By Kyra Hallett
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have been working hard since early summer, aiming to put a winning product on the field. They have faced four tough teams, with all the final scores being separated by seven points or less. At this point, the Bucs are tired and need this break to rest and regroup.
“This group has gone incredibly hard since July 26 til now,” said head coach Greg Schiano. “I would like them to relax, get feeling good again, get refreshed.” Quarterback Josh Freeman plans on doing the same thing, “Relax a little bit, get ready, get prepared for this long haul.”
With the Bucs bye week coming so early in the season, at Week Five, that means they have to play 12 games in a row. That could be a challenge but Schiano said, “It all depends on how healthy you stay. If you stay healthy, it is not a challenge. Get on a roll, get going and it’s great.”
An injury that occurred against the Washington Redskins was to cornerback Eric Wright. He left the game with a head injury and did not return. There are rumors that he could have a concussion but Schiano said that he will be “very ready” versus the Kansas City Chiefs.
With this extra time off, the Bucs have more time to prepare for the Chiefs, who they will face in Week Six. “We’ll have an extra day of preparation for Kansas City with Monday being a practice day. They’ll have the plan in their hand, at least part of it before they normally would, a good two days before they normally would, so that’s enough of an advantage for us.”
During the week, the team has worked on basic things for offense. “I feel we’ve made some strides this week, running our base stuff, our core stuff,” said Freeman. “Narrowing our focus. Good week of self evaluation,” added Schiano.
For Freeman, he said that for a quarterback, this break is more of a mental than physical break. When asked about how he is going to handle the rest of the year he said, “Not try and do to much.”
Schiano said he was working with Freeman on choosing which plays he feels most comfortable with since they have a ton in the playbook that cannot all get done in one game. We “prioritize the plays he’s best at, that he feels he’s best at,” said Schiano.
When Schiano was asked if this break helps the losing taste, he said, “The only way to get rid of that taste is winning.”
One player he has been impressed with is wide receiver Mike Williams. “He’s a great competitor, comes to work everyday and tries to get better then produces on the field,” said Schiano. “He’s a really good player, glad he’s on our team.” Williams has 219 yards and two touchdowns in four games this season.
“Right now I’m glad these guys get an opportunity to get a rest,” Schiano said. “I’m anxious to get back on the field Monday.”
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Kyra Hallett is a freelance writer and a Multimedia Sports Journalist. She has experience covering Tampa Bay sports in many outlets including Examiner.com. Her dream job would be to work with the athletes and their fans. You can view some of her work at KyraHallett.com or here at Examiner.com.