NFL roster cuts: AFC | NFC

NFL Nation: Greg Schinao

Bucs going step-by-step with Revis

August, 1, 2013
TAMPA, Fla. -- Cornerback Darrelle Revis continues to take steps in his recovery from a major knee injury, but Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Greg Schiano isn’t ready to say if the team’s biggest offseason acquisition will appear in any preseason games.

“How do you know?" Schiano asked rhetorically. “Because anyone of these thresholds could -- I’m hoping not and I don’t expect it to -- but could push back on you and then you’ve just got to slow down. We’re not going to rush it."

[+] EnlargeGreg Schiano and Darrelle Revis
AP Photo/Chris O'MearaBucs coach Greg Schiano, left, said the team is "not going to rush it" with Darrelle Revis' knee rehabilitation.
The goal all along has been to have Revis ready for the season opener against the New York Jets, the team Revis used to play for, and the Bucs clearly are following a plan.

“It’s clear, logical steps," Schiano said. “You do all your footwork drills on air. Then you step him up against a receiver, without a ball, without an end result. Then, you step it up a notch against a receiver with a quarterback and a play and a result. Then you get him into team work where he’s hitting somebody because that’s the thing when you press and you torque, your hands are on a guy and your legs are twisting. That’s different than just running football drills or just covering a guy on air, shadowing a guy. I think there are steps and we just have to keep taking those steps."

Revis completed the footwork drills against air in the first week of camp. Now, he’s lining up against receivers and shadowing them. The team work is obviously the next step. My best guess is the Bucs will hold Revis out of next week’s preseason opener against Baltimore and, if all continues to go well, try to play him in either the second or third preseason game.

Schiano also had some positive news on defensive end Adrian Clayborn, who had to leave Wednesday’s practice with a groin injury.

“Adrian is going to be a few days," Schiano said. “It wasn’t as bad as I initially thought, so that’s good.’’

Schiano also said that tight end Luke Stocker's calf injury is taking longer than expected to heal. He said Stocker’s return could be a matter of days or weeks.
As has been expected since the Arizona Cardinals cleaned out their coaching staff at the conclusion of the season, John McNulty has joined the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as the quarterbacks coach, general manager Mark Dominik said Friday afternoon.

The Bucs tried to interview McNulty for their offensive coordinator spot last season, but Arizona refused to grant permission. McNulty previously worked for coach Greg Schiano at Rutgers.

“It’s an exciting hire for our coaching staff,’’ Dominik said. “He has a lot of respect in coaching circles. Coach Schiano knows him personally. He’ll work closely with (offensive coordinator) Mike Sullivan and (quarterback) Josh Freeman. He’s another great mind to work with our offense. He’s been a quarterbacks coach before, he’s been a receivers coach before and he’s called plays before. He’s a well-rounded offensive mind.’’

McNulty has previously spent time with Jacksonville, Dallas as well as Rutgers and Arizona.

Dominik also said that reports that defensive line coach Randy Melvin had been fired were inaccurate.

“Randy Melvin is our defensive line coach,’’ Dominik said. “He has never been fired or terminated from his contract. He’s handled this extremely well. Randy Melvin is our defensive line coach for 2013.’’

Dominik said the Bucs still are looking to hire a wide receivers coach and a defensive backs coach. He said he hopes to have those spots filled next week.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers could soon have defensive end Da'Quan Bowers back on the field.

After tearing an Achilles tendon in May, Bowers has been on the physically unable to perform list. But he’s eligible to begin practicing this week, and coach Greg Schiano made it sound like Bowers will start getting a look Wednesday.

“We need to see how he responds to doing that and then we will act accordingly,’’ Schiano told the media Monday. “As I said, if there is any question, we are going to wait. We are not going to put him in harm’s way. He is excited to play. He is chomping at the bits. We got to hold him back until we know it is all good.”

It would be wise to be cautious, because Bowers is coming back fast after a serious injury. Once he begins practicing, the Bucs have a three-week window in which to decide if they want to activate him or shut him down for the season.

If Bowers is healthy enough to return, it could be a huge boost for the defensive line. Bowers was expected to start at defensive end along with fellow second-year player Adrian Clayborn. But, after Bowers' injury, Michael Bennett took over the starting job.

Bennett has played well, but the Bucs lost Clayborn to a season-ending injury.

The Bucs have been using Daniel Te'o-Nesheim in Clayborn’s place, with George Johnson as the third defensive end. Even if Bowers comes back as only a part-time player this season, he could make a big impact as a situational pass-rusher.