No Darrelle Revis in OTAs, but Bucs' star still prepping for 2013
This likely comes as no shocker, but when the Bucs ramp up their offseason next week with the start of offseason team activities, you will not see this offseason’s most widely-discussed NFL player.
Cornerback Darrelle Revis, who arrived via that blockbuster trade with the Jets last month, won’t participate in OTA practices. He’ll instead continue to work with Tampa Bay rehab personnel, working to get his surgically-repaired left knee back to 100 percent.
Considering how heavily the Bucs are expected to lean on Revis this season, his absence during offseason practices raises questions about how seamlessly he can be integrated with his new team. Essentially, the man who is expected to be the most vital member of the defense won’t join his teammates on the field until the first day of training camp, at the earliest.
But this isn’t as much of a problem as you might think.
For starters, the fact that Revis has been consistently in Tampa and at One Buc Place does more than simply give the medical staff daily access to him; it also provides coaches an opportunity to work with him frequently. That work, for now, will be confined to the meeting room, but when it comes to learning the principles of the Bucs’ defense, this can be invaluable.
Revis is one of the more cerebral players in the NFL, and he’ll gain plenty from those meetings with coaches. He’ll be as prepared as one can possibly be once he finally does make his on-field debut.
The other thing that mitigates Revis’ missed time this offseason is the fact the Bucs are going to tailor much of their defensive tactics to his strengths. This, theoretically, will make integrating Revis into the defense easier.
Revis will often be solely responsible for an opponent's top receiver. While that’s no easy task, it’s not particularly sophisticated. He’s going to be locked in many one-on-one battles, something you would expect from an elite, shutdown cornerback.
There will be adjustments to be made elsewhere in the secondary and for other members of the defense, but Revis’ role is going to be pretty clear much of the time. Former NFL cornerback and current NFL.com analyst Bucky Brooks touches on some of this in this story.
The Bucs aren’t going to rush Revis back into action because a) he’s not ready and b) they aren’t going to take unnecessary risks given the huge investment.
But as you can see, that doesn’t mean Revis won’t be up to speed when his knee is ready for action.