TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Darrelle Revis has plenty of reasons to get along with Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Greg Schiano, including a hefty contract that makes him the highest-paid cornerback in the NFL.
So, the three-time All-Pro took it upon himself to meet with Schiano this week to stress there’s “zero truth” to talk that he has a problem with the way the Bucs are using him in a revamped defense that’s struggled to stop opponents late in games.
Revis made a name for himself as a shutdown cornerback in six seasons with the New York Jets, routinely holding some of the league’s top receivers in check while discouraging quarterbacks from even attempting to throw to his side of the field.
Although he’s played some man coverage since joining the Bucs in an offseason trade, there also have been key plays when he’s not been assigned to shadow the other team’s best receiver.
Revis, who sat out the preseason while recovering from knee surgery that sidelined him most of last season, said he’s OK with what he’s been asked to do.
“Why wouldn’t I be happy here? They gave me an opportunity coming off my injury to play football again, so I’m excited to be here,” the two-time Pro Bowl selection said. “At the end of the day, all I want to do is win games here.”
The Bucs obtained Revis in exchange for the 13th overall pick in this year’s draft and gave him a new six-year, $96 million contract.
With Tampa Bay off to an 0-2 start after losing the past two weeks on last-second field goals, Revis said everyone has an opinion about what’s gone wrong.
He reached out to Schiano on Tuesday, an off-day for players, visiting the coach’s office to let him know that there was no truth to speculation that he was upset after not being lined up to cover New Orleans’ Marques Colston on a 31-yard reception that moved the Saints into position to kick a field goal for a 16-14 victory last Sunday.
“I think it comes with us being 0-2 and people start to say rumors here and there, but everything’s fine. We’re just trying to stick together as a team and get ready for this week,” Revis said.
“I just wanted to make sure me and coach were on the same page. … I just wanted to talk to him personally and say: `Hey. Just to let you know, I don’t know if you believe it or not (and) make sure that he saw me,” the cornerback added. “It’s a tough time for this team. We’re 0-2 and we don’t want distractions. The one thing we do want to do is just focus on the week at hand and the team we have to prepare against.”
The Bucs travel to New England (2-0) Sunday.
Schiano appreciated Revis coming to his office, but said it wasn’t necessary.
“But there was a lot of stuff floating around, I guess, and he said: `Coach, I just want to set it straight.’ … I told him: `I love coaching you.’ He said: `I love playing here,’ so let’s go,” Schiano said. “I appreciate him doing that. He wasn’t requested, it was on him.”
The second-year coach didn’t second-guess the way Revis was used on the Saints’ final drive, when Drew Brees completed three straight passes for 54 yards to set up the winning field goal as time expired.
“Could I re-do some things? Would I? Who knows. … At the time you make the decision, you do what you think is best,” Schiano said. “He’s playing a lot of matchup coverage, and certainly if you have a guy like Darrelle you do that because you have an opportunity to. He’s got a big load on his shoulders, and he’s carrying it well so far.”