Watch: Coach Schiano, on NFL Network set, says
Tampa Bay Buccaneers Head Coach Greg Schiano began his press briefing on Thursday with some thoughts on the season-ending injury sustained by kicker
Schiano indicated that all of the Buccaneer players who had been using the 2013 offseason to recover from significant injuries sustained last season will be on the field in some capacity when training camp kicks off next Thursday. Most notably, that list includes cornerback Darrelle Revis, defensive end
The most important target date for all four of those veterans is September 8, when the Buccaneers open their regular season against the New York Jets, and the paths they take to get there could differ from one another. Each path will be determined carefully with input from Director of Sports Medicine and Performance Todd Toriscelli, Head Strength and Conditioning Coach Jay Butler and General Manager Mark Dominik, but they will all begin in some way on the field on Day One of training camp.
“They’re going to be out there which is great," said Schiano. "What they do and how much they do…I think each guy – which we always do – we handle them individually. Todd Toriscelli and Jay Butler work extremely well together, communicate with Mark and myself and we just kind of put together plans to get everybody and phase them back. Certainly that Jets game is the ultimate, where we want to have [them] ready to go and that’s our goal.
“They’ll be out there, everybody will be on different schedules as far as what they’re doing. That’ll be determined as late as the night before we start camp, you know, how do they look Jay? How do they look in their physical, their report, their assessment? We fully expect them to be out there in practice so that’s good.”
The Buccaneers swung their dramatic trade to get Revis, widely considered the NFL's best cornerback when healthy, with the belief that he would recover fully and on time from the knee injury that cost him most of the 2012 season. Nothing that has happened since Revis's arrival has changed that belief, and the Bucs have obviously kept a close on every step of the veteran's progress. During the current break between the offseason program and the start of training camp, Toriscelli even flew out to Arizona to get an up-close look at the rehab work Revis is doing with his own team of helpers.
“The people that he works out with in Arizona and Todd have been in constant contact," said Schiano. "So we’re all over that. He’s doing well.”
As with all injury situations, the Buccaneers will exercise caution where it's needed. Medical professionals like Toriscelli and Director of Rehabilitation Shannon Merrick set specific recovery schedules for players because they understand the temptation to rush back. None of those recovering veterans will be given full-go clearance next Thursday simply because it's the first day of training camp. Still, it is good news that all four are expected to get in some kind of work on that morning.
“I don’t think any of them are behind schedule," said Schiano. "Sometimes you get excited when they get ahead of schedule and you get accustomed to it, so sometimes 'on schedule' seems like 'behind schedule.' I think everybody’s in pretty decent shape.”