Arizona Cardinals adoption of Buccaneers’ bye-week blueprint pays off
Dec 6, 2021, 4:09 PM | Updated: Dec 7, 2021, 7:59 am
(Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)
Arizona Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury isn’t shy about lifting plays or certain sets from other teams, NFL or otherwise.
He’s said so himself over during his three years in the Valley.
And from the sounds of it, the emulating doesn’t stop when the bye week rolls around.
“Got to give coach (Bruce) Arians and the (Tampa Bay) Buccaneers a lot of credit for that,” Kingsbury told Arizona Sports’ Wolf & Luke on Monday. “We basically looked into last year at who really played well coming off their bye and nobody did better than them.
“They won eight straight after their bye and won the Super Bowl. So we looked into what they did exactly and tried to follow that blueprint. Guys came back had a great week of energetic practices and found a way to win.”
It certainly paid off, as the Cardinals picked up their first win after the bye week under Kingsbury in a 33-22 victory over the Chicago Bears in Week 13.
The players surely felt the change up, applauding the effort of their teammates who remained locked in throughout the off week.
“The bye week was as if it was a normal week,” defensive lineman Zach Allen told Wolf & Luke on Monday. “I think that was a really special thing, because in years past, guys would fly out the minute they could. But this year, guys hung around and we treated that week as if we were playing Sunday.
“Guys came in, still working out, still preparing mentally looking into Chicago. And the fact that the first two years here we haven’t been able to win after the bye, it’s probably been our worst performances. That we were able to build off of it is pretty cool and special that now we kinda knocked another hurdle down and there’s still some more to go.”
It’s one thing to glean something off another team. It’s another to utilize it as your own.
“I think it shows how dialed in and focused guys are,” D.J. Humphries said Monday. “I saw a lot of guys around the building, even throughout the bye and you could tell everybody was pretty focused. Even guys that were leaving out of town, you see guys on social media hitting their spots that they train at when they’re back home in their spots. It was good to see. Everybody came back focused. Nobody looked like they were out of shape or anything like that so it was definitely fun to get over that hill.”