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Rick Stroud, Greg Auman and Matt Baker

Revis will remain big part of Bucs defense under Smith



Bucs coach Lovie Smith plans to make good use of cornerback Darrelle Revis.

The notion that Revis won’t be a good fit for Smith’s defense is puzzling.

The last three years with the Chicago Bears, Smith played a lot of man-to-man coverage. The Tampa 2 is the foundation for everything the Bucs will do on defense, but it doesn’t mean Revis can’t be Revis.

Besides, when Revis is playing off the receiver, it will allow him to keep his eyes on the quarterback and create more interceptions.

The Bucs traded their first round pick in 2013 and what will become a third-rounder in 2014 if Revis remains with the team.  Is $16-million per year too rich to pay Revis when the team may not be Super Bowl-ready? Perhaps, but the deal can be re-structured to be made more salary cap friendly.

The Bucs didn't get the best of Revis last season as he was coming off a torn left ACL and did not have the benefit of an off-season or training camp. Even so, he played well enough to shut down many of the league's top receivers, was rarely challenged, produced two interceptions and a sack and was named to the Pro Bowl.

With another year for his knee to recover and a full off-season to train instead of rehab, 2014 should be even better for Revis.

Finally, Smith is a defensive coach who knows he will have to lean on that side of the ball until the offense, which was last in the NFL this year, restocks its talent.

"They have the chance to be the best defense in the division,'' said former Bucs and Colts coach Tony Dungy. "And with all the quarterbacks they face, I think that's important.''

But they will only be better with Revis.



[Last modified: Saturday, January 4, 2014 3:42pm]


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