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Darrelle Revis' cautious return OK to Tampa Bay Buccaneers

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- The Tampa Bay Buccaneers yielded two draft picks, including a first-rounder, and $16 million per year to acquire Darrelle Revis, but that doesn't mean there's urgency to get him back on the field.

Tampa Bay's new star cornerback was out of uniform for the second consecutive preseason game Friday night. Revis still is being slowly worked back into practice, now nearly 10 months removed from reconstructive knee surgery. And if it takes some more time, the Bucs seem to be fine with that.

"It's gonna have to be played by ear," coach Greg Schiano said in the visiting coaches office before the Bucs' preseason game against the New England Patriots. "There's so much talk about him and when he'll play. The reality is he'll play when he's ready to play, and if that's not Week 1, then it's not Week 1. And if it is, great. I'm not saying that flippantly. He knows. This guy is a consummate pro, the best at what he does, and he's coming off an injury that he's never had before."

On the flip side, Schiano also wouldn't rule out Revis for next Saturday's preseason game against the Miami Dolphins.

Clearly, plenty still is up in the air.

The good news is that the coaches have a significant step planned for Revis on Monday, with the cornerback likely to get work in some team drills. And if that piece goes off without a hitch, the process could be accelerated.

"We'll get him into the general practice population now, and get him doing some team stuff, just get him playing a little bit more," Schiano said. "He did a little 7-on-7 last week in the red area, we'll give him some more, and just take it, add a little bit, see how he is the next day and add a little bit more."

Schiano added: "If he just keeps going, says, 'Yeah, I wanna do this,' then we won't have to think about it as much. And if he doesn't play, that doesn't mean he isn't feeling good. You just sit back and, like I said from the beginning, I don't need to see him play in the preseason. I know what he's capable of. He just needs to get to where he's confident and feels like, 'I can go out and play.' "

The fact that the Bucs' season opener is in Revis' old home, MetLife Stadium, against his old team, the New York Jets, could serve as a motivator, but Schiano was resolute in saying the process won't be rushed.

To Schiano -- after dealing the first-round draft pick this year and likely a third-rounder next year, and giving Revis a six-year, $96 million contract -- it wouldn't make sense to.

"We've built some cushion into it, and we haven't had to use that up yet," the coach said. "Right now, we're on schedule. He's worth of all the attention, because he's that level of player, but the reality is that isn't gonna change anything we're gonna do. We're in it for the long haul with Darrelle. This isn't about one game. He's gonna be a Buc for a long time."

Follow Albert Breer on Twitter @AlbertBreer.

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