The San Francisco 49ers will need to get over the euphoria of their Monday Night Football win quickly with this week's travel to the East Coast for an early Sunday morning game against the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Steelers, on the other hand, played on Thursday night and ultimately will have 9 days to prepare for the 49ers. Head coach Mike Tomlin said the team used preseason tape this past weekend, and added in Monday film on Tuesday morning. Here's how the 49ers will fit everything into their shortened schedule.
One holdover from the Jim Harbaugh era is having the day after the game or Day one, as an off day. As head coach Jim Tomsula mentioned in his Tuesday press conference, it was a day off for the players, but the weight room and regeneration facilities were full. Players are allowed to be in the facility for treatment and are allowed to use the weight room but it is on a voluntary basis. This is also a coach's prep day. A lot of other teams have the day after the game as a film day, seemingly wanting players to watch film while it's fresh in their minds. The following day would generally be their off day while coaches prep for the next opponent.
Day two (Wednesday) for the 49ers was film day. With the shortened week, the players went through an afternoon walkthrough. This is what Tomsula calls "C & I" day or "clean up and installation" day. This adds productivity to the schedule, adding almost a half day to the week. Teams that have film days on their first day off, generally do not do walkthroughs as well, as they likely need the second half of the day for treatment and recuperation.
Days three and four (Thursday, Friday) for the 49ers will be regular practice days with normal reps, with travel to Pittsburgh shortly after practice on Friday afternoon. Teams that had their off day on their second day would be doing walkthroughs on their third day, regular reps on their 4th day.
The efficiency of this schedule actually still allows players to have their "day off" while still getting two full days of practice in before traveling. This may not be the "be all, end all" of prepping on a short week but it seems like a much more productive way to work through it. A shortened week is a disadvantage but as Tomsula sees it, it's within the parameters of the schedule so you don't complain, you simply "put a plan together to attack it and go at it."