TAMPA, Fla. -- Buccaneers cornerback Darrelle Revis said Friday he wasn't playing all man-to-man coverage early this season because the knee he injured last season hasn't fully healed and he's only just beginning to approach 100 percent.
"It's a process that you've got to go through,'' Revis said. "ACLs take a while. It's a process. I'm not all the way there yet. You've got to change your game up and that's what I had to do.''
Fans had been criticizing the coaching staff for using Revis, who is considered one of the top cover corners in the league, mostly in zone coverage. Revis said he lacked stamina and explosiveness early in the season.
"You need that buildup,'' Revis said. "I wasn't getting that. I wasn't even feeling comfortable even running from press coverage to go. It's just something that's going to take some time.''
In their last game, a 31-13 loss to Carolina, the winless Buccaneers used Revis in press coverage against Steve Smith much of the game.
Revis said he continues to get stronger and more comfortable.
"Darrelle has had like 2½ weeks of great practice and played lights out against Steve Smith the other night,'' coach Greg Schiano said. "Darrelle is the consummate pro. I have nothing but faith and belief that he knows what he can do and can't do and that's why we give him a lot of latitude on technique, how he wants to do it because he knows better than anybody.
"He's one of the best to ever play the position. He knows what he can and can't do and that's kind of how we've gone with it since he's arrived.''