TAMPA, Fla. — Tampa Bay Buccaneers cornerback Darrelle Revis participated in seven-on-seven drills Monday for the first time in training camp, a clear step forward for the four-time Pro Bowl player.
Revis lined up in red-zone drills late in the session, even falling in the end zone at one point while matched against wide receiver Vincent Jackson. Until Monday, Revis had been limited to walk-through “teach periods” and individual workouts against reserve wide receivers such as Chris Denton and Terriun Crump with reserve quarterback Adam Weber throwing.
“That’s good for him, you know,” Bucs coach Greg Schiano said. “We plan on doing that just to get a little taste of it because he feels he can do it. We did it down there in the red area so it’s no 60-yard sprints or anything. So we’re just going to keep building. We’re not going to do anything against New England (starting Tuesday). He’ll work on the side like we’ve been doing, and then we’ll just keep going.”
Throughout training camp, the Bucs have been cautious with Revis, who was signed to a six-year, $96 million deal in April after the New York Jets traded him in April to receive a first-round pick this year and a conditional pick in 2014. He sustained a season-ending ACL tear in his left knee last September against the Miami Dolphins.
“There’s a different kind of conditioning you have playing the game, exerting it, resting, going again,” Schiano said. “You can try and simulate that in conditioning drills and things, but it’s hard to do.”
On Monday night, the Bucs are traveling to Foxborough, Mass. to practice with the New England Patriots, beginning Tuesday, in advance of their second preseason game Friday at Gillette Stadium. Schiano said Revis will make the trip.
Schiano and Bucs general manager Mark Dominik have been optimistic about Revis’ ability to play in a Week 1 game against the Jets at MetLife Stadium since the spring. Last Monday, Schiano said he envisions “several steps” to come before Revis returns for full game-like situations. However, Revis said he was unsure if he will be prepared to play in the season opener.
“I think that’s too far down the road,” Revis said last Monday. “Right now, we’re just trying to go day-by-day. That is the goal. We talked about that. I want to be there first day, first game, and be out there ready to roll with my teammates.”
Still, his play Monday was a step forward. And it was a welcomed one for the Bucs.