The Routine

Takeo Spikes:

"My week starts off on Wednesday. Wednesday is game preparation. You get the game plan, trying to get the ins and outs of what's going to help you make a play faster or recognize things a lot faster than anybody else. It's the same thing pretty much on Thursday."

Willie Anderson:

"Wednesday and Thursday are our two toughest days. We come in a 7:30 for about 45 minutes of weightlifting. Then we have a team meeting at 9. Between 7:30 and 9, you can get a good breakfast in. If we win, Marvin [Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis] has a chef come in to cater, and they make pancakes and omelettes. We call it victory Wednesday and victory Thursday."

Carlos Emmons:

"[Wednesday is] our install day. We install the new defense or new schemes we're going to use against a team we're facing that weekend. It's a big day for us -- a big learning day. It's just like being in school, I guess, where you're learning all over again. They give you a big playbook and you've got to learn it all before the game."

Willie Anderson:

"[Wednesday, we] have the team meeting with Marvin at 9, then we break up into offensive and defensive meetings. We stay there from 9:30 until about 11:15. 11:15 is our first walk-through practice. We do the walk-through for about 45 minutes, then we come back in and have lunch between 12 and 12:30. During that time, the media is allowed to come in the locker room. So you get the lunch and the media every day for 30 minutes. There's usually some time for the guys to get taped up, because we go back out to practice at 2:00. So practice is from 2:00 until 4:15, roughly. And we do that Wednesday and Thursday."

Takeo Spikes:

"At the end of Thursday, I make a little cheat sheet of what I need to know. Friday is like icing on the cake. Friday, I look at the cheat sheet before I go out. Those are the things I try to remember. If I feel like I need to have a good game, I need to have a good Friday. Friday is the last day I have a chance to practice."

Willie Anderson:

"We start on Fridays at 9 a.m.. We usually have weigh-ins every Friday morning -- we weigh before 9, and then we have a team meeting at 9 a.m.. Then we practice from 11:15 until 1:00. So it's shorter on Fridays -- you have a little longer day to go do things."

Fred Beasley:

"Saturday, we have a walk-through. We walk through some of the situational stuff that might come up in the game. If we're having a home game, we meet up at the hotel close by the stadium, and then we have meetings at night to go over some last-minute stuff. Then we have the team dinner, then we have curfew."

Willie Anderson:

"We practice from about 11 to 12. If we're traveling out of town, we usually leave about 2:15, on the plane about 2:30. If we're staying at home, we're off until about 7:00. We check into a downtown hotel at 7."

Takeo Spikes:

"Sunday is game time -- it's time to pass the test on all I've been doing."

Carlos Emmons:

"The day after the game, what you do is based on whether you won or not. If we win the game, we're off on Monday, so we don't have to go in. If we lose, we have to go to work and get some studying in, and maybe get a little conditioning in -- some weight-training. Usually, the day after the game, you're extremely sore, so you really don't want to do much of anything."

Willie Anderson:

"If we win, we have victory Mondays. The only thing we have to do is come in and lift weights between 8 and 1:00. If we lose, we have to come and get a lift in before the meeting with Marvin, where we watch the game. We're usually done about 2:30 or 3:00. Then the whole entire NFL is off on Tuesday. Then we do the same thing all over again."