TAMPA — There is the comeback, and then there is Darrelle Revis actually coming back to MetLife Stadium to face his former Jets team in the regular-season opener.
Having recovered from a torn left ACL, the Bucs cornerback said he has tried not to imagine what it will be like going one-on-one with his emotions Sept. 8.
"That will be a moment," Revis said recently. "That will be a moment to try to embrace and see how I feel at that time.
"I think I'm just going to try to be myself and prepare like I do for every week. But I think the big moment will be going there and right before game time, and being there, and running out of the tunnel and all that kind of thing. That will be totally different."
Revis, who was traded by New York to the Bucs just before the draft in April for the 13th overall pick and a conditional third-rounder in 2014, did not take a snap in four preseason games.
But on Friday, Bucs coach Greg Schiano pronounced Revis ready for the opener, barring an unforeseen setback.
"Yeah, like I've said all along … as long as there are no setbacks, that's the plan," Schiano said.
How does Revis imagine he will feel lining up against the Jets?
"You know what? I probably will have to tell you after the game," he said.
When the Bucs traded for Revis, who still was recovering from the torn ACL, they said the goal was to get the three-time All-Pro ready for the first regular-season game.
A month ago, Revis participated in his first seven-on-seven red-zone drill with the team at normal speed. The next week he did some individual drills but did not participate in Tampa Bay's joint practice with the Patriots in Foxborough, Mass.
After getting the green light for a full practice schedule, Revis was in uniform last week against the Dolphins but did not play. The Bucs took the same approach in Thursday's 30-12 loss to the Redskins.
That means the first live snap for the 28-year-old will come against the team that traded him.
But skipping the preseason is nothing new to Revis. He did it in 2010 but still started in a 10-9 loss to the Ravens. Revis recorded no tackles in that game.
Schiano is counting on Revis to be the biggest piece in a secondary that was last in the NFL in pass defense a year ago and now includes 49ers free agent safety Dashon Goldson, safety Mark Barron and rookie Johnthan Banks.
Nobody has had a bigger impact than Revis, who has mentored Banks.
"The biggest surprise to me is the kind of person Revis is," Banks said. "He's like a player-coach. He's always out there beside me, giving me info, helping me out with all types of things, all the techniques he can teach me. You get some of those guys like that, they'd be Hollywood. He's one of us. He's laid back. He's cool."
Though unhappy about the 1-3 preseason record and some lackluster performances, Schiano was pleased his team avoided any season-ending injuries.
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"That was one of our missions, one of our goals," Schiano said. "So in that area, I think we did petty decently. (Guard Carl Nicks' staph infection) thing was kind of a freak thing you can't predict. And then this last game kind of got us at a couple positions. That's life in the NFL. You figure it out and you move on.
"I think we learned a lot. I think the people we felt needed to play significantly, played significantly. The veteran guys that we felt didn't need to play, I think we did that just about how we wanted it. Some of the results weren't exactly what you'd wish for, but then again, we were about as disjointed as you could be."
All that will change. Revis Island is about to reopen to visitors.