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Revis hopes to come back stronger next year with Bucs

Darrelle Revis said he's still not completely satisfied with his level of play in his first year in Tampa Bay.

DANIEL WALLACE | Times

Darrelle Revis said he's still not completely satisfied with his level of play in his first year in Tampa Bay.

TAMPA — Bucs CB Darrelle Revis has shown flashes of his old self during this season, having to work his way back from reconstructive knee surgery.

But Revis, the four-time Pro Bowl player, said he's still not completely satisfied with his level of play in his first year in Tampa Bay.

"It's not where I want to be, because I'm not 100 percent," Revis said. "But at the same time, I'm out here, I'm doing what I can with what I got. So I just got to finish the season strong, and work my butt off this offseason and get prepared for next year."

Revis, who missed most of last season with a torn ACL, was acquired in April from the Jets and signed to a six-year, $96 million deal. He has started all 14 games, racking up two interceptions, two forced fumbles and 10 passes defensed, helping a secondary improve from worst in the NFL last year to 15th this season. But Revis admits he has been impacted somewhat by the knee.

"It still bothers me here and there," Revis said. "But, at the same time, I'm not even trying to think about it, not trying to complain. I've been cleared to play since Week 1 and it's been an up and down year for this team, and me individually. But at the same time I can't make any excuses, I'm out there. I'm not where I wanted to be, this team as a whole is not where we wanted it to be."

Revis said he'll need the upcoming offseason to get back to full strength, but doesn't believe his knee will give him long-term issues.

"Trust me, yeah, I'll be fine," Revis said. "When this season is over I'll get back to work with my trainer Brett Fischer who I was rehabbing with after surgery. I'll be ready to go."

TRUE TO SCHOOL: On Wednesday, Bucs offensive coordinator Mike Sullivan declined to answer questions about the possibility of him interviewing for the head coaching job at his alma mater, Army, saying he "would like to just center our questions and focus on the Rams."

On Friday, according to the Times Herald-Record of Middleton, N.Y., Sullivan will interview for the Army job, two days before the Bucs face the Rams in St. Louis.

LEARNING CURVE: Rookie WR Eric Page has made some big plays as the Bucs primary returner, with his two punt returns of 40-yards or more just one shy of the club record (set by Jacquez Green in 1998).

Page said the Bucs goal was to be a top-10 return unit and they rank 10th in both kick return average (25.2) and punt return average (10.9).

But Page, 22, has also made some questionable decisions in terms of fielding the ball in certain areas, and when to take it out of the end zone. He attributes those mistakes to either trying to make a play, or having a lack of awareness of where he is on the field, including Sunday's botched handoff on an attempted reverse with WR Russell Shepard deep in the Bucs end zone. Shepard fumbled and the 49ers scored a key fourth-quarter touchdown on the play.

"Looking back, I should have kept it," Page said. "I was 8 yards deep, and our rule is 6 yards. When I went back, I was focused on the play, wasn't aware of where I was on the field."

Coach Greg Schiano pointed out that Page, who left the University of Toledo after his junior season, didn't play last year due to a knee injury and hasn't had a ton of experience. "He's done some really good things," Schiano said. "He's had some questionable decisions but rookies make questionable decisions because they haven't been there before."

MEDICAL MATTERS: DE Da'Quan Bowers (knee) did not practice. S Mark Barron (hamstring) was limited, with Schiano saying he has improved and is day-to-day.

Times staff writer Greg Auman contributed to this report. Joe Smith can be reached at joesmith@tampabay.com. Follow him on Twitter @TBTimes_JSmith.

Revis hopes to come back stronger next year with Bucs 12/19/13 [Last modified: Thursday, December 19, 2013 4:47pm]

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