For the first time since 1987, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers had the No. 1 overall NFL Draft pick and selected former Florida State Heisman Trophy winner Jameis Winston. The area is abuzz with excitement for the Bucs news quarterback, one the fans and the organization hope becomes a franchise quarterback, and can lead the Buccaneers back to the playoffs for the first time since Jon Gruden roamed the sidelines at Raymond James Stadium.
PewterReport.com will chronicle Winston’s practice reports throughout camp. After canceling the fan portion of training camp, the Bucs were able to get their third practice in. Here is the third installment following a day that saw no rain during the afternoon practice. Make sure to check back with PewterReport.com daily for our Winston Report.
Maybe the light came on for Jameis Winston on Thursday.
After a couple of average practices where the former Heisman Trophy winner drew some concern by a small percentage of fans with five interceptions in those two workouts, Winston looked to be everything the Bucs wanted and hoped for during Thursday’s practice in front of a large crowd at One Buc Place.
As usual, Winston started off the afternoon affair under a blistering sun working with Mike Glennon and Seth Lobato on some short passes to get warmed up. Next the receivers joined the rookie in the south end zone of Field 1 and WRs coach Andrew Hayes-Stoker acted as a cornerback trying to redirect the receiver routes.
During this drill QB coach Mike Bajakian used paddles standing in a linebacker spot to force Winston to navigate his throws over or between the outstretched arms and paddles of Bajakian. This caused some of Winston’s passes to sail a little high, something that could be deadly in the NFL especially when playing teams with ball-hawking safeties. It was a productive and successful period with very few misfires from any of the three Bucs quarterbacks.
One thing noted by PewterReport.com is Winston’s ability to place the ball in an easy spot for receivers to catch on sideline out-routes. When Winston does miss on those throws, it is 9-out-10 times wide, meaning very difficult for the defenders to make a play on the ball. That was something that FSU fans, and the rest of the nation who watched Winston, saw during his two years as a starter in Tallahassee. So far in camp Winston has thrown two interceptions that very well could have been Pick-6’s. In Winston’s 851 pass attempts, and despite 28 interceptions, not one was returned for a touchdown.
After a short break the team went to a 7-on-7 period, and as has been the case Winston started off slowly completing only one of his first three passes, but with a drop. Then, as mentioned earlier, it appeared the proverbial light went on. Winston completed his next seven passes in a row, gaining confidence with each and roar from the crowd. Winston went through a number of passes, from outs to skinny posts, to finding the tight ends down the seam. Winston finished the period 10-of-13 and had the fans, his teammates and his staff excited.
In the final period of practice it was the first-team offense against the first-team defense and Winston’s excellent day continued, going 8-for-9 while threading some nice balls across the middle in some small windows.
As displayed during his college career, and like many athletes in a number of sports, Winston gets into a zone and everything appears to slow down for him. That was clearly the case on Thursday and was by far the best performance of his first Bucs training camp.
Head coach Lovie Smith doesn’t show a lot of highs and lows in his press conferences following practices and that was the case once again when speaking about Winston’s performance on Thursday after coming off two mediocre days prior.
He did some good things today. Again, every day we are giving him something different and it is all part of the progression he needs to go through. We are pleased with where he is.”
Following practice a sweat-drenched Gerald McCoy gave Winston the biggest endorsement so far by any veteran during the first week of camp.
“Jameis is Jameis – I mean, he’s been that since he was in high school,” McCoy said. “People have been saying he’s going to be a star for the longest (time), and he proved it in high school, came in, did it at Florida State – he’s not going to do anything different in the league. Every day I come in – I come in pretty early, in between 6:30 and 7:00 – he’s already in the locker room, working on his abs, doing his core work with one of our strength coaches. I mean, already. That means when I walk in, he’s already in the (middle) of it. That means he’s already been in, changed clothes, done everything necessary. Then he gets to meetings early, does everything he’s asked off the field as well as on the field. He puts in all the work necessary and has all the tools to be a great quarterback, so I think he’s going to do the same thing he’s been doing, and that’s be successful.”
Final Stats (unofficial):18-of-22 (82 percent) with no interceptions
PewterReport.com Practice Grade: A-
Day 1 Winston Report, click here
Day 2 Winston Report, click here
Day 3 Winston Report, click here
Day 4 Winston Report, click here
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 email@example.com
Winston is a work in progress. There is also a long way to go. But, this is good to see. Go Bucs!!!
Excellent. Love to hear that Winston had a good day. Hopefully we’ll see more of these going forward.
Winston seems to do exceptionally well when a big crowd is around. Maybe he’s a gamer. Whatever, I’ll take it!
They should pump in some crowd noise to get him humming…
We can ask ATL for some tips….
I remember jumbo fisher saying before that Jameis was always just an “ok” practice guy, but when the lights game on he was a different guy. Guess we will find out but I love to hear about a solid day from him.
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I’ll be honest, between this article, the banks article and the Safety competition article I am certainly starting to ride the HYPE TRAIN
If you have a top ten, or god hope top five Q.B.in this league you’ll be a playoff team. Winston seems to be all the positives we heard, the strip clubs are safe. We have as he said, a baller, shot caller. We’re gonna win us some ball games.
Can’t wait for sept 13 vs Tenn go bucs
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