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Bills heading west early this week

Posted Dec 7, 2011


The Bills will make their one and only west coast trip of the season this week to San Diego for Sunday’s game against the Chargers. What will make this trip different from those of the past is head coach Chan Gailey has his team flying out a day earlier than usual.

Gailey has his team departing Buffalo just a couple of hours after their typical Friday practice wraps up in the early afternoon. They’re due to arrive in San Diego at 5:15 pm Pacific time on Friday.

“You can go a day early and try to get acclimated a little bit or go just like your normal schedule and everyone has a comfort level with the schedule,” said Gailey. “With this it’s different because you’re doing Saturday walk through at a different place and you’re staying in a hotel for two nights. That’s different, but your body is getting acclimated to the time and hopefully that helps you.”

A lot of west coast teams typically come east early to adjust to the early kickoff times, which typically would be at 10 am Pacific time. The San Francisco 49ers went so far as to spend an entire week in the eastern time zone with back-to-back games on the east coast back in September against Cincinnati and Philadelphia.

Buffalo’s players don’t seem to feel they’ll be all that affected by the time change.

“It’s much harder going west to east,” said Dwan Edwards. “You’re losing three hours and you’re playing at what is 10 am for you normally. Going east to west it doesn’t really matter because you’ve got three extra hours to rest anyway. It’s a four o’clock game for us back home basically.”

“They say getting acclimated to the time change is going to help,” said Justin Rogers. “But I don’t know if it really will.”

“I guess you’re more rested,” said Kirk Morrison. “So I suppose it’s better than going the day before.”

For most road trips the Bills usually have their Saturday practice, and after lunch they head to the airport for travel. This weekend they’ll be waking up in San Diego on Saturday and will be taken to La Jolla high school for their Saturday practice. Meetings will follow as usual in preparation for Sunday’s game.

Next season the Bills will be facing the NFC West as their interconference division with one road game at Seattle or at San Francisco, but Gailey isn’t committed to this approach just yet.

“To be honest with you this is a test run,” he said. “If it goes well knowing we have to go out there next year then we’ll evaluate it at the end of this trip and see what we thought.”