NFL schedule-maker Mike North: ‘If we had a do-over, I’d love to take another shot at that Tampa Bay schedule’

The NFL fully anticipates blowback from teams after it puts together the regular-season schedule.

It might not hear public complaints, because as Mike North, the league’s senior director of broadcast planning and scheduling points out, “Nobody ever wants to give their football team an excuse.”

‘I’m not sure that’s really fair to their fans’

However, North readily acknowledges that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and their fans have plenty of reason to be unhappy that the 2019 schedule released Wednesday night has the team away from home for seven weeks. One of those is for a game in London against the Carolina Panthers and another is the bye after that trip.

“If we had to do-over, if we had a redo, I’d love to take another shot at that Tampa Bay schedule,” North told Alex Marvez and Gil Brandt on Late Hits. “I’m not sure that’s really fair to their fans. I’m hopeful that we didn’t do something to the Buccaneers that they feel like was really unfair.”

‘I’m kind of rooting for the Buccaneers through October’

The Bucs do play two of their first three games at home and three of their final four. Still, North can’t help but feel a sense of regret over that seven-week stretch when they will be away from Tampa.

“I know we’re not allowed to root for anybody,” North said. “But I’m kind of rooting for the Buccaneers through October.”

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