The Tampa Bay Buccaneers didn't trade for Darrelle Revis to play him in the preseason. The initial thought process on how to handle the All-Pro cornerback was to ease him back into playing shape and have him ready for Week 1 of the regular season against his old team, the New York Jets.
PewterReport.com's Scott Reynolds wrote about the uncertainty surrounding Revis' readiness for the season opener in his most recent Fab 5 column after the four-time Pro Bowler said that the season opener was “too far” down the road to say whether or not he'll be ready. Reynolds emphasizes that Revis' importance for the first game of the season is not as important as having him ready for the other 15 games of 2013. But general manager Mark Dominik may have had other ideas.
Dominik told ESPN's Sal Paolantonio that the Bucs may want to get Revis on the field in Week 3 of preseason. Not Week 3 of the regular season. Next week.
While Dominik seems to be pushing the envelope on getting his newest defensive weapon on to the field as soon as possible, Revis made sure everyone knew that timetable may be too early.
“I’m going to still say it’s too soon,” Revis said. “I’m getting excited as well. I know Mark (Dominik) is and Coach (Greg) Schiano is as well, but it’s a process. It’s day-to-day. I did seven-on-seven (drills) yesterday, and it’s just (taking) precautions, but also just improving and trying to get back out there and be with my teammates.”
Revis has never gone into a season with as many question marks surrounding him as this offseason has brought him in his seven years. After tearing his ACL last September, he knew it would be a long and hard road to recovery. The Bucs training staff and front office has him on a schedule that has seen him progress with no setbacks. But while everything looks promising at the moment, he acknowledges that Dominik's words are based off of his work on the practice field to this point.
“The quotes that Mark (Dominik) said, it’s all predicated on my status every day, just going out here doing one-on-ones off to the side, just getting that pop back in my left leg and driving back to the ball on routes,” Revis said. “I think that’s the key and that’s where we’ve been seeing the improvement.”
Head coach Greg Schiano also touched on the subject Tuesday afternoon, but didn't seem to share Dominik's optimism on Revis playing in the preseason.
“That’s been the same conversation all along and I don’t know if he’s going to get any reps in the preseason,” Schiano said. “I think the reality is he is a veteran guy who knows what he can do – he’s coming off a knee injury, he’s never had that – so if we’re going to err at all, we’re going to err on the side of caution. He’s doing more and more, but you don’t want to put the cart before the horse on that thing. It’s just step by step. I’ve said, he doesn’t need to play in the preseason to play in the opening game, at least in my opinion.”
Both player and coach appear to be on the same page. That's not saying Dominik is being left out of the loop or he has his own plans for Revis, but Dominik's words were the team “may” want to get him out there. Basically implying to get him in a game to get a feel for it again.
However, Revis is a veteran and whether it is a coach, general manager, or an owner, a player knows his body best. He will slowly get more looks on the practice field and be involved in more drills — perhaps even contact drills in the coming weeks. For now, Revis remains hopeful and confident as the season gets closer and feels he'll be ready to go once his name is called.
“Yeah, I think I’ll be fine,” Revis said. “I think at the end of the day, you’ve got to go through the ACL process and the waiting and, ‘Hey, let’s do this; let’s do these drills; let’s do these exercises; let’s be patient; let’s not get on the field yet; let’s get on the field.’ I’ll be fine. Trust me, I’ll be fine.”