Back at it: Kliff Kingsbury, Cardinals use bye week to their advantage

Nov 30, 2021, 6:36 PM | Updated: 6:41 pm

The Arizona Cardinals tackled not only their bye week in Week 12, but a holiday to boot.

While the time away from the football field is needed, there’s a fine line between refueling and getting complacent.

“You just gotta have a feel for it, gotta understand your body, understand what your asked to do and the position that a lot of things play a factor into it,” running back James Conner said Tuesday.

“I’ve had bye weeks in the past so just find a good balance and tone it up, touching things that need to be touched and hit on just so you’re ready to come back full speed.”

There will be quite a few eyes on the Cardinals when they take the field Sunday against the Chicago Bears.

And it’s not because Arizona is the top team in the league through 12 weeks.

The Cardinals haven’t won a game coming off a bye since 2017 and are 0-2 in that category under head coach Kliff Kingsbury.

They haven’t forgotten that track record, with numerous players opting for added work at the training facility throughout the week in hopes of curbing that losing trend.

“I know past years we’ve kinda struggled with [revving back up] but I think we had a really good plan going into the bye,” defensive lineman Zach Allen said Tuesday. “I know personally we had a good amount of people stay during the bye and work out.

“I know our strength coaches and training staff did a great job of making sure we didn’t lose any momentum physically and I think also mentally, our coaches did a good job of giving us … self-scout stuff or Chicago stuff to keep looking at. … We really handled it well.”

For head coach Kliff Kingsbury, it sounded like a business-as-usual type week just with Thanksgiving thrown in the mix.

Luckily for Kingsbury, his prep work for Chicago didn’t have to stop because of the holiday.

“I tried to get to the office every day except Thanksgiving at least in the morning and just stay locked in, stay dialed in,” Kingsbury said Monday.

“(The Bears) playing on Thanksgiving was nice because Friday we had the film in and got to break it down and get ahead as much as we could, which will allow us to install a lot today and try to have a bonus day with our players actually having a game plan installed.”

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