The team has currently lost 13 straight games played in the eastern time zone, and head coach Dennis Allen is hoping to change that.
Allen decided to fly the team out on Thursday instead of Friday, giving the players an extra day to get their bodies adjusted to the time change.
“It was just something that we looked at during the offseason and I wanted to do something different to give us an opportunity to maybe get our bodies right for the East Coast time,” Allen said of the decision.
He also believes it will be a good opportunity for a team with so many new faces to bond.
“I also thing going there as a group and having the opportunity to kind of bond there in the hotel, I thought was a good idea,” Allen said.
The third-year head coach got the idea from when he worked under New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton and the Saints were displaced because of Hurricane Katrina.
“We did something similar to that when I was with New Orleans and we were displaced with a hurricane and we went up to Indianapolis for a week, practicing in Indianapolis, and then came back to New Orleans to play an opening game,” Allen said. “It’s something that we’ve done something similar before, in the past, and I wanted to try this.”
Defensive coordinator Jason Tarver knows previous struggles don’t matter as it is now 2014 and a new opportunity for the team to succeed each week.
“It’s 2014 and the struggles that have happened, whatever the streak is, it’s not the same,” Tarver said after practice on Wednesday. “Our job is to go 1-0 wherever they have us play, and that’s how we’re approaching it. Now you have to do some things when you go across country like hydrate and sleep, because those things are important. So, I hope our young men are doing that. I know some of our veterans are, they know how to handle it. So with our veteran presence, we’re going to line up each week and our job is to go 1-0, that’s it.”
Though Allen likes the idea of giving the players’ bodies the extra day to adjust to the East Coast, he doesn’t have any set plans for future games in the eastern time zone.
“The plan, as of right now, is that this would be a one-time thing for the opening game. It kind of works out that way, with players’ days off and that type of stuff. But certainly, if it’s effective, that’s something that we can consider later in the year.”