Sunday off? Not for Lovie Smith, who will watch Bucs' next opponents

TAMPA, Fla. -- Ask Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Lovie Smith about his Sunday plans, and he'll tell you no bye-week getaway is on his schedule.

"I'm pretty boring most of the time," he said, with laughter lifting near him. "I'm going to stay around here. As a coach, once the season starts, you never get away."

That means Smith will transform into a football fan come kickoff of Sunday's Week 6 action. He's particularly interested in seeing how the Washington Redskins, Tampa Bay's Week 7 opponent, fare against the New York Jets. He'll also keep tabs on the Carolina Panthers, who play the Seattle Seahawks.

The New Orleans Saints' victory Thursday over the Atlanta Falcons also was on his radar.

"I'm looking forward to watching the games this weekend, looking forward to watching the Redskins play, and we have division opponents coming up," Smith said. "I'm a football fan, too, so that's what we'll be doing this weekend."

Smith's coaching responsibilities won't disappear completely with the time off. He said he'll continue to self-scout his 2-3 Bucs, because as he said, "There's a lot of things we can tighten up."

As for his message to players before the break began, self-discipline was stressed.

"Just know who you're representing," Smith said. "But that's the case whenever you leave the building -- know who you're representing. They know that. The bye week is set up for them to get rejuvenated, refreshed, get away, go home, see your high school [or] college game, whatever you want to do. Be a fan for the weekend.

"Of course, we would like for them to watch the Redskins play, keep in mind what the division is doing at all times. Beyond that, go out and have a good time."

To Smith, a good time means more football.