Revis Island may be brand new to the Bay, but it didn’t take the Buccaneers’ long to start exploring its resources.
On Monday, at the press conference to introduce new Buccaneer cornerback Darrelle Revis, Head Coach Greg Schiano hinted at how significant an addition Revis was to his defense. The coaching staff is already tweaking the defensive scheme to account for its new star.
“It certainly has a big effect on any coach when you can have a player that you can match up on another teams’ best receiver,” said Schiano. “You can do some different things schematically when you have a player of Darrelle’s talents. We’ve already begun our preparation on how to best utilize him and a lot of that will come in conversations with Darrelle what he’s comfortable doing and what he feels best doing. This isn’t a rookie out of college. This is a guy that’s played and has been very successful in this league so we are going to play to his strengths within our scheme.”
The perceived value of Revis to a defense is evident in his famous nickname, and the Buccaneers obviously believe that perception is correct. Because he can handle the league’s best receivers one-on-one, and/or shut down a larger portion of the field than most cornerbacks, Revis allows defensive planners to devote more personnel to other pursuits, such as rushing the passer. The trade for Revis might have single-handedly done more for the Buccaneers’ needy pass-rush than any defensive end or edge rusher the team could have added.
Both Revis and Schiano spoke about their shared past in the Big East, the former as a star at Pitt and the latter as Rutgers’ head coach. Schiano has long been convinced of the enormous value a cornerback such as Revis brings to a defense.
“I know that he can do everything that we ask our corners to do, and more, and we are very excited,” said Schiano on Monday.
As misleading as statistics can sometimes be, there was no hiding from last year’s numbers, which showed the Bucs allowing simultaneously the fewest rushing yards and the most passing yards in the entire NFL. That obviously trains the spotlight on the Bucs’ secondary – and undoubtedly fueled the team’s interest in Revis – but the issue couldn’t fully be pinned on the backfield. The Bucs were also second-to-last in the NFL in generating sacks, which put more pressure on the cover men. The team is still looking to acquire and/or develop more productive pass-rushers, but Revis’ mere presence on the field will also allow the team to go after the quarterback more aggressively.
The Bucs are certain that they have a lot of defensive talent, and that Revis is going to help maximize that talent.
“He’s going to have an impact,” said Schiano. “There’s no doubt. You don’t do what we just did if he wouldn’t have an impact. So, I’m very confident that he will and I think that it’s good for him that he doesn’t have to do it alone. He’s got a good supporting cast with him.”