It was a whirlwind of a morning – no pun intended – at One Buc Place as the news came down from the NFL offices that the Bucs’ 2017 regular season opening game against the Dolphins would be rescheduled to both teams’ Week 11 Bye Week to avoid Hurricane Irma.
Leading up to today, players and coaches had expressed the desire to not have to lose the Bye Week, if they could. However, on Wednesday, some of those people changed their tune after they weighted the magnitude of the storm with the potential aftereffects of altered plans. Other players held firm on their displeasure of the situation.
Here’s what we learned from One Buc on Wednesday.
“We’re On To Chicago”
A few days ago when asked about the potential impact of the hurricane and possibly losing the Bye Week, head coach Dirk Koetter’s facial expressions were less than pleased with such a notion.
However, this morning he had a bit of a different tune after his team, in fact, did lose their Bye Week in the announcement.
Koetter opened up his press conference explaining things and making sure the media knew that this was bigger than football. He then went on to say that he didn’t think it was feasible to move to an alternate location for this week because of logistics and even the emotional toll it could take on everyone involved with putting on a football game.
Though he still probably isn’t the biggest fan of 16 games straight, he seemed very understanding.
Baker Still Not Happy
Before the news officially became public that the team would be moving their game, defensive tackle, Chris Baker, went to twitter in the tweet above which hinted to us that the players had been informed of the decision.
After practice, Baker didn’t seem as upset as his tweet made it seem, but he did still sound frustrated knowing a 16-straight game season is coming.
Rest of the Room
Bucs wide receiver, Adam Humphries, was asked about the change of schedule, and he admitted that the change is big – and sort of weird. But, he also admitted that it’s just what they have to do; that their focus is now on Chicago.
He also admitted that the extra time off will help him feel 100 percent next Sunday, and the same sentiment was heard from defensive end Jacquies Smith, who just got back on the field this week.
Offensive tackle, Demar Dotson, answered questions about the change by saying that everyone loves the Bye Week. He said players look forward to it for a variety of reason including rest and refreshing activities, but also admitted that it is what it is, and that the team just has to take it and move on.
Winston Ain’t Worried
When asked about his thoughts on the change to the schedule, quarterback, Jameis Winton, made sure to say first and foremost that safety is the No. 1 concern. He even said, “this is bigger than football.”
That means a lot coming from someone who loves the game as much as he does.
Lastly, Winston was asked the question that was asked of every player: Whether or not a 16-game schedule is unfair or unsafe.
To that he laughed and said: “No. It’s football. We get paid to do that.”
The Bucs are treating this week like a Bye Week, which means no team activities until Monday or Tuesday of next week.
Stay safe, everyone.