Revis practices with Jets for first time since ending holdout
"We acted like we didn't know him," safety Kerry Rhodes said Sunday with a laugh. "It was all in fun, though. We know he did what he had to do for personal reasons."
Revis practiced with the Jets on Sunday for the first time since ending his holdout Wednesday, when the cornerback signed a six-year deal reportedly worth as much as $36 million. The No. 14 overall pick took part in organized team activities, rookie camp and minicamp, but had been away from his Jets teammates since mid-June.
"It was exciting, it was great," he said of returning to the team. "You know, just coming out here and getting rid of the cobwebs and learning new stuff. Coaches were putting me in different spots and places and trying to challenge me. There were positives and negatives today, but I think I did good today."
Revis, whose green No. 24 jersey had only been seen on fans in the stands before Sunday, participated in the entire practice from warmup drills and fielding punts to working with the second-team defense.
"I think they were just happy for me to be out there," Revis said. "They were calling me, 'Rook,' 'Rookie,' and saying 'Let's go, Big-Time,' just getting me used to the NFL life again."
Revis had few tests while playing cornerback during 11-on-11 drills, rarely seeing balls thrown in his direction. During one-on-one drills, Chris Davis made a nice move on Revis for a catch, and Brad Smith beat him on a long pass that was overthrown into the end zone by Kellen Clemens.
Rhodes came over to Revis after the play, said a few words to him and gave him a pat on the back of his helmet.
"I'm just trying to help him catch up," Rhodes said. "He's behind a lot and he's a good player and we're going to need him down the line here, so I'm just trying to help him out as much as I can."
While the first-team defense was on the field, Revis often stood next to secondary coach Mike MacIntyre and tried to pick up as much as he could.
"It's a process," he said. "I'm getting there. I'm just going to take it one day at a time. I've been doing extra work with the coaches and I'll continue to until I get to where they think I need to be to play football."
Revis, considered one of the best cornerbacks available in the draft, is expected to compete for a starting spot in the Jets' secondary. Veteran Andre Dyson started every game at left cornerback until he was injured in Week 15, but a number of players took turns working on the right side, including Justin Miller, David Barrett, Hank Poteat and Drew Coleman.
With Miller sidelined since Aug. 5 with a hamstring injury, and Coleman just returning from an injury of his own, Revis could have an opportunity to play right away -- as long as he learns the defense quickly. He was in uniform during New York's loss to Minnesota on Friday night, but didn't make it into the game.
"We know he has the talent and he can cover and all of that stuff," Rhodes said. "But as far as the defensive schemes, he hasn't learned everything yet and he doesn't know all the nuances of the defense."
Which is why Revis has already spent numerous hours sifting through the playbook.
"It started Thursday when I came in and it just hasn't stopped," Revis said. "Once you start going over it again, it's just memorization. You just memorize it and it comes right back to you."
Coach Eric Mangini also wants Revis to get used to being on the practice field in full uniform.
"He's behind," Mangini said. "These other guys have been through that initial training camp soreness and getting used to running with the helmet on and covering. Those things take a little bit of time to get used to. Darrelle has come in with a fantastic attitude, which he's always had, and he's been extremely diligent here in the early days of trying to accelerate the learning process."
Revis appeared to be in good shape, and said he had been working on his conditioning during his holdout. Whether that helps him get on the field for the Jets' next game against the Giants on Saturday night remains to be seen.
"I'm going to study when I go home tonight and just do it every night," Revis said. "It's just like studying for a final."
Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press
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