TAMPA — Darrelle Revis is typically assigned to shadow the opponent's No. 1 wideout as one of the league's only cornerbacks who doesn't split duties on the star receiver.
But something has followed Revis around the field since his arrival to the Bucs: the expectation that he will be ready to play in the regular-season opener Sept. 8 at the Jets.
General manager Mark Dominik and coach Greg Schiano believe Revis will be good to go then, citing the progress he has made after more than a week of practice.
The only one who has any doubts about the readiness of Revis is Revis.
"I think that's too far down the road," Revis said. "Right now, we're just trying to go day by day. That is the goal. We've talked about that and I want to be there the first day, the first game and be out there ready to go with my teammates."
Not that Revis has any reason to pump the brakes on his recovery from ACL surgery.
On the contrary, he said he has not had any swelling on his knee since he began training camp with teaching and individual periods.
Now Revis is participating in some passing drills and covering receivers one-on-one. Monday, the Bucs added quarterback Adam Weber to the mix to enable Revis more of a chance to make plays on the ball.
"He's making plays on the football, which leads to a different amount of tangling up with the receiver,'' Schiano said. "Now you're both trying to go for the same thing. We'll do that for a little bit then we'll (add) seven-on-seven, team stuff. So it's going to be step by step. There's still probably several steps before, but as long as nothing pushes us back, they're going to move rather quickly."
When asked if he thought Revis would be ready for the regular-season opener, he didn't hesitate. "I do," he said.
Revis only knows he has passed each hurdle without any setbacks.
"Each day I'm getting better," Revis said. "The biggest thing is us looking for swelling, which has never happened."
Before Monday, Revis had been reacting to a receiver running routes sans quarterback. Now he has to adjust on the fly, plant and react to unpredictable movements.
"Oh no, I'm reacting to everything they're giving me," Revis said. "It's a secret between the quarterback and the receiver. I'm just reacting, mimicking what they're doing trying to cover the routes. "The next big step is getting back in getting in team activity, 7-on-7, one-on-ones with Vincent (Jackson) and Mike (Williams) and those guys and hopefully in the team (drills), team run and team pass."
When will that occur? "I have no idea," he said. "We're still taking it day by day and I feel like I'm getting stronger and improving."
One thing Revis and Schiano agree on is his role. Revis said he told Schiano he wants to keep down the best opposing receiver.
"I think that's the plan," Revis said. "He's very open to it and I think that's what we're going to do. … Let me try to lock him down and let (defensive tackle) Gerald (McCoy) and those guys front get some pressure up front and just try to hold up the receiver so they can get to the quarterback. I think that's the deal."
The Bucs can then play a single safety and bring blitzes from different parts of the field.
"I mean, he'll play every technique in our scheme," Schiano said. "We won't exclude him, but I think his physical capabilities allow you to do some things with him that you might not do with some other guys. So we'll take advantage of all those skills and, who knows?
"I don't know if that will be right (on) opening day, if he'll be ready to do that, or if he'll just be ready to be a regular player. Certainly as he's ready, we'll be ready."
Rick Stroud can be reached at [email protected] and can be heard from 6 to 9 a.m. weekdays on WDAE-620. View his blog at tampabay.com/blogs/bucs. Follow him on Twitter at @NFLStroud.