That Rookie Wall

December 3rd, 2015

the wall

You’ve heard it; Joe’s heard it. You know, the rookie wall, the time in the season where rookies, used to playing maybe 12 games a year, begin to run out of gas after four preseason games and about 10 regular season games.

Now that the Bucs have played in 11 regular season games, it’s about time for the rookies to begin hitting the wall, right?

Some may believe it is a fallacy, a hoax, just empty talk. Bucs offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter isn’t one of those. He believes in the rookie wall.

“I definitely think there’s something to that for young guys,” Koetter said yesterday. “[It’s] their first time through OTAs, training camp, preseason games, which oh by the way they still hit hard and now here we are 11 games [into the season]. I think there’s definitely something to that. What we talked to our guys about is, ‘Hey, you got five weeks left, five weeks left. Think about that in the big picture of football, let alone life. Five weeks is nothing. Don’t worry about five weeks right now, worry about one week. In five weeks what’s done is done. The record we have – we earn what we earn.’ I think there is a little to that.

“All the people in the building that help the guys take care of their bodies. Those guys are getting massages, they’re getting treatment, the trainers, all that stuff – we’re on top of that – nutrition, rest. We are on top of it, but that’s definitely there and every team has it.”

So far, two of the team’s top rookies, America’s Quarterback, Bucs signal-caller Jameis Winston and left tackle Donovan Smith, haven’t noticed any sudden fatigue.

“[I’m going to approach the next five games] with the same mindset,” Jameis said. “Every game is very important. It’s just the next game. I can’t speak for the other rookies, but I believe we have done a good job with keeping our bodies well-rested and keeping our minds mentally from being exhausted, so we have done a good job with that. I’m excited. This is the time football matters. These next five games are very important to us, as were the other 11 before that, but these next five games are really big.”

Smith gave a lot of credit to both the training staff and team veterans for tips to keep his mind and body right.

“No, not right now,” Smith responded when asked if he can feel the rookie wall. “I hope I never hit it, honestly. I am doing everything to not hit it.

“Credit to guys I have around me, older guys and veterans that teach me how to avoid it, stuff like that. Give me [pointers] that they went through. [Like] taking care of your body. Staying strong mentally, physically.”

Smith also lauded the training staff for looking out for the team.

“Oh yeah, they do a great job here,” Smith said. “Whether it is cold tub, hot tub… stuff like that. They point us in the right directions to make sure we take care of our bodies.”

In a perfect world, the rookies won’t hit that wall until after the Rams game on the road in two weeks. That way they have an extra weekend to rest up for the final two games of the season.

Hopefully, the Bucs will still be in a wild card hunt then.

2 Responses to “That Rookie Wall”

  1. Rrsrq Says:

    I hear you D. Smith, we will see how he bounces back against fellow rookie Vic Beasley. This is also a first for Pamphile as well. (Ali Marpet should be ready)

  2. Pickgrin Says:

    What? No Video Joe?

    Here’s the real deal for everyone’s Thursday am listening pleasure.

    Go Bucs!