The Buccaneers are paying Darrelle Revis $16 million in her first season in Tampa but have yet to realize the benefits of his full skills set that have made him one of the NFL's elite cornerbacks. Revis explained during his weekly radio show on WDAE (620 AM) on Thursday that his reconstructed left knee has prevented him from playing more press man coverage in 2013.
Revis suffered the injury in September of 2012 while playing with the Jets. He was sidelined the remainder of last season before being traded to the Bucs for their first-round pick in the 2013 draft and a conditional third round pick next year. The winless Bucs made an investment -- six years, $96 million -- in the corner as a foundation to revitalizing their defense under coach Greg Schiano. But Revis has mostly been relegated to playing zone coverage through his first seven games because his entire leg has not totally recovered from the side effects of the knee injury.
“Earlier in the year, I didn’t have the explosion to play press; the receiver would just run the (vertical) 9-route on me and I didn’t have the stamina to do that play in and play out, especially playing press.
“I mean, you get physical up there playing press coverage and then actually just running. That’s running full speed — you and the receiver. I didn’t have that yet.
“I’m starting to get that back now, which is awesome because I like to be in receivers faces and try to put my hands on them and try to be physical with them.”
Revis said he began to play more press coverage last week against the Panthers and his trial against receiver Steve Smith helped build his confidence.
“I feel pretty good right now,’’ Revis said. “I had a conversation with (Bucs) Coach (Greg) Schiano a couple of weeks ago about strengthening my whole leg — the hamstring, the quad, my calf as well. Just strengthening it and getting that full explosion back is what we talked about. He presented it to (Bucs director of sport medicine) Todd (Toriscelli), and Todd has been doing a great job with me in the training room to get me back to where I have that explosion. “But yeah, I’ve been feeling pretty good. I felt good the Carolina game, and I feel good this week in practice. I just got to keep on chopping at the wood. Eventually, I will get there. I do feel pretty good now, but you never know.”