Darrelle Revis Takes Crucial First Step Getting Back on the Field
Darrelle Revis was so nervous last night, on the eve of Buccaneers training camp, he could hardly sleep. It was exactly 10 months ago, to the day, that he?d learned the magnitude of an injury suffered against the Dolphins last season: a torn ACL.
It was an injury that threatened not just his status as one of the best cornerbacks in the league, but the status of his career.
Now, for the first time since coming off the field September 23, 2012 and undergoing surgery to repair the torn ligament in his knee, he?d have an opportunity to test it against some competition.
?I think it was just being anxious. I had butterflies...just trying,?for the first day of practice, to?get back out there with?not really knowing what the outcome is?gonna be,? said Revis, who says he?d never encountered a setback like this before.
?I?ve been looking forward to this day since I?ve been injured. It was pretty awesome to be out there today with my teammates, to be out there with my coaches, and just do what I love doing, which is playing football.?
?I kind of gave him that look like, ?I?m ready?I?m ready to practice today.? It was one of those, ?Alright. Go back now. Relax.? I went out there, and did what I could do. It went well. And tomorrow I?ll probably be able to do more.?
Revis participated in 11 of 24 periods before coming off the field to do cardio work for the remainder of practice. He mostly took part in individual drills but also participated in some one-on-ones with receivers.
?I felt fine. I think the biggest thing is just trying to dust the cobwebs off and get out there. This situation right here with Coach Schiano and Todd [Toriscelli], our trainer, is just to try to ease me in and progress from there. I think that?s the biggest thing at this stage, and just take it day by day.?
He's had to learn to be patient.
?I think the biggest thing is they might [have] to hold me back because I?m a competitor. I?m so anxious to get out there and be with the teammates and play and compete."
He's had to learn to listen. That part isn't easy.
Revis recalls how?at one point, just?before?today's practice started,?his eyes met Toriscelli's. The two have worked together closely throughout Revis' rehab, even while he was training in Arizona at the Fischer Institute.
?I kind of gave?him that look like, ?I?m ready?I?m ready to practice today.? It was one of those, ?Alright. Go back now. Relax.? I went out there, and did what I could do. It went well. And tomorrow I?ll probably be able to do more."
The plan is for him to ease back into things in camp as he regains his football-playing condition, something that can only be gained from actually practicing versus using the bike or treadmill.
He'll also need to be confident with?planting his feet, quickly changing directions, and being able to do so continuously as practice wears on.
Coach Schiano, Toriscelli,?and GM Mark Dominik haven't decided if Revis will participate in the preseason. The goal remains having him 100% ready for the season opener September 8 against his former team, the Jets.
By then, at least if all goes according to plan, things will come full circle. He'll be suited up?for his second team, getting to live out what he calls his 'second chance' in a place where his prolific All-Pro career began. He left a humbled, yet grateful man.
?When I got injured, when I was on the field?laying on the field?I didn?t know what it was. I didn?t know if it was ACL, I could have blown my whole knee out. At that time I started thinking, ?I?ve played six years. It can be gone that fast.?"
"When I heard our doctor, [Jets Dr. Kenneth Montgomery], talking to our head trainer, he said it was 'ACL,' I just started crying because I knew it was a second chance.?