Coming off short week, a long trip awaits Bucs
The Bucs enjoyed the big stage afforded by Monday Night Football this week, but there's a down side to being featured in the primetime game.
Now, Tampa Bay has fewer days of preparation and recovery for Sunday's game, coupled with the challenge of having to fly cross-country for a game against the 49ers at Candlestick Park.
"It’s difficult because it’s a shorter week," left tackle Donald Penn said. "It’s a real short week because we leave on Friday. I think the only good thing is (practice) is a little lighter. It helps your body recover faster. Usually, I would have had two days off before today. I’m hurting a lot more. I’m a lot more sore than I would be if we would’ve played on Sunday. People have to take care of their bodies and we have to recover faster than we usually would and we have to put in that extra work with the gameplan."
The coaching staff was the first to be impacted. They normally spend Monday mornings reviewing tape of Sunday's game and examining areas they need to fine tune. Then, Tuesdays are spent working on the next Sunday's game plan, which they present to players on Wednesdays. This week, coaches couldn't begin reviewing the game until Tuesday morning, with coach Raheem Morris arriving in the wee hours to get the process underway.
Then, game planning for the 49ers also had to be handled. Today's practice, ongoing now, consists of less physical work but a great deal of mental preparation for the game.
One thing working in the Bucs' favor: They've proven they can win on the West Coast after years of futility on western swings. Tampa Bay was 2-0 in trips out West last season, defeating the 49ers and Arizona Cardinals.
"It’s going to be tough but we had success on the West Coast the last two years," Penn said. "Hopefully we can make it three."