Darrelle Revis is ready. It's time.
"It's finally here," Revis said."I'm excited, man. I'm not just excited about me getting back out there, but just this team. We've worked hard in training camp and we're ready. We're ready for this season."
Both Revis and the Bucs open the season with wonder. Limited work in offseason and in training camp create questions about where Revis is and if he's the same dominant cornerback that he was before suffering a severe knee injury one year ago.
"I don't know, I really don't look at it like that," Revis said. "I look at it as, when I go out to practice, just try to make plays like I have in the past. That's how I got to approach it. I can't sit here and get down on myself if I don't. If I'm a step late on a play, or here."
Revis will make his first start for the Bucs against his old Jets. How long he stays on the field will be determined during the game.
"I think we're going to have to just watch and see how it goes," said head coach Greg Schiano. "I'm not going to go in with too much of a preconceived notion. Let's see what the conditions are, let's see how he's feeling."
Schiano says communication is key.
"The other thing that always gets you is emotions; that can tire you out as well. I think to try to make a predetermined plan wouldn't be prudent, I think we just have to play it by ear. The one good thing that I feel is we have a good relationship; he communicates with me very clearly, so that's good."
Jets rookie quarterback Geno Smith, who admits he's been watching tape of the Bucs for the last two weeks, was asked if his studies included pulling tape of Revis' days with the Jets.
"I mean, I don't think it's necessary," Smith said. "Maybe I will, maybe I won't. You pretty much get the idea of what kind of player he is based on his reputation. I mean, we all know about Revis."
Told of Smith's comments, Revis was taken by surprise.
"I don't understand why he didn't study me, because I will be on the opposite side," Revis said. "But I don't know what their game plan is, or what their preparation is and, personally, I don't know what Geno's preparation is. But I would hope if you're going to -- if you're playing against another opponent, you should study everybody on the opposing team."
And Revis says, make no mistake:
"So if that's the case, that's the case. I'm studying him," he said, laughing. "Just to let him know, I'm studying him, so I guess we'll leave it at that."
Smith is well aware of Revis because the Jets have what's called the "Revis Rules." They are rules that New York's opponents lived by over the last six years, like don't throw it outside the harsh marks, because he'll pick it off.
They are rules that now apply to the Jets.
"We'll see, I don't know, Geno's not studying me," Revis said, laughing. "I don't know. I really don't know what their game plan is and how they're approaching our secondary so we'll see come Sunday."
Smith might not be studying Revis, but he's listening to his Jet teammates, including cornerback Antonio Cromatrie, whose advice to Smith is to not throw Revis' way.
"Basically from talking to Mark (Sanchez), talking to our personnel guys around here, if you talk to anyone in this locker room they'll let you know (that a) healthy (Revis is) one of the best if not the best corner in the game. He's the guy you definitely have to pay attention to on the field," Cromatrie said.
The main thing the Jets want to avoid is a Revis Revenge.
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
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