One of the myriad questions that people have been asking about the Buccaneers’ decision-making this season has been about why the team has been playing so much zone coverage with cornerback Darrelle Revis.
After all, it makes about as much sense to trade for one of the league’s top practitioners of man coverage so you can install him in a zone as it does to hire Eric Clapton to play flute in your band. As it turns out, the decision was less about coaching philosophies than the many critics of Revis’ usage knew. During an appearance on WDAE on Thursday, Revis admitted that his return from last year’s torn ACL wasn’t to the point that he was able to play that style of coverage.
“Earlier in the year, I didn’t have the explosion to play press; the receiver would just run the 9-route on me and I didn’t have the stamina to do that play in and play out, especially playing press,” Revis said, via the Tampa Tribune. “I mean, you get physical up there playing press coverage and then actually just running. That’s running full speed — you and the receiver. I didn’t have that yet. I’m starting to get that back now, which is awesome because I like to be in receivers faces and try to put my hands on them and try to be physical with them.”
Revis said he has been working to strengthen his entire left leg and that he’s feeling more explosive as a result. He played more press coverage against Carolina last week and reported his leg came through it fine, which suggests that we should be seeing more of the Revis we’re accustomed to seeing over the rest of the season.