On Wednesday, we learned that quarterback Jameis Winston would be starting for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers come Sunday in Green Bay. On Thursday, we got to talk to him for the first time at the podium, not only for the first time since being shelved with his shoulder injury, but also since he went under investigation by the NFL.
These were the five things we learned at One Buc Place on Thursday.
There has been some debate among fans and even the coaches whether or not Winston really gained anything by not starting.
Well, Winston sort of put that to bed himself today as he said that getting to sit back and watch a veteran quarterback like Ryan Fitzpatrick was “eye opening.” Winston noted Fitzpatrick pocket presence as what impressed him most and what he needed to get better at.
Winston had never been in that situation before, so no matter what, he was learning something for the first time – he was learning what it was like. Whether or not that will be beneficial to him will be answered over the next few games.
Early Thursday morning we got an email that there had been a minor and yet important stat change issued by the NFL.
The NFL gave Bucs defensive tackle Gerald McCoy an extra QB pressure from the game in Atlanta last week, which brought his total up to 21 for the season, most among all defensive tackles in the NFL and one less than the league leader from any position.
McCoy’s head coach Dirk Koetter was asked about McCoy’s play this season compared to some of his stellar seasons in the past, and coach said McCoy is as dominant as he’s ever been.
This Team Still Cares
#Bucs TE Cam Brate on the motivation this team has for the last five games: "Every time we go out there it's a big deal to us. Whether we're 11-0, 4-7, it doesn't matter." pic.twitter.com/VjiTVLolml
So this team is just giving up then? Not according to Bucs tight end Cameron Brate.
Brate was asked about the focus and motivation this team had with their playoff goal lilely out of reach now at 4-7 with five games left. Brate said that going out there each Sunday isn’t just about the record, even though that is what ultimately matters because they do want to win. They recognize that only 16 of these games are guaranteed each year and that you can never take any of them for granted or not give it your all.
Monken’s Safe Answer To MSU Question
#Bucs OC Todd Monken was asked if there was contact between his people and Miss. St: "When you have people that represent you, there's dialogue all the time." pic.twitter.com/cAQW2WJeHp
A few days ago, before Mississippi State had hired their new head coach Joe Moorhead, Bucs offensive coordinator Todd Monken’s name was being swirled around as a possible candidate for the position. In fact, there were reports that Monken had been contacted about his interest in the position.
Koetter was asked if Monken had been contact and he said no. However, that answer may have all just been a technicality with words as Monken today basically said without saying that his people had been in contact with Mississippi State.
For now, however, Monken isn’t going anywhere.
No Fear In Winston
#Bucs QB Jameis Winston on if he's afraid he might be suspended at some point because of the investigation: "I have no fear at all" pic.twitter.com/UiEzSMViKx
Thursday was the first time we as the media could get Winston to address the elephant in the room: his investigation of groping a female Uber drive in 2016 being conducted by the NFL.
Winston stood by his public statement from a few weeks ago and wouldn’t go much beyond that. But, even if there is no legal action against Winston, we’ve seen players in the NFL be suspended just for being in these situations i.e. Ezekiel Elliott, Ben Roethlisberger, etc.
Winston was asked if he was worried or had fear that he may be suspended after all this and his answer was.
Trevor Sikkema is the Tampa Bay Buccaneers beat reporter and NFL Draft analyst for PewterReport.com. Sikkema, an alumnus of the University of Florida, has covered both college and professional football for much of his career. As a native of the Sunshine State, when he's not buried in social media, Sikkema can be found out and active, attempting to be the best athlete he never was. Sikkema can be reached at: email@example.com