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Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Bucs CB Revis shakes off rust in first practice

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Published:   |   Updated: July 26, 2013 at 06:35 AM

TAMPA - For the first time in a while, maybe in his career, cornerback Darrelle Revis feels like he is part of a football family.

But you might be surprised which family member his new Buccaneers teammates consider him.

"The younger guys on the team are calling me 'Grandpa,' " Revis said. "That's my new nickname. I was like, 'Wait guys, this is only my seventh year in the league.' "

Revis, 28, certainly got the grandfather treatment during the first training camp practice on Thursday. In his first workout with a team since he tore the ACL in his left knee last September with the New York Jets, Revis had a restricted work load.

Other than taking a few snaps with the field-goal block unit, he was limited to participating in 11 "individual" position-group drills and was back in the locker room before the "team" 11-on-11 work began.

"He did drill work, which was the plan, and then he did rehab the rest of the time," coach Greg Schiano said. "Like I said, we're going to take it day by day, and then each night we'll figure out the plan (for the next day).

"So much of it will be input from Darrelle. This guy knows what he needs to do to get ready to play, so we'll just communicate, because I think communication is more important than anything here."

The most important thing to Revis is patience. He admits that earlier in his career, he might have been in a hurry to get back up to full speed, which is never good for a player on the mend.

"I realize now that it's a process that you have to go through, but I had to learn that over the years, being around other veterans," he said. "I've had to learn to be patient, because I love to play the game, love to compete."

It showed on Thursday.

Revis jumped into position with the block team during a couple of field goal drills. Already holding a ball in each hand, he also joined a group of return hopefuls fielding punts.

For the most part, though, he stayed with the cornerbacks and worked on fundamentals, seldom pushing his body beyond the demands of a mock interception drill in which he had to backpedal, stop and run forward.

On this day, at least, that was good enough. After all, it had been almost a year since Revis, who came to the Bucs in an April trade, had done anything close to that.

"I've been looking forward to this since I was injured, so it was awesome to be out there again with my teammates and coaches and just do what I love to do, which is play football," Revis said.

Revis was looking so forward to Thursday's workout that he didn't sleep very well Wednesday night. If he was tired after a night of tossing and turning, though, it didn't show on the field.

"I felt fine," he said. "The biggest thing for me right now is just trying to dust off the cobwebs and get back out there, and that's what we're doing right now, easing me back in and focusing on making progress."

Revis believes he has already made significant progress. The offseason work he did with the Bucs and on his own in Arizona has eliminated any concern he has of putting too much stress on his reconstructed knee.

It was hard to argue with that assessment Thursday. Revis did not wear a brace or stabilizing wrap on his knee and ran with a fluidity that belied his injury.

With the goal being to have Revis ready for the Sept. 8 regular-season opener against the Jets in New York, the Bucs still have not decided whether to test Revis' knee in a preseason game. Revis is OK with that, partly because he went through a similar situation in 2010, when he staged a 36-day training camp contract holdout that lasted until eight days before the start of the season.

"I think we have a good game plan here, and if that's what's best for me to be healthy on Sept. 8, then that's what it has to be," Revis said. "It's all on coach. We're all on the same page here. As I progress and get better and get more reps, I'll be at full tilt. I don't know when that time will be, but like I said, it's day-to-day now and we have to follow the game plan.

"The biggest thing, really, is they might have to hold me back, because I'm a competitor and right now I'm just so anxious to get back out there and be with my teammates and play and compete."

You go, Grandpa.

rcummings@tampatrib.com

(813) 259-7979

Twitter: @RCummingsTBO

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