In the spring, the Bucs sent two draft picks, including a 2013 first-rounder, to the Jets for cornerback Darrelle Revis, and he has helped reshape their secondary even as he recovers from a torn left ACL that sidelined him for most of last season. The 29-year-old talked with the Times' Greg Auman about his first winter in the South, his beard and the receivers and cornerbacks he respects most.
You've lived up north your entire life. How are you liking December in Florida?
I'm enjoying it as much as I can. It's kind of weird not seeing snow on the ground, not seeing snowmen and snowballs getting thrown around; wearing all the furs, down coats, hats, gloves, boots. It's different.
You didn't really get a cold game this year. Detroit was cold but indoors, and St. Louis should be the same.
Seattle was about 50. That might have been the coldest game. We played them in the middle of the season. In '08 I played them in December and there was snow everywhere.
How do you feel about a Super Bowl up in that cold you miss?
I can see why the Jets and Giants bid for it. MetLife Stadium, it's an unbelievable stadium.
You haven't played in one yet, but have you been to a Super Bowl?
I go for the events. I might have to do appearances, but I never stay for the game. You kind of get upset about it.
Have you ever had a beard this full before? You've got the full James Harden going on now.
I've been having this beard for a number of years. It's always cut lower than this. One day, I woke up and said, "I'm going to let it go." Kind of James Harden, yeah. I've stuck with it. People have their jokes.
You can play the old man card with a beard like that. You look older than you are.
There's a lot of wisdom in this beard.
You do a summer football camp back in Aliquippa. How much does it mean to you to have a presence in kids' lives there?
When I was younger, we had a number of guys come back and show their face to the community. I'm just trying to do the same thing; to continue being a role model for my community in any way I can. Guys like Ty Law used to always come back and throw camps. Seeing him come back and try to help the city of Aliquippa and give back, it just rubbed off on me. I'm just trying to do the same thing.
You had a recording studio in your house when you lived in New Jersey. Do you have time for working on your music at all?
I've got a couple of jams. In the season, not that much. I focus on what I do here in football. I've got a couple of tracks; things I've been working on. Hopefully one day, I get to put it out and do a good project.
There aren't too many football guys who have their own shoes. You had the Nike Zoom Revis. Anything new coming there?
It was an awesome project that we did. I was involved in the designing and everything, meetings. Making the shoe, you've got to put your heart and soul into it. It was a great learning experience, but it was a lot of fun to design the shoe with Nike.
What were the things the shoe had to have to put your name on it?
The most important things … I had "FAMILY" on the tongue. I had a saying: "The only way to deal with pressure is to apply it." I had 24 on it, my football number. We had certain concept shoes that didn't come out in stores that we had fun with; unique things to have fun with the shoe.
Is that something you're still involved with?
We were supposed to have a whole project, a Revis Island thing. I don't know, man. Nike kind of shut that down. We were supposed to release a Revis 2. I don't know. Management doesn't want to do the Revis 2 for some reason. They never gave me a legitimate answer. It is what it is.
I'll start on other side of the ball: What current NFL receivers have impressed you on tape and against you?
There are a lot of new guys coming in. It's hard to keep up with who's who. I'll say (Cincinnati's) A.J. Green. He's awesome. I love his game. I mean (Detroit's) Calvin (Johnson) is always … Megatron. We're the same year. (Philadelphia's) DeSean Jackson's good. (Seattle's) Golden Tate, he's an all-around football player. When he gets the ball in his hand, it's electric. Him, (St. Louis') Tavon Austin, those guys are very electric. They do special things.
Who are the DBs around the league you hold in high regard?
(Seattle's) Richard Sherman. There are a number of them. (Chicago's Charles) Tillman and (Tim) Jennings. I like those two. (Seattle's Brandon) Browner. (Denver's) Champ (Bailey). (Arizona's) Patrick Peterson. (Cleveland's) Joe Haden.
Word association. First words that pop into your head. We'll start with the young guys around you. Johnthan Banks?
Toothpick. He's skinny.
Jets coach Rex Ryan?
(Laughs). Oh, my goodness. I didn't expect you to say that one. The football guru.
Bucs special teams coach Dave Wannstedt?
You talked about not yet being back to 100 percent. Have Bucs fans seen the real Darrelle Revis yet?
No. They've seen me play. But not at my top level, no. Certain games, you might see spurts of it. But overall, I'm not all the way there yet.
Greg Auman can be reached at [email protected]