Bucs' Darrelle Revis has 'moved on' from years as Jet
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He will get dressed in a different locker room. He will enter from a different tunnel. And he will be standing in a different uniform on the opposite side of the field.
Beyond that, Darrelle Revis isn't sure exactly what to expect Sunday when he and the Bucs open the season at MetLife Stadium against his former team.
Revis, who was traded to Tampa Bay in April, spent six seasons with the Jets, establishing himself as the best cover corner in the game. Yet the three-time All-Pro sounded anything but nostalgic Wednesday when discussing his homecoming in a conference call with Jets reporters.
"Uh, no. I've moved on from that, from those experiences that I had,'' Revis said when asked if there was anything he missed about being a Jet. "I had a great six years there and now I have to move on.''
The game also will mark Revis' return from a torn ACL, which he suffered in Week 3 last season. Revis didn't play in any preseason games for Tampa Bay, and coach Greg Schiano was cagey and noncommittal Wednesday when asked if Revis would play against the Jets. Revis, however, is preparing as though he is playing the game.
"I'm ready to go,'' he said when asked if he was at 100 percent.
That could be bad news for the Jets, who announced yesterday that they are starting rookie quarterback Geno Smith. Smith threw three interceptions in his preseason start against the Giants.
There was a time when Revis thought he would play his entire career in New York, when he could never imagine an offseason like this last one, when the team wouldn't be anxious to lock him up in a long-term contract. Yet although he had come to personify their tough defense, the Jets showed no desire to sign Revis to the megabucks deal he wanted.
Tampa Bay, whose pass defense ranked last in the NFL in 2012, did, handing him a six-year, $96-million contract after the trade.
Revis was careful to sidestep questions about wanting to have a big game against his former team, repeatedly telling reporters that he just wanted to help Tampa Bay get off to a good start. Yet when asked if he thought the Jets had made a mistake by trading him, Revis gave a studied pause before answering.
"I don't know. I think that's a question that you need to ask John Idzik or Rex Ryan or Woody Johnson,'' Revis said, referring to the Jets general manager, coach and owner, respectively.
It's clear that Ryan, a defensive-minded coach, will miss having Revis anchor his secondary. Wednesday, in a conference call with Bucs reporters, Ryan almost sounded nostalgic when he was asked what Revis will bring to the Bucs.
"Darrelle was the premier corner in football,'' he said. "A physical player that shows up every day to compete. He's an excellent teammate. He's tougher than heck. It was a joy to coach him, I can tell you that much.
"He's a great teammate. He probably leads a little differently. He's not as vocal. But every single teammate will recognize what he does. He doesn't let you catch a ball in walk-through. He's a tremendous competitor, and obviously one of the rare guys that you coach.''