TAMPA — For the past few months since being traded to the Buccaneers, Darrelle Revis has been lying in the weeds, baiting NFL quarterbacks into thinking maybe he could be beaten. Maybe his recovery from a torn ACL would take longer than expected and he wouldn't be ready for the regular season opener against the Jets, his former team.
But Monday, Revis stuck his foot in the ground and made a break on the rest of his career.
Calling it a "huge step,'' Revis participated in full-speed team activities during practice and said he is confident he will be ready for Week 1 at MetLife Stadium on Sept. 8 — if not sooner.
"I think this was a huge step today, just getting out there and running, getting the calls, up-tempo type of stuff I was doing," Revis said. "So it was a huge step for me and it was a huge day for just being out there and moving around and not having any problems, nothing, no soreness after practice or swelling."
Revis accompanied the Bucs to New England last week but was limited to individual drills. In fact, his only team activity was three plays in a red-zone drill during a seven-on-seven period a week ago. He has not played in the preseason.
But Monday, Revis took his stance across from Pro Bowl receiver Vincent Jackson in practice and did not back down.
"I did one-on-ones," Revis said. "I lined up against Vincent twice today even in team periods. We did a lot of run-team stuff. I was out there and there weren't any problems. He was coming at full speed like the big guy he is and I was out there just playing."
Revis said his knee felt great after the extensive workout.
"Usually it will be one of those deals where it will be a little swelling the next day," Revis said.
How Revis responds to increased work might determine whether he plays Saturday against the Dolphins or in the preseason finale versus the Redskins on Aug. 29, at Raymond James Stadium.
Coach Greg Schiano says the priority is getting Revis ready for the Jets game and said he wouldn't be upset if Revis doesn't play in a preseason game.
"I just don't feel like he has to," Schiano said. "Now if he wants to … 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 it."
Revis remains non-committal about the preseason. Having never had to recover from knee surgery, he has been careful to manage expectations.
"With this whole situation we don't want a setback at the end of the day," Revis said. "Everybody has got an opinion but you have to approach it the right way and I think that's what we're doing. We have 16 games. I want to be out there all 16 and even in the postseason, so that's the approach.''
Revis said there has been no attempt at deception about his recovery. On Monday, NFL Network's Andrea Kremer was at One Buc Place for another installment of Project Revis, a continuing series of reports on his recovery.
"We're not trying to hide anything with secrets or anything," Revis said. "It's either I'm ready or I'm not ready. Today they were kind of looking at me like, 'Are you okay?' And I'm like, "I'm out here, I'm ready to go."
How confident is Revis about being ready to play against the Jets?
"I'm confident. It's day-to-day, but I'm confident," Revis said.