Bucs DT Gerald McCoy - Photo by: Getty Images
Thursday Night Football has received a fair amount of criticism for being too much. Too much wear on players’ bodies, too much to prepare for in three days, too much football during the week.
With the Bucs facing a quick turnaround this Thursday, coaches and players have had to game plan and recover at rapid speed. No one is complaining – after all, it’s the same for both teams – but there haven’t been any mentions of “positives” unique to Thursday night games.
“Basically this is a week with no practice,” head coach Dirk Koetter said Monday. “You’ve got to still get your game plan reps in, which we start [Monday]. Especially with the type of game we played [Sunday], we’ve got a laundry list of guys with bumps and bruises. You’re going to have that every week. The number one thing, by far, is the turnaround on the players’ bodies. Then No. 2 is the preparation by the coaches. You’re working on a couple days shorter. In that respect, it’s probably a plus – if there is a plus to it – to play a division opponent who you know well.”
Players’ have seemed to look at the short week through a more optimistic prism. Though Jameis Winston noted that physical soreness could affect mental readiness, the second-year quarterback is grateful for any opportunity to take the field.
“I like to play football,” Winston said. “Anything that gives me football, something God has blessed me to do, I’m going to enjoy it.”
After finishing 16-of-32 for 180 yards last week, with three straight three-and-outs to close, Winston is looking forward to the chance to get a bad taste out early. Not to mention this is a game against the Bucs’ first-place division rival.
For Gerald McCoy, playing the red-hot Falcons is just an added bonus. The fact that it’s another chance to pick up a home win is enough in itself to motivate the All-Pro defensive tackle.
“We haven’t won at home yet,” McCoy said. “That’s where the energy comes from. It’s added incentive that it’s Atlanta. They’re on a roll. They got their mojo back. It’s just a good team.”
So while not every player is particularly in favor of the short week – center Joe Hawley said TNF “is really hard on the body” – they’re all embracing the opportunity to even their record and make a strong statement against a division opponent.
“Either you’re going to complain about [the short week] or you’re going to recover and get a win. That’s how I look at it,” McCoy said.
Zach is entering his 3rd year covering the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as a writer for PewterReport.com. Since 2014, he's handled a large part of the beat reporting responsibilities at PR, attending all media gatherings and publishing and promoting content daily. Zach is a native of Sarasota, FL, and a graduate of the University of Tampa. He has also covered high school football for the Tampa Tribune and the NFL for Pro Player Insiders.
Contact him at: [email protected]
It is without doubt an opportunity to get Sunday far behind the players, coaches and fans. An opportunity to get back to .500, to go 3-0 in the South, to sweep the Falcons and to win a home game for a nice change. Good teams MUST win at home and it should be an advantage to do so.
Hey, it’s all for the taking. Hoping the Buccaneers walk the walk tonight because what they’re saying isn’t adding up to much of late. Late being the last few years.
Bucs should quit whinning as Falcons have the same problems. Gut check! Go Bucs!
First, it is fans like me who are doing the most complaining about the Thursday night games. I haven’t heard an excessive amount of complaints over time from Buccaneer, Falcons or other NFL players. I think it would be appropriate if coaches and Gms complained more about them during the off seasons.
I would eliminate the “traditional” games on Thanksgiving as well. I think that it would be better for the health of all the players If there was a consistency from week to week with the Monday night games being the lesser impact exception to their routines. I think that this might actually help to keep a higher quality of game on average. The owners would all still be making their money.
I love football and I still enjoy the NFL. If they keep messing with their success they might just lose me as a fan.
Oh well, I am just one person and one voice.
See If you can summon up enough “want to” to overcome the Falcons tonight!
[P.S. The above comments belong here. XpfcWg]
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