G Davin Joseph (75) would mostly like to relax during the bye week
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have reached their Week 10 bye at 6-3 and in excellent position to continue their quest to defend the NFC South title. After a grueling first nine games of the season, it's now time for a bit of rest and relaxation and a chance to heal up some bumps and bruises.
Buccaneers.com surveyed the locker room on Monday morning after the Bucs had returned from their nail-biting comeback win in Kansas City to ask one question: What are your plans for the bye week?
The answers varied. Some Bucs will be doing very little. Others may be even busier than they are during a normal regular-season week, although in a different way. And considering their profession revolves around the sport, it's fairly unsurprising that many of the Bucs will still be paying plenty of attention to football – at various levels of play – on their week off.
But above all else, most will use their precious few days of down time to reconnect with family and friends, rest their tired bodies and minds and prepare to come back for the stretch run.
Here's what a random selection of Buccaneer players plan to do with their small in-season break:
Ike Hilliard: "I'm footballed out, man. I will hopefully be in a pool with my kids. I don't anticipate watching much football. This is, for me, the best time of the year – basketball season is here. I'm a big basketball fan; it's really my first love. I'll be checking my fantasy basketball team more than any football game, I can tell you that."
Clifton Smith: "I'm going back to Fresno, California, back to see my family. I'm going to still be watching football. I'm going to watch my little cousin's high school game, go to the Fresno State game and just hang out for the weekend. Maybe I'll play some golf while I'm back at home."
Josh Johnson: "I'm going right back home to Oakland, California. I'll just be chilling out at the house. I'll probably be more of a fan of football this week, because I can actually watch it. I won't have anything else to do."
Michael Bennett: "I'm going to get the heck out of here and probably go home and see my mom, go visit some family, because I haven't seen them since the summer. I'm going to go to Wisconsin, take a trip to Mississippi. I'm getting one of those tour buses and putting my family on there. We'll go to Mississippi, then we'll go to Wisconsin, and then probably hit Minnesota then come back, so just a long road trip. It'll be good, something fun for the family to do. It won't be too crazy. The big bus we're going to get will have a satellite, so I'll get a chance to watch some football and maybe focus in a little bit on Minnesota, because that's our next opponent. But it'll be good just to go out and have some fun and get away from this and get a good week off and come back in and be ready to go."
Davin Joseph: "I really don't even know. I really didn't know what the schedule was going to be like, so I really didn't make any plans. I wanted to go back to Oklahoma to watch them play, but I think they are playing Texas A&M on the road, so that's not going to be a good game to go to. I wanted to go back home and get some of my momma's cooking, but sometimes you get the cooking and then she wants you to do all this stuff. She'll have a laundry list of things she wants you to do, so I don't know if I want to go back home. I don't know, I might just end up hanging around here. It might just be that simple.
"I know if I go home with my mom, she's going to have 1,000 things for me to do when I get there, and I'm trying to relax. She doesn't get that. I'd be busy. She'd be wanting me to see people, do things for her, take her places – not this week. As for football, Saturday is going to be an important day. I've got to keep track of Oklahoma, and then everybody else. Penn State is probably not going to lose, but hopefully Alabama loses. We've got to start making our way back up the rankings, because Florida jumped us. On Sunday, of course I've got to keep my eyes on the NFC South and see how we stand. It'll be a football weekend for me. I can't get away from it."
Elbert Mack: "On the bye week I'm actually going back home. I'm hosting my first little community event in Wichita, Kansas. Basically we're trying to raise money to get a movie theater-type setup in the nursing home, something for the members to have the atmosphere of a movie theater inside the building. That's what we're raising the money for and hopefully it'll be a good turnout. It'll be the first event that I've hosted and there's going to be autograph signing and all that stuff going on, so it'll be a good chance to give back. I'm definitely going to still pay attention to football. I'll actually get a chance to go back and watch my high school play. It's going to be my first chance to go back and watch them play in the last two or three years. They made the playoffs, so it'll be fun to go back and watch them and root them on."
Gaines Adams: "I'll just be relaxing and kicking it with the family. That's it. I'm going back home to South Carolina. I'll still watch some football, but just relax and re-connect with the family. That's it."
Jovan Haye "I'll probably just go back to Nashville back to my college town. Vanderbilt plays Florida, so I'll definitely just get off my feet and watch football and enjoy the week off. Florida is rolling right now, so I'm looking forward to that. I'm definitely going to catch up with some friends and family, but it's more just to get off our feet and clear our minds. Sunday's game took a lot out of us, but it'll be good to get away from football, regroup and attack the second half of the season."