decision you made because I’m going to do everything I can for this team, in any way.' It’s sad to say that I’m not there anymore but I’m the same and I’ll have the same approach here.
“And it’s good to see Coach Schiano, we were always on opposite sides of the sideline so it’s good to be a part of his team. Dave Wannstedt, he was my old college coach and Jeff Hafley, he was there, too, so it’s good to see people that I know and not be fighting back and forth because I know coach Schiano, he’s a tough one and it’s good to be on his team.”
As the interview session was wrapping up one of the local reporters asked Revis about his nickname, Revis Island.
“I’m going to tell you the story. It was my second year, and it was Week 3 and we had a game and they asked me a question about somebody I was watching and I just said, I just feel like I’m on Revis Island out there," Revis said. "The next day in the paper it was everywhere and it kind of stuck and then I trademarked it. Everybody has their own fun with it. It’s just a fun name. What it really means is, any corner, you’re out there stuck on an island, one-on-one with a receiver and it’s not a good day usually for the receiver.”
Ira Kaufman from the Tribune jokingly followed up with “They aren’t getting off the island?
“Even if you get off my island, (Dashon) Goldson and (Mark) Barron are right there. You want to go across the middle and get tattooed, it is what it is.”– Gil Arcia contributed to this report
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