As the Bengals prepare for their first regular-season game of 2015, they're already changing up their practice schedule in hopes of better adjusting to what gamedays have to offer.
According to Bengals.com's Geoff Hobson, the Bengals will not go through a full practice on Friday as has been the case in year's past during Sunday game weeks. Teams playing on Sundays tend to practice Wednesday, Thursday and Friday before getting a rest day on Saturday.
However, this year, the Bengals will instead limit their Friday practices to mostly just a weight room and strength period with the conditioning staff for what they're describing as "recovery and modality periods." Then on Saturday, instead of what normally would be a walkthrough, they'll go through a quick and up-tempo practice session in hopes of better simulating a game-like atmosphere the day before games.
As Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis said after Thursday’s practice, the hope is this will keep the team from slowing down prior to facing the Raiders on Sunday and future opponents as well.
"There’s a theory that’s given that high performance athletes should not slow down prior to competition. They should speed up for a shorter period of time," Lewis said . "It’s the measurements. You only have so many players. There’s not a plethora of guys on the street, so if we can keep the 53 guys we start with as healthy as we can, we’ve got to figure out a way to do it."
Defensive tackle and team captain Domata Peko thinks it's beneficial after testing it out during the preseason.
"It’s new, it’s different, it’s a good changeup,’ said Peko. "We go hard Wednesday and Thursday and it helps us out having a walk-through on Friday going through plays that we think we need to work on. We can go through it Saturday a little bit faster. It gives us a chance to fix stuff on Friday. And we’re off our feet more on Friday, when we we're basically going all day, and we can come in on Saturday and get moving a little bit. Get the blood flowing. It feels good so far."
Hopefully, this new routine helps the Bengals throughout the season, and in the short team, end their dreaded 10-game losing streak in Oakland. The Bengals have never won in Oakland, though they do have one road win over the Raiders when they were in Los Angeles.