Written by Matthew Cannata | Twitter: @PhinManiacs
Many people wonder what goes on with an NFL team during their bye week. Some think that the team gets close to two weeks off. Others think that the players don’t get any time off. Well, it’s something in between. This is because the collective bargaining agreement states that players must be given four consecutive days off during the bye week. For the Dolphins, the players had Monday off and will practice on Tuesday and Wednesday. They will then have Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday off before returning to work on Monday.
For the coaches though, they don’t get much time off and will spend most of the bye week at the facility trying to find things to improve with themselves.
“We’re going to get together as a staff here once I leave. It’s hard to quote, ‘Fix everything.’ There’s some things we’re doing well. There’s some things we’re not doing specifically well. First part of the week is let’s take a self-scout of ourselves, with these four games. What are the tendencies like? What are the positives,” Joe Philbin said. “There’s things we’re doing well. What are the negatives? Is it red zone defense? Is it third down offense? I glanced at some of the stats just before I came down. Our third down offense isn’t great. (We) may have a little third down period, may have a red zone period. Two minute, we haven’t had a lot of two-minute opportunities compared to a year ago at this time where we had a bunch of them on offense. That’s something I know we want to work on. There will be other things. The second part of a bye week is let’s get a jump ahead at our next opponent who is an excellent football team.”
With an extra week, one may also think that it gives the coaches more time to prepare and get the perfect game plan in place. However, defensive coordinator Kevin Coyle said that’s not necessarily true.
“I think as a coach you lose a little bit more sleep, not that you get much to begin with. Yeah, I think there is. You may have the opportunity to install a couple of different looks that you may have not featured up to this point, not to say that we will, we have to really study them. We’re just getting into them heavy today. I think the players get more comfortable with the repetition in the game plan, they get a feel for what you’re going to call, you’ve gotten an additional day or two of working on what you perceive them to be and what they’re going to do. So I think there is a little bit of a comfort level and, if they do something unique, you’ve got a little bit more time to try to prepare for it.”
The Dolphins will no doubt get a lot accomplished during the bye week but probably the biggest advantage is the fact that they will have time to get injuries to heal and get ready for the next part of the season. Philbin believes that the bye came at a good time and is glad his team isn’t playing coming off a big win.
“It is a long trip. I don’t want to underestimate the trip. It’s a long trip, so I’m sure the guys are a little bit tired. I think the bye week comes at a good time. You can’t fret over that stuff. They make the schedule and, when the schedule comes out, you play the schedule that you have. I think it’s fine.”