Buccaneers general manager Mark Dominik created quite a stir when he hinted to ESPN's Sal Paolantonio about the possibility of All-Pro cornerback Darrelle Revis' availability for the Week 3 preseason game. Well Week 3 has arrived and Revis is still on most people's mind as nearly everyone at One Buc Place was asked about the four-time Pro Bowler, and if he will suit up against Miami.
“I don’t think he would want to play right now. He hasn’t done enough,” head coach Greg Schiano said after practice. “But that’s why these 11 practices are crucial. And he and I, every step of the way, we’ve locked the plan, evaluate it, lock it down again. And he’s right where we want him to be. And today I’m anxious to watch the tape and see how he played. But the goal is to up it little by little. Only with positive feedback afterward. We’re not going to push it. If I’ve said it once I’ve said it a thousand times. This is a long term relationship. It’s not at all costs to have him play in that first game. But that’s our plan.”
To have Revis ready by Week 1 of the regular season has been the original plan all along. But Schiano added that it's up to Revis and if he wants to play in any one of the final two preseason games.
"You know, if he wants to because he wants to do that, or if he wants to play in the Washington game for that matter, I’m fine with it, but I don’t need to see him do that,” Schiano said. “He actually has a season where he didn’t play in any preseason games for the jets when he was holding out and went and played. What we need to make sure is when we do get him back playing that it’s not full blow right out the gate because he hasn’t trained to do that so we’ll just have to be smart, but I think we’ve handled that well and just continue.
“So much of it is Darrelle's feedback to us. He lets us know how he feels and then we adjust accordingly. I can tell you there’s nobody in the world that wants to play as much as Darrelle Revis, I mean he wants to be out there and everything so we need to continue to get that information and then continue to execute the plan with that information.”
In the locker room, the media crowded Revis' locker as he was getting ready to speak. And when he did, he touched on the possibility of him playing Saturday. Although the seven-year veteran did not give any direct indication of him playing before the season, he did say it may be a gametime decision.
“It’s day by day and that’s how we have to approach it,” Revis said. “I felt really great today and hopefully, there’s been no swelling, and tomorrow it’s even better than that and progressing up to the game and we’ll see. If I do play, that will be a call on that day. I think that’s the game plan and I think that’s the way I have to do it.”
Revis tore his ACL in a September 23rd game last season against the Miami Dolphins. After officially being place on injured reserve on October 12, his recovery process began. But Revis never throught about playing against the team he tore his ACL against, until today. Much of the focus has been around Week 1 and lining up against his former team, the New York Jets.
“I never thought about that. It’s a great questions. It’s a nightmare you brought up,” Revis said as he chuckled. “You know what, if that’s the case that’s the case. I feel confident in my knee and so I just have to go out there and get my reps, if I do play against Miami.”
Revis' teammates have also rallied around like safety Dashon Goldson. The former San Francisco 49ers safety will be Tampa Bay's last line of defense while backing up Revis over the top in the Bucs defense. On Monday, he too was asked about Revis and how he looked. He talked about how good it was to have him out there practicing but at the same time keeping things in perspective.
“Better than what I thought he'd be, he showed some good things out there,” Goldson said. “It's good to have him out there and his presence on the football field. I think he's still getting better, he still has work to do. We're glad to have him out there.”
Goldson's assessment on Revis needing more work could go hand-in-hand with what the training and coaching staff feel Revis is at in this stage of his rehab. Whether he needs more work or not, the star cornerback is confident, and more confidence continues to build has he continues to put in work to be ready for the regular season.
“I’m confident. It’s day to day but I’m confident,” Revis said. “It’s still weeks’ away, but I’m confident and I still have time for my knee to get better and better, so I think that’s just how we have to approach it.”