Bucs TE Cam Brate - Photo by: Getty Images
Tampa Bay suffered a brutal, 31-24 loss at New Orleans that all but ended their playoff hopes. Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston threw two touchdowns and two interceptions, while the Bucs defense failed to stop Mark Ingram from rushing for 90 yards and two touchdowns. The Bucs benched running back Doug Martin and lost tight end Cameron Brate due to an injury, but losing a second straight big game with playoff implications was the real story.
It’s time for PewterReport.com’s 2-Point Conversion post-game column, which features two statements, two questions and two predictions based on the latest Bucs game.
TWO BIG STATEMENTS
STATEMENT 1: LOSING BRATE WAS A KILLER
Bucs tight end Cameron Brate started off the day on a good note, catching a 12-yard touchdown pass, which gave him eight for this season. That scoring reception gave him eight for the year, which is the most in the NFL for a tight end this season. Brate’s eighth touchdown also ties him with Jimmie Giles for the most by a tight end in a single season in Tampa Bay history.
More importantly, Brate’s touchdown tied the game at 7-7 in the second quarter in New Orleans. With Tampa Bay trailing 28-14 with 6:20 left in the third quarter, Brate caught a short pass from Winston and gained nine yards before he was tackled by Saints cornerback B.W. Webb, who hit the third-year tight end in the lower back. That hit knocked Brate out of the game.
Brate, who has been the Bucs’ second-leading receiver this year with 56 catches for 648 yards coming into Sunday’s game, was sorely missed down the stretch. The Bucs had Brandon Myers, who had five catches for 38 yards and a touchdown this season, replace Brate in the lineup and wasn’t nearly as effective. A case in point was Brate likely would have caught the touchdown pass that Myers couldn’t haul in on back-to-back throws from the Saints’ 17-yard line with just over two minutes remaining. The Bucs had to settle for a 35-yard Roberto Aguayo field goal.
On Tampa Bay’s previous offensive series, Winston likely would have directed a throw to Brate instead of Russell Shepard, who was well covered at the New Orleans 17-yard. As a result, Saints safety Jarius Byrd picked off Winston for a second time on Sunday. Tampa Bay’s offense lacks enough playmakers as it is, and having to win a shootout against Brees in the fourth quarter without Brate was simply too much to overcome.
STATEMENT 2: BUCS MISSED GHOLSTON TODAY IN NEW ORLEANS
Bucs defensive end Will Gholston was sorely missed in New Orleans as Saints running back Mark Ingram ran wild against Tampa Bay. Gholston, who suffered a dislocated elbow in last week’s loss at Dallas, is the Bucs’ best run-stuffing defensive lineman with 49 tackles, which is the sixth-most on the team this year. It’s also the most tackles among Tampa Bay’s defensive linemen.
Saints RB Mark Ingram and Bucs LB Lavonte David – Photo by: Getty Images
Gholston doesn’t offer much in terms of pass rush, although he did record his third sack last week against the Cowboys. But what he does offer is solid run defense, which wasn’t present in New Orleans. Led by Ingram’s 90 yards and two touchdowns on 18 carries (5.0 avg.), the Saints rushed for 123 yards and averaged 4.0 yards per carry.
Ingram and Tim Hightower combined to rush for 45 yards on 13 carries two weeks ago in Tampa Bay, but that wasn’t the case in New Orleans. Ingram was the engine that made the Saints offense go on Sunday, often winning first down and setting New Orleans up for third-and-short situations. Ingram’s ability to pick up yards on the ground also helped Drew Brees’ play-action passing game. Brees completed 23-of-34 passes for 299 yards and a touchdown without an interception.
It’s also worth noting that the fact that the Bucs didn’t record a takeaway against the Saints was also a killer. Of course stopping the run on first down often sets up third-and-long opportunities, which can create more takeaway opportunities.
TWO PROBING QUESTIONS
QUESTION 1: WHY IS HUFF STILL RETURNING KICKS?
Josh Huff’s duties as a kickoff returner need to end. Right now. It was one thing to have Huff muff a kickoff out of bounds at the Bucs’ 1-yard line two weeks ago against the Saints in Tampa Bay. That led to a New Orleans safety on the next play back at Raymond James Stadium.
But what happened in New Orleans on Sunday was even worse. After a 17-yard return out to the Tampa Bay 14-yard line in the first half, Huff muffed another kickoff, this time one that was short of the end zone. His failure to cleanly field the ball caused him to be tackled at the Bucs’ 4-yard line for no gain.
Two plays later, Winston threw an interception out of his end zone that set up a 14-yard touchdown run by Ingram. The Bucs have the worst kick return game in the NFL by a long shot and it didn’t gain any ground on Sunday. Head coach Dirk Koetter needs to go back to rookie Ryan Smith as the team’s kick returner – and he needs to tell Smith to take a knee and down the ball in the end zone for a touchback.
Huff’s 26-yard return earlier in the year is the longest kick return this year by Tampa Bay. Smith has a 24-yard return during his rookie campaign, but with the suspect decision-making by Tampa Bay’s return men and the poor blocking, the best thing the Bucs can do is take a touchback and start with the ball on their 25-yard line.
QUESTION 2: WHY DID KOETTER GO FOR THE ONSIDE KICK?
Koetter’s decision to go for the onside kick surprised some, but it was the right call – even though the Bucs had three timeouts left on defense. Koetter wanted two chances to get the ball back – one with an onside kick and then on defense if the kick failed.
Bucs head coach Dirk Koetter – Photo by: Getty Images
Had Koetter elected to kick the ball deep it would not have mattered. A first down from the New Orleans’ 25-yard line or from near midfield was the dagger regardless, so field position wasn’t really an issue. The onside kick gave the Bucs their first and best chance at getting the ball back.
Koetter decided to go for the onside kick for two reasons. First, the Bucs defense had recorded a takeaway all day, although it came close on a Coby Fleener fumble that was overturned and ruled an incomplete catch due to instant replay. And second, Tampa Bay’s run defense had been porous the last two weeks and was giving up five yards per carry to Ingram.
You can’t blame Koetter for going for the onside kick. He proved to be right as Ingram gained seven yards on a first down run and then followed that up with a 2-yard run to set up third-and-1. Ingram then iced the game with a 10-yard run, eluding a tackle attempt by Lavonte David, and picked up a first down, which proved to be the dagger.
TWO BOLD PREDICTIONS:
PREDICTION 1: WINSTON WILL LEARN FROM THIS YEAR’S MISTAKES
This year we’ve seen Winston come out too amped in big games, not throw the ball away enough, take needless sacks, and throw untimely interceptions. More importantly, Winston has failed to engineer fourth quarter comebacks against the likes of Los Angeles, Dallas and New Orleans.
There is plenty to pick apart about Winston’s game, but you better believe his competitive nature will have him improve his game next year. Experience is the best teacher, and Winston will learn from his mistakes. Against New Orleans, Winston took a sack on first down and took a 10-yard loss instead of throwing the ball away. That set up third-and-9 and a punt.
In the second half, Winston threw the ball away and drew an intentional grounding call. He also had two interceptions in the second half, including an ill-advised throw on his first pass of the third quarter. But he’ll learn.
Keep in mind that there have also been 27 touchdown passes – tied for the most in franchise history – from Winston this year, too. For all intents and purposes, Winston should be a senior at Florida State this year. Instead, he’s improved in his number of touchdown passes – and the number of Bucs wins in his second season in the NFL. Winston also has thrown for 7,930 yards in his first two NFL seasons, needing just 265 yards next week to surpass Andrew Luck’s record of 8,196 set from 2012-13. With 178 passing yards next week against Carolina he’ll break Freeman’s record for the most passing yards in a single season in Bucs history.
Be patient with Winston. He’s making strides and it will pay off for the Bucs next year.
PREDICTION 2: BUCS WILL CONTINUE TO ROLL WITH RODGERS NEXT WEEK
It was a bold move by Koetter to bench his $35.75 million man, Doug Martin, in favor of Jacquizz Rodgers. Fortunately for Koetter, it turned out to be the right move. A week after making Rodgers inactive against Dallas in favor of rookie Peyton Barber due to special teams duties, Koetter reversed course and started Rodgers in place of the ineffective Martin, who has averaged 2.9 yards per carry this year.
Bucs RB Jacquizz Rodgers – Photo by: Getty Images
Rodgers, who came into Sunday’s game with 422 yards and led the Bucs by one yard ahead of Martin, rushed for 63 yards on 15 carries (4.2 avg.) in New Orleans before the Bucs fell behind by two touchdowns. That prompted Koetter to turn to the passing game in an attempt to catch up.
Martin may or may not be active next week, but expect Rodgers to continue to be the starter. He’s earned that right this season. And if Martin is inactive next week … oh, boy. Will that open up an interesting debate in the offseason about whether or not Martin should even be in Tampa Bay’s plans for 2017. Stay tuned.
Scott Reynolds is in his 23rd year of covering the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as the vice president, publisher and senior Bucs beat writer for PewterReport.com. Author of the popular SR's Fab 5 column on Fridays, Reynolds oversees web development and forges marketing partnerships for PewterReport.com in addition to his editorial duties. A graduate of Kansas State University in 1995, Reynolds enjoys giving back to the community as the defensive line coach for his sons' Pop Warner team, the South Pasco Predators. Reynolds can be reached at: email@example.com
Tough game but not surprising in its results. We have made progress this year for the first time in a long time and I predicted 9-7 as a best case scenario for us. Next week we can get that.
I know we’re all disappointed in our finish, but as Bucs fans we have had playoff aspirations for the first time in a long time. I figured this team was one more draft off of being a playoff team so here’s to hoping.
Statement 1: losing brate was terrible. First off , it was a cheap shot in his back, second Myers is a sloth out there and you can guarantee one of those two passes would’ve been a td with brate in there. He will be outstanding going into next year. Kee grinding brate!
Statement 2: will was definitely missed. Their run game was gashing us for 5 a clip. Right up the gut as well.
Question 1: I have no fucking clue what huff is still doing back there. That play was disastrous, and what oussed me off the most about it was his weak ass effort to even pick the damn ball up. That dude needs to be cut tomorrow , I don’t care what our we depth is.
Question 2: I’m not sure why he didn’t kick it deep. It was pretty much a situation where you had to hold them to three and out and it would’ve been much more effective with them in their side of the field . Our defense couldn’t get a stop all day anyways so I didn’t expect much.
Prediction 1: no doubt about it. Jameis had to trrrible interceptions today. I knew the first was going to happen right after we got stuffed. He needs to okay within himself and learn from this stuff. Another offseason working on mechanics can only help. He wasn’t ready for prime time which is surprising to me. He’s only 22 and he needs to mature in the field now. We also need a few more weapons as this offense is running in nuts and bolts outside of big mike and brate.
Prediction 2: I’ll take this a step further and eco my own statement. Doug won’t be on this team next year. After watching Rogers today it’s clear Doug is a shell of a running back missing lanes and cutbacks . We will be drafting a rb next year, fortunately it’s a very deep class.
I would like to say merry Christmas to all of my fellow Bucs fans, even the ones I argue with constantly. Our Bucs have shown improvement this year with a rookie head coach, 22 year old qb, first year defensive coordinator, and a ton of injuries. Thy gave us hope for the first time in a long time and I’m grateful for that. Next season is when I expected a serious playoff push. Go Bucs!
Hey CG- I totally agree your post.
Statement 1-no question losing Brate was huge. He has been nothing short of AMAZING this year. I would like to see the Bucs add one more tight end this offseason as I think we could be really dangerous running a bunch of two tight end sets. I know we run them now but we really have only 1 legitimate receiving threat.
2- I have no problem with the onside kick. I had a bigger problem not using our first half time outs.
P-I sincerely hope you and SR are right on Winston. I continue to worry about his accuracy and judgement. I ‘m hoping you are right that it’s because he’s young. While i preferred MM in the draft, I am moving on. JW is our QB and I am hoping he improves.
On Martin- not sure wha the cap affect would be but if the hit is not to large, I say cut him. Running backs lose it quickly. Let’s move on.
In FA and draft I think we need in order, RT,DL, WR, TE,S.
Hey Bucnut. I’ve seen your posts on here about Winston and I generally don’t engage, cause you seem pretty set on your concerns and preference to Mariota. To each their own. But, I’m genuinely curious as to what aspect of Mariota’s game is vastly superior to Winston’s? Cause I did some digging and not surprisngly, their stats are pretty close. (These are career numbers)
-Completion Percentage? Mariota 61.6% Winston 59.7%
-Turnovers? Mariota 30 total Winston 39 total
-Passing Yards? Mariota 6,244 Winston 7,930
-TD’s? Mariota 49 total Winston 56 total
As you can see, there difference between the two QB’s is pretty negligible, especially the Comp % and turnovers. Considering Mariota has played 4 less games (will be 5 after next week) his turnovers, TD’s, and passing yards would likely be closer to Winston’s. His comp % most likely a bit lower. So, my question is do you have similar concerns about Mariota? Winston has a higher QBR, comp %, TD’s, & Passing yards this season. Mariota has 6 games below 60% comp this season. Winston has 4. All while Mariota had the benefit of a superior OL, running game, easier schedule, top 10 TE, and a solid (healthy) WR core. I just wonder why you’re doom and gloom on Winston, when his play is very similar or surpasses Mariota?
Hi Roots- thank you for your thoughtful reply. You are correct sir, most of the stats are VERY similar. What I am concerned about is the TO. JW has 30% more than Marcus. If that spread remains long term(I’m not saying it will), its a HUGE difference. However the BIG thing that worries me is that JW played in a pro-style system at FSU while MM played in the spread. All of the pundits said JW was more “pro ready” than MM. If that was/is the case, shouldn’t’ JW be a MUCH more accomplished QB than MM now? My fear is that JW is much closer to his ceiling than MM. What if what we are seeing now out of JW is as good as it gets? I know he’s only 22 and will improve but wonder if his accuracy is always going to be a problem. I also am concerned with his judgment although this will likely improve over time. In summary, I favored MM because I thought he was the better long term choice. The fact that MM and JW are close at this point makes me wonder if we picked the wrong guy. I hope this isn’t rude or disrespectful just wanted to get my concerns out there. Be well! Looking forward to our future dialogue.
By the way, Merry Christmas as well. I personally enjoy the back and forth. It shows passion. Be well and have a great day!!
You as well bucnut and I’m glad you don’t take things I say on here to heart. We all have a passion for this team and sometimes mine gets my fingers typing fast and furious. Have a good holiday sir to you and yours.
Back at you sir. I am way too opinionated. I appreciate our dialogue. Be well!!
Same to you cgmaster27, although we agree pretty much on everything. The Saints scored on 5 consecutive drives against our bend, then break defense. I’ll say this about Koetter, everyone knows when he has lost faith in a player. Forgive my pessimism but there is no guarantee we take a step forward next year. We will have to face Brees twice, Ryan twice, Cam twice, Rodgers and, um, Brady. These guys know how to win and while I understand Jameis will be in his third year, I’m thinking 2018 for a real shot at the playoffs.
We have to see where Cook from FSU is going to fall in the draft. We also need to say goodbye to Hawley, Huff, Meyers, Conte, Martin, Daryl Smith and Dotson. I would try and sign Ryan Fitzpatrick as a back-up and a veteran right tackle. Lastly, we need to draft a center, a 2WR, a CB/Safety. Merry Christmas and Happy holidays to all.
I see some players on the team who can help us on the OL. Gottschalk at Center and Benanoch as a solid back up for Pamphile and Marpet. We need to draft another OL, TE,WR,LB,CB. Oh yes, a real back up QB. Go Bucs!
a real back up QB? Jameis is a big strong guy that can take hits. Yeah we have to deal with his learning curve but he is the future of this team. The last thing you want to do is make him feel that he needs to look over his shoulder regarding competition for his job.
In no way did I imply there is somewhere wrong with Winston; I fully support him. I was strictly meaning that if Winston gets hurt we have to find a qulified career back up who can come in for a game or two. I wish we could convince Glennon this is his future, but I don’t see it happening. Griffin isn’t the answer. Go Bucs! I see a bright future for us in 2017!
I see what you are saying. Plus with the injuries to Carr and Mariotta this weekend it does remind us how important your QB’s health is. Although I would prefer continue focus on the o-line. Prescott looks like Brady behind that o-line
Why is Huff returning kicks, better question is why did Licht even sign him? I don’t see the speed, and he could barely stay on his feet when he does catch the ball. I think decision making, and fielding the ball cleanly are more important then being a fast kick returner. Huff was found behind the wheel of a car with contraband, and a gun, so we knew before we picked him up his decision making was suspect. Shame on us for bringing him in. Licht, you’re not Bellichick, you can’t take chances on questionable players.
I can’t fault Jason Licht for re-signing the second leading rusher in the league a season ago. Had he not signed him, the outcry would have been citing the Glazers as cheap. There was not one game this season in which #22 looked looked like anything special. Clearly no one was game planning to stop him. What street free agent Jaquizz Rodgers proved in his limited opportunities is that our O-line may not have been the problem. I’m sure this off season an evaluation of the RB position will be a major focus. Perhaps making him inactive is a hint of things to come. I think the same holds true for Alterraun Verner who was unseated by an undrafted free agent in Javion Elliott. Trading either would not be an option due to their salaries. Their releases would free up some salary cap room to re-sign William Gholston and others who are more worthy.
But heck enough of this off season talk; let’s close out this season with a win over the pouting Cam Newton.
There are 27 Starting QB in league with better QB rating than Winston 87.0
There is only 1 Starting QB in NFL with more interceptions !!!!
The Defence has become a powerhouse
I get blasted every time I write about #3
but sooner than later Bucs need come to grips with there mistake
Bucs have some great receivers , Rodgers can run !
The defence can keep them in any game .
There QB is not even a average QB much less a franchise who is draining BUCS salary cap.
When a game or season is on the line a Great QB goes up a level , I have seen opposite.
The defence won the 5 games in row buy allowing only average 12 points game
Smith will be given a head coach job in a couple of weeks for his great effort!
I think BUCs should give him the Head coach job , Smith is force that helped this team win.
I think we al know jameis has to get the to under control next year no excuses. I also know we live in a world we’re fans expect perfection instantly. Look at the stats for their first two years jameis is actually playing better manning and drew Breese and he’s younger than they were.
As for mike smith as our head coach that’s just stupid. Yeah the defense had a good five game stretch , so we’re just going to discount the other 9 games when they average giving up 28 a week? In that case, let’s just forget the game where Jamie’s had multiple to’s. You seem to forget the Rams hanging 31 on us. Mike smith is a damn good defensive coordinator and I’d love to see him stay but suggesting he be our head coach is foolish.
We need rb, wr, and offensive line in this next draft. But hey Roberto got the money off of his back at least.
CG- Roberto was still a VERY bad pick. NO other GM in he NFL would have traded up for him. In hindsight, we should have stuck with Barth and used those mid-round picks on WR, S, OL.. We probably could have had another starter.
As for their mistake who should be qb? Mariota, nope in the ir again. Draining the salary cap, what the hell are you talking about? He’s on a rookie contract, out some the egg nog and relax Jamie didn’t going anywhere.
Before we call Jameis a mistake, we need to get him some more weapons to see what he can do. He has failed to impress me this year. He had multiple chances to win in Dallas last week and could have won this game if he was more accurate and had more time to throw. 8-8 or 9-7 I am still impressed with this team. After week 7 I never thought we would get to 8 wins. Defense is coming along nice. Don’t know if that’s Smith or our talent. Guess we will find out next year.
You’re talking out of both sides of your mouth. You say he needs more weapons, and then say you haven’t been impressed with him this year. You say he had multiple chances to win Dallas game, and then you say he needed more time to throw. So, which is it?
What Jameis has done this season with 1 WR, a decent TE, a bunch of no names at WR, almost no running game and a leaky OL has been remarkable. While he’s made his mistakes and had bad games, please factor in the entire scope of the season before making statements like “he’s failed to impress me.”
I am not talking out both sides of my mouth. I have not been impressed with Winston at all this year but Im not ready to throw him under the bus yet because I think the reason I haven’t been impressed with him is due to his lack of weapons. I think if he had more weapons he would have played better and been more impressive. Its not that hard to understand. Winston did have multiple chances to win the Dallas game but due to his lack of RT, he wasn’t given enough time on some throws and the throws he was able to get off was way off target due to the pressure.
I don’t believe Winston is a Top 10 QB, but I do hope he will get there. We are 1-2 this last quarter because we lost our starting RT and back up; simple as that. Then it didn’t help when our TE went out. We went for the On Side Kick because I believe many of us didn’t want to give the ball back to Brees; I saw nothing wrong with the call. If we had gotten the ball and tied the game how many would have said it was a great call.
I have to admit I was on board with re-signing Martin. We had lots money at the time and free agents had been all jokes for most part.
That being said this O line sucks. Pure and simple. Rodgers might been little better but not much. I’m certainly not ready to give up on Martin but we need to bolster this stinky O line and Martin had better stay healthy next year. If he keeps getting hurt might be time to move on. Guess will see what happens.
I wanted to franchise tag him
A trade of Martin feasible Scott? Get a decent pick back to help bolster the lines.
who would want him??
Totally on board with the onside kick … with a defense that had given up scores on five straight possessions and unable to rush Brees or stop the run, field position made zilch difference. Aguayo’s onside kick was not well done, but even so we still had a chance to recover and possibly score.
Lacking Gholston seemed to make a pretty big difference in the performance of the defensive line. The attention always goes to the guys with headline stats (sacks), but for a four-man line to work well all four, whether or not they get credit for a sack, has to work well and unison.
Surprisingly enough, our offensive line wasn’t the goat yesterday. The defense was the primary cause of our loss, allowing nearly three times the points yesterday as two weeks ago. Mostly due to lack of penetration by our D-line. Our defensive backfield played well enough though, and that is encouraging considering its performance a year ago.
As for Winston, his performance was meh, not terrible, not good .. just meh. Losing Brate was a big hit, particularly when compared to Brandon Myer’s performance in/by the end zone, where Brate has shined. Sure hope he’s back in the lineup next weekend!
A division championship is now out, and playoffs probably out. But a second place finish in the NFC south after owning the bottom position for many years running is surely an improvement. I still like our chances of beating CAR at home next weekend finishing with a winning record for the first time since 2010. That’s surely a good start for the new coaching staff and the players we’ve assembled.
Next season perhaps we won’t get bit quite so hard by the injury bug. We can’t expect to lead the league every season in number of players on IR. But no matter how good any single player is, he is always one play away from being carted off the field with a season ending injury (as were Marcus Mariota and Derek Carr yesterday).
Let’s get this next W and build on it next season!
I have been a Fan since 1976. I watched some bad football games in 76 and 77. My son and I were at the first home win in 77 against the football Cardinals in someways it was like wining a playoff game. As far as this year’s team I have seen improvement but not a playoff Team they are close maybe 3 to 5 players away so maybe can get those player’s in the draft & FA Go Bucs
I was there too 76. The commemorative poster of the game is hanging on the wall behind me. When these youngsters complain about a win, however it was achieved, I remember all of the losses when that same unfortunate bounce prevented victory.
I was a buc fan since the day Tampa got the Franchise, went to the 79′ NFC championship game and watched Ricky Bell stymied after having such a great year and the Bucs lost to the Rams 9 to 0. There has been some glory in Tampa, but it has been a long time. And this team fought hard this year. Some unlikely heroes have been discovered, and a few goats have too. I look forward to next year and with a couple of good drafts, Tampa has plenty to build on.
I predicted 8 and 8 this year and actually I am pleasantly surprised that we might actually be a winning team after next week. Considering the amount of injuries that have happened to this team, I think it is pretty impressive that we have done as well as we have. We have come a long way from 3 and 5 a few weeks ago. We passed the critical point on injuries. I am surprised after losing our starting TE due to behavioral issues, that Brate who I never saw as a starting TE has performed so well this year. He has been amazing. But with so few weapons on Offense, it is simply getting easier for Defenses to stop us. If you tie up Evans and something happens to Brate, it is easy to beat the Bucs. It is hard to say where all of our needs are going to be addressed and in which order next year. I am not sure the draft alone will address them. We are going to have to see what is available in free agency because our OL and DL have to be better. But if we do not get more weapons on Offense, Winston will never be abler to make this the team we all think it should be. Receiver has to be our top priority. RB, T, DT, S, RB. If the Brate injury is not too serious, I think Brate will be a star next year. No need to look for a starter at TE. Cheer up Buc fans. We are ending the year right about where we probably deserve to be. I agree with buc 76 we are not that far away.
Yea we need to solidify the O line, yea we need more weapons and a true no. 2 WR. We also need Winston to be able to control his emotions, quit sailing balls over WRs heads and cut the int’s down. Hoping year 3 is where he reallly leaps forward.
So I guess we are officially out of playoffs? No scenario we squeak in I guess is what I read?
Speaking realistically is sometimes hazardous on this board but if you listen to what most posters are saying about our myriad needs we are at least two drafts away from being able to go deep into playoffs.
We have a 22 yr old whom we hope to be our franchise QB. That says one thing to me- draft OL early and often. Beyond the need for three quality OL starters we need a top flight WR, 2-3 more on DL (thinking about current DL’s age vs JW), a RB with good size, two corners and probably a safety.
Two drafts at a minimum, probably three. But with a little perspective that would leave us stocked with a 26 yr old QB. I’m in it for the long haul so that works for me, compared with that setup most of what we’ve accomplished has been done via smoke and mirrors.
We’re on the right track, it’s up to Licht to shepherd us there. Remember, OL early and often…..
At least the Draft talk didn’t start until Christmas this season. That in itself is a major accomplishment.
Of course we all can look back and clearly see what Jason Licht and staff should have done this past off-season. Really easy for us to reflect on the past than to foresee the future when those personnel decisions are actually “on the clock.” All GM’s have their share of undesired results from seemingly wise choices. The true measure is keeping those to a minimum and the steps taken to recover from the error. Like all marriages, the Draft and free agent signings, begin with the intent of a happy life together. But there sure are a lot of smart people who make a mistake when selecting a mate. Perhaps the NFL could make players sign a prenuptial agreement.
I find it pointless to go back in time after history is known to offer what should have been done. Just watched Killing Lincoln. I suppose we could blame Mary for demanding Abe take her to the play. We all have “what was I thinking?” chapters in our life. So, lets move forward and put to rest the “Never should have re-signed Doug Martin, Never should have chosen Jameis over Marcus, Never should have traded up for Aguayo, Never should have let go of Pro Bowlers Matt Ryan, Michael Bennett, Legarette Blount, Aqib Talib and Donald Penn” talk.
There were some good surprises this season. Cameron Brate, Adam Humphries, Josh Robinson, Jacquizz Rodgers and Bryan Anger come to mind.
We might not be there yet…..but we’re a lot closer.
Amen, Scubog. It’s so easy to be doom and gloom, instead of positive about the season. Anyone that doesn’t see improvement in this team from last year, is just looking to be negative. Huge strides. This years team would have easily won 10 games if we played last years schedule. Out of everything that happened, new coach, new DC, much tougher schedule, injuries to DL, no #2 WR all season, no #1 RB majority of season, shoddy play from OL & some spotty play from our sophomore QB, it’s remarkable that the team was in really good playoff position in Week 15. I honestly believe we’re on the same trajectory as the Raiders. With some added weapons, and better play calling/OL play/QB play, the offense is going to take off next year.
The future is bright. We just got to be patient.
Do you really believe Winston will be a top 10 qb without having much touch and not being accurate on throwing and a slow release? You can like the school he came from but his play in general has no bragging rights.
You can’t judge a quarterback, absent a complete flame-out, within less than five years of play in the NFL. It simply takes at least that long to learn the game and perfect techniques. Sometimes quite a bit longer – Tom Brady didn’t really hit his peak of play until his 8th season, and now he’s nearing the same level of play in his 16th season.
So we won’t be able to judge Winston’s full capability for at least several more seasons. He certainly hasn’t been a flame-out. he will have ups and downs … all players are subject to injury, for instance. In just the last two weekends of NFL football we’ve seen three starting quarterbacks for playoff-contending teams go down with season ending injuries – Tannehil, Mariota, and Carr. That could just as easily happen to any quarterback including Brady or Winston.
I think you’re confusing decision making with accuracy. Winston has only had 4 games under 60% completion all season. Only one in his last 8 games. By comparison, he had 9 games last year under 60%. So, that narrative needs to die. Yes, he misses passes. Every QB does. But to say he’s inaccurate, when the stats don’t back that up, is disingenuous. His decision making at times drives me crazy, but again, you have to factor in the whole scenario before just lumping it all on him. Does he need to be better? Yes. Will he? Time will tell. But his progression this year, considering the injuries to our offense and OL play, can’t be ignored and should give you hope that with weapons & improved OL play, our offense will be deadly.
For context, Raider fans were calling for Carr’s head last year. This year? He was a MVP candidate until breaking his leg. Patience.
Yea Ben I think he can be top ten or even top 5 QB. He already is top ten in stats this year I think. You have to remember his age. Also he’s had better numbers than Brees or Manning his first two years. He has some intangibles like leadership and escaping in the pocket that are fantastic. You seem to be focusing only on the negatives.
He also at 22 has things to work on. Will see I guess.
Look at Dak Prescott. When he’s in a situation against Giants like Winston with no run game and constant pressure he was pathetic. 2-14 on third downs throwing. So you have to realize too this O line sucks and it’s hard playing QB without a run game. Not making excuses it’s just way it is. There also is a real lack of real offensive weapons wouldn’t you say????? Who’s a true 2nd WE on his team????
So lets keep it real here.
He has A QB rating 87 bottom 5 in league
Three is only one QB in entire NFL with more interceptions
he has 5 Fumbles
No team other than Tampa would not bench a QB rated 87 with 17 INT in 15 games
“17 INT and 5 fumbles”
FSU days are long gone
This team with the Defence provided 2nd half season should have won division ,
Mike.Seven…… I don’t know if you are trolling or what but to say we should have won the division when looking at the schedules of ATL and TB is absurd. Also, the defense was not stellar this week. You made the same points about Winston in 2 posts without responding to the counter points, like lack of weapons, shaky O line and Winston having better stats through 2 year than HOF QBs in this league. Let it go pal, Jameis is not going anywhere and if you can just look at those stats and call him a bottom 5 QB then you don’t even watch football and your opinion is invalid. Heres a list of QBs for you… Fitzpatrick, Bortles, Siemian, Osweiler, Keenum/Goff, Kaepernick, Taylor, Tannehill, Palmer, Griffin… I could probably go on but theres 10 teams off top of my head that were worse off than us. Smarten up.
The defence played great up to Dallas game, After a while they lose then energy going back on field after interception!
32 teams you can find 7-8 starters with worse rating ?
Kaepernick is actually in front of him
Winston ,Fitzpatrick, Bortles, Siemian, Osweiler, Keenum/Goff, Kaepernick, Taylor, Tannehill, Palmer, Griffin
There all bottom dwellers
Winston leads them all in interceptions
And all those teams except Tampa know they have problem , Denver going to make a move at QB this off season
I will be here next year hearing same things , like it only his third year , if he only had some weapons ( like Brate-Evans were not stellar ” ” if we did not have injuries”, A franchise QB comes to life at the Oakland -Dallas-Saints games , #3 THROWS INT, 3 AND OUTS AND TANTRUMS TO THE TUNE OF 15 YARDS IN DALLAS , COME ON MORE EXCUSES , THAT’S ALL I HERE FROM YOU GUYS ABOUT HIS PLAY. I WAS TOLD HE WAS THE FRANCHISE FOR 2 YEARS , YOU PEOPLE DO NOT KNOW WHAT A FRANCHISE IS , A FRANCHISE COMES UP TO WHAT EVER LEVEL IT TAKES TO WIN THE CLOSE GAME WHEN SEASON -PLAYOFFS ONLINE , THIS QB PLAYS AT HIS BEST ALL THE TIME , THERE IS NO HIGHER LEVEL , HIS BEST GETS HIS TEAM HOME FOR NEW YEAR EARLY,
I couldn’t care less about QB ratings that are absolutely meaningless. As Sapp would say,”Watch the tape”. The only flaw in my mind is Jameis believing he has to do something himself when those around him are less capable and forces a ball. Favre had similar traits that upset people. His never quit competitive spirit, that will soon make him great, is hurting him on occasion now.
It really gets old when some folks here (probably Gators) who cite “homerism” for FSU as reason for supporting our young QB. I pay no attention to a player’s college roots. Me, I’m a University of Tampa grad. Fabulous Freddie Solomon was my favorite QB.
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