Will body clocks adjust in time for the Bears?
The Chicago Bears landed in at about 10 a.m. London time Friday, 56 hours before kickoff of their game Sunday with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Wembley Stadium.
The question is how will the Bears feel at game time?
It won’t be an issue for the Bucs, who arrived Monday evening and have spent the week at a posh resort in Bagshot, about an hour from the city. The team has taken over the Pennyhill Park Hotel, and it took nearly a year to complete a practice field there. The Bucs have a weight room and locker room as well.
Tampa’s strategy to come early was influenced by the team’s poor performance two years ago when it was steamrolled by the New England Patriots. Coach Raheem Morris has made sure his players are up early daily, and their bodies have adjusted to the five-hour time difference. It’s a six-hour clock change for the Bears.
“I’m starting to get acclimated as the days go on,” Morris said. “It’s been a great trip for us to focus on really our family of football, our brotherhood of men, so to speak. Watching these guys bond around the hotel has been phenomenal.
“I’ve got some great wakeup calls here. I love the accent. It’s been great.”
The players seem to be enjoying the experience, too, even if they’re far removed from the action in of the world’s premier cities.
“ It’s a lot easier on the body this time,” Bucs right tackle Jeremy Trueblood said. “I think it takes a few days to get acclimated to all this kind of stuff. Just being able to fall asleep at the right time so you’re not exhausted the next day.”
Will it adversely affect the Bears who won’t have nearly an entire week to adjust?
“I don’t know,” he said. “I hope so.”
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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune