Bye Week Buzzkill?

Posted Sep 29, 2010

Chiefs don't think so

Based off the feedback from all of you over these past two days, there seems to be split feelings regarding the Chiefs bye week.

One point of view is that the Chiefs bye week comes at the worst possible time – a momentum stopping, early-season week off, followed by 13-straight grueling weeks of football. This group believes that the team is on a hot-streak, clicking on all cylinders against the 49ers; these are the times to be on the field, not walking away from it.

These are the people that believe in the power of momentum. They fear that a weekend off might cause the Chiefs to lose their edge.

Really, who can blame the momentum-backers for believing this way? This team is definitely on fire right now and Kansas City hasn’t seen its team win coming off a bye since 2006. Of course, there weren’t many victories from 2007-09 after any week, bye or no bye.

It’s a form of football paranoia, but it has credibility.

Then there is the other side. This group contends that a bye week is to be welcomed regardless of where it falls. A weekend like this gives injured players extra time to heal. Specific to the Chiefs, names like Tyson Jackson, Ryan O’Callaghan and Javier Arenas are brought up as they recover from various ailments. Plus, this group likes to point out that it’s always nice to have an extra week to prepare for Peyton Manning and the Colts; particularly when the meeting comes on the road.

That’s the world outside of Arrowhead; it’s seemingly split. Inside Arrowhead, however, is another story.

Walk through the Chiefs locker room and ask about the possibility of bye weekend being a momentum breaker; this is the type of response that you’ll generally get…

“I don’t think so,” LB Andy Studebaker said. “If it was five weeks away, we could say, ‘is this a breaker or not?’ It is what it is, and it comes when it comes. There is always one bye week a year and you get better during it. When the next game comes, you just build off of what you did.”

Like Studebaker, most of the players will acknowledge the line of thinking that says momentum can come to a halt with time off; they just don’t believe that it will happen.

“You just have to come out and keep doing what you’ve been doing,” DE Glenn Dorsey said. “We get an opportunity to correct our mistakes and to heal our bodies a little bit. That’s the way guys take it. We just try to go into the bye week and keep on pushing the momentum.”

Throughout the Chiefs win streak, there’s been a quiet confidence that fills the Chiefs locker room. As the Chiefs keep winning, many continue to be surprised. The surprised, however, are never those that rent space inside that locker room.

“We’ve made strides to continue to become a better team and now this bye week is another important stage for this team,” head coach Todd Haley said. “I don’t think it would matter when it was coming, this would be of equal importance to me that we’ve got to continue to make progress.”

The Chiefs bye week schedule calls for shorter practice sessions today and tomorrow, followed by a three-day weekend in which the players are free from football obligations. The team is scheduled to re-convene for their regular weekly schedule on Monday morning.

“I’ll be in here every day running hard and watching film,” LB Corey Mays joked.

Most players with either head back to college games and hometowns, or relax with their family. None of them believe that their weekend activities will cause the team’s momentum to slow down.

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