Besides the bouts of immaturity displayed by Jameis Winston during his time at Florida State, there are other red flags for teams evaluating his future NFL success.
One of those red flags was Winston’s interceptions last year.
Winston tossed 18 interceptions in 2014, a dramatic jump from his record-setting 2013 freshmen Heisman winning season, but former NFL quarterback and current CBS analyst Phil Simms isn’t alarmed by that number one bit.
“Who cares?” Simms told Adam Schein on SiriusXM Radio recently. “What does it really mean? It basically means nothing. Think about all the college quarterbacks who had unbelievable touchdown-to-interception ratios and they were careful with the football and can’t play at all in the NFL or who do come into the NFL and become turnover machines.
“I find all that talk – it drives me crazy. If you have common intelligence, you don’t have to be a brain surgeon. The NFL is going to teach you, ‘Hey son, that’s open, throw it to him and if he’s not look at the next one.’ It doesn’t take a lot. It really doesn’t.”
Sims also talked about Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota, but wasn’t quite as impressed with the Duck as he is the Seminole.
“The look, great shape, all that. Is he a knock-down, natural, NFL thrower? Absolutely not. Could he be? Yes,” Simms said. “I think his arm action and some of the things he does with the football I really like. He throws on the run well. I think he has the ability to really spin it and that’s going to play well wherever he goes. I always talk about guys who can make the ball rotate, that means you’re going to be able to throw in adverse conditions easier than other quarterbacks.”
Click here to listen to the full interview by Simms.
Mark Cook currently is the director of editorial content and Bucs beat writer and has written for PewterReport.com since 2011. Cook has followed the Buccaneers since 1977 when he first began watching football with his Dad and is fond of the 1979 Bucs team that came within 10 points of going to a Super Bowl. His favorite Bucs game is still the 1979 divisional playoff win 24-17 over the Eagles. In his spare time Cook enjoys playing guitar, fishing, surfing and family time at the beach. In addition, Cook can be found in front of a television or in Doak Campbell any time the FSU Seminoles are playing. Cook is a native of Pinecrest in Eastern Hillsborough County and has written for numerous publications including the Tampa Tribune, In the Field and Ya'll Magazine. Cook can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Winston threw 25 TDs and 18 INTs in 2014. Interceptions are always disturbing and should be analyzed thoroughly to be sure we’re not drafting another Jay Cutler. But the raw number does not always tell the whole story. Jason Licht’s concern over Winston’s interceptions is understandable and justifiable, although looking at interceptions as a raw number without taking into account how they happened can be misleading.
Winston lost his primary weapon, Kelvin Benjamin in 2014, and other than Reshede Green, had to depend on inexperienced WRs who often ran the wrong routes and dropped catchable balls! So, some of those interceptions were not Winston’s fault. When he fell behind, he tended to press and took chances that simply made matters worse. And of course, some were. He had a tendency to overlook linebackers in underneath coverage, and when he tried to force throws into tight windows, the INTs increased. This can become a real issue in the NFL, where windows are even tighter and DCs are better at disguising their coverages.
And Winston isn’t the only QB who has thrown a relative high number of picks. Matt Ryan threw 19 interceptions the year before declaring for the NFL and Dan Marino threw 23 in each of his final two seasons. Peyton Manning threw 12 and 11 in his final two seasons. And his first year in the NFL, he promptly threw 28 INTs. This list contains a few dignitaries that hoisted a few in 2014 – Philip Rivers (18), Jay Cutler (18), Andy Dalton (17), Drew Brees (17), Blake Bortles (17), Andrew Luck (16), Peyton Manning (15).
I would be more concerned if Winston was a prolific and serial INT thrower. The year he won the National Championship and the Heisman, he threw 40 TDs and only 10 INTs. I’m not worried about this stat either!
Gotta love the Apologists that just keep lining up to acquit Winston of any wrongdoing. Does this guy get held accountable for anything. He rapes a girl, no worries he wasn’t charged. He stole twice, no worries he wasn’t charged. He’s allowed to run around campus shooting up with a BB gun. He melts down in the Rose Bowl yelling at players and coaches. Now, all those Interceptions he’s thrown aren’t his fault either. It doesn’t matter that poor mechanic and overconfidence was the main culprit in those Interceptions. Just WOW.
I agree Bucko40. I don’t know who the victim is in the assault case, the girl or Winston but everything else definitely happened and everything else is more than enough to take him out of consideration for the 1st overall pick. I don’t recall so many excuses ever being made for a player in the draft. Especially a QB. ESPECIALLY a QB being considered with the 1st overall pick.
You can pick the company you agree with like Bucko40, who clearly believes that Winston is a rapist and I’ll pick former NFL QBs like Phil Simms who penned this piece as well as Trent Dilfer, Warren Moon, Donovan McNabb, Joe Thiesmann, Gary Danielson, Brad Johnson, Shaun King, Brett Farve, and Kurt Warner. You see, I would like to be judged by the company I keep!
I don’t care about the company I keep when it comes to issues. Circumstance can make for strange bedfellows. There was a time in my past that I’ll never forget where I was among a group of well thought of, highly academically recognized peers and we all came to the same conclusion on a subject…and in the end were deemed wrong. I didn’t dive the issue due diligence because everybody else had already come to the same conclusion. At that point the group turned on each other and it was everyone for themselves trying to save face. In the end I learned to take comfort in the facts and what makes the most sense now AND in the long run, not to take comfort in others coming to the same conclusion you have. I learned whether it’s 10 people or 10,000 people you could all be wrong no matter how highly thought of you are. We don’t know who Bucko40 is and what he does and it doesn’t matter. He could be a surgeon, a priest or a bum. I supported Bucko40’s comment because it made the most sense to me (while excluding the part I differed on) and because of that I’d rather be in his company that that of famous people who on this issue I believe to be wrong.
Sorry for the double post!
Well I was surprised to hear that the only QB in the nation who lost a receiver and had inexperienced receivers was Winston. Not to mention he was the only QB to have passes tipped. By the way it was not his fault he stared down his receivers and tried to throw through LBs. Considering he had no talent around him, except the 4 offensive linemen,TE, WR, and running back all expected to be drafted this year, I can understand why none of the interceptions were his fault. Its everybody’s fault around. How foolish of me.
Don’t worry about his interceptions. Don’t worry about his immaturity. Don’t worry about all his run ins with the law. Don’t worry about his poor athletic showing at the combine. Don’t worry about his interests in Baseball. So what the hell should we worry about????
Bucs fans are so desperate they are willing to look over anything this guy does. Another reason the Bucs will continue with their loosing ways. Did nobody else see this kid through a tantrum and chew out his coach during the Rose bowl?? I hope the Bucs don’t pick Mariota so he can go to a team with a clue and have a good career. Meanwhile the Bucs can keep selecting scrubs
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