Buccaneers general manager Mark Domeink has told Peter King of SI.com that he’s “almost certain” that cornerback Darrelle Revis will be ready to for their season opener.
The headline of the Revis story, after a week of practicing, is this: Tampa Bay GM Mark Dominik tells me he is “almost certain’’ the new Bucs cornerback will play opening day against the Jets in New Jersey in five weeks. That’s not much of a surprise; the Bucs have been encouraged by his progress from major knee surgery last fall and thought when they traded for him that he’d be ready to play at the start of the season.
Revis doesn’t seem as optimistic.
“At this time,’’ Revis told King, “I can’t tell you. But it is my goal to be ready for the first game, and it’s coming along well.’’
It sounds like Revis is just trying to temper his emotions in case he’s not ready.
The great news is that as Revis continues to test out his knee, he hasn’t had any swelling.
Revis said he has had no swelling in the knee; has been able to test it consistently; and that it has responded well to his testing, torquing and quick-twitch movements. He’s been on a strict training, conditioning and practice program that Schiano refuses to vary even if Revis reports he’s feeling great—which he has done.
The Bucs are having Revis work with a receiver on the side to build his confidence.
Revis has been working against a camp receiver on the side, in both press coverage and off-coverage, running downfield and playing his physical style. “I don’t care how great a player you have been,’’ Schiano said. “Confidence is a funny thing. When you’re talking about a guy as good as Darrelle, you don’t think a guy needs to feel confident. But we just got [Pro Bowl guard] Carl Nicks back in live drills [from a serious 2012 toe injury], and he just stoned a defensive guy rushing hard. And you could see the weight of the world lifted off his shoulders. I mean, this is his livelihood. It’s the same with Darrelle. He needs to know he’ll be good when he gets into a game.”
Even though the Buccaneers haven’t decided whether Revis will play in a preseason game, it doesn’t sound like that will happen.
Schiano said he hasn’t decided whether Revis will play in a preseason game (it won’t be until the third game, at the earliest), but he sounded like he was leaning toward Revis not playing at all. “I don’t see playing in a preseason game as paramount,’’ Schiano said.
Revis seems confident that his knee will react well a month from now.
“Not really,’’ he said. “I’m very confident. Very. My mindset is, when they tell me I could cut, I figured it meant I could cut hard on it. I did, and it didn’t hurt and the knee didn’t swell. And I’ve been out there putting pressure on it and it hasn’t hurt. So I feel when I get out there, I’ll be confident I can do everything I need to.”
I get the feeling that Revis will be ready to got for the Bucs week one match up against the Jets.