Early Bye Week May Have Saved SchianoJuly 4th, 2013
Most NFL players and coaches would suggest they would prefer to have a late bye week. That way, the team is more fresh for the stretch run and even if a team is not in the playoff race, a late bye means players can see light in a dark tunnel.
Last year, the Bucs had an early bye week in Week 5. In a recent NFL.com podcast with Dave Dameshek, Greg Schiano implied that last year’s bye week, coming after the Bucs started out 1-3, may have saved the season from becoming a 2011 Raheem Morris-like circling of the drain.
Dave Dameshek: Was there any doubt, starting the season 1-3 and some heat on you, college ways transferring to the pros, you ever thought, “I shoulda stayed up in Jersey?”
Greg Schiano: No, it was all good. We played some tough football teams and [the games were] close, but close isn’t good enough. We saw improvement. We thought things were going in the right direction. The thing that helped us was getting to that bye week and kind of regrouping as a team and as an organization and taking a deep breath and saying, “We’re close but how do we get over the hump?” Being able to play good football right after that was critical in the guys believing and moving things forward.
In retrospect, Joe can see how the Bucs might have imploded if not for that early bye week.
Imagine you had survived the purge, going from a lax coach to one who demands attention to detail. You put in all of that work and sweat and blood and toil and you look up and you are starting a season worse than the previous year, one that saw your coach run out of town just hours after the final game.
Joe could easily see how players would have checked out, thinking no matter what they did, the same terrible outcome was a near certainty.
This just goes to show that football is every bit mental as it is physical.