Entering his second season in the NFL, Jameis Winston, already a Pro Bowler and 4,000-yard passer, is now the undisputed leader and face of the Buccaneers franchise. The mission for Winston in 2016 is to develop even further in head coach Dirk Koetter’s offense while taking full command of the huddle and leading Tampa Bay to more victories.
It’s often said the biggest improvement for NFL quarterbacks comes in the second season. That’s why Winston’s performance and hopeful progression will be under an even closer microscope this year, and as such, PewterReport.com will return the “Winston Report” throughout the 2016 training camp.
The Bucs wrapped up their first of two joint practices with the Browns on Tuesday and, similar to first day against Jacksonville last Wednesday, head coach Dirk Koetter wasn’t impressed by his team’s offensive effort.
“No juice, no juice,” Koetter said after practice, sounding irritated. “No one wanted to practice today. We had balls tipped, we had poor throws, we had bad protection. That’s a bad combination.”
Winston was only responsible for one interception Tuesday – a ball tipped by a linebacker into the hands of Browns CB Joe Haden during the final series of 11-on-11 work.
Before jumping to conclusions after Day 1, though, Koetter said he would have to watch the tape to get a better idea. The head coach joked that he can at times be “irrational” coming off the practice field and noted that a few mistakes were made by players who won’t make the final roster, which can “taint” the overall performance. But at first glance, as Koetter saw it, the offense didn’t handle the Browns 3-4 defense well.
“I would hate for that to be a game and that be our first exposure to a 3-4,” Koetter said. “Today’s a good example of why we want to work against the 3-4. Overall, just a bad day on offense.”
Winston, for his part, actually looked sharp at moments in practice. He completed a majority of his passes in 1-on-1s against Browns defenders, including a couple deep posts on a dime and a few well-timed out-routes to Mike Evans in stride. And his deep ball on a two go-routes – one to Freddie Martino and the other to Bernard Reedy – were right over the defender and on point, drawing a big cheer from the packed bleachers at One Buc this afternoon.
As play shifted to 7-on-7 and 11-on-11 – which isn’t as favorable for the offense as 1-on-1 drills – the scrimmage between the Bucs offense and Browns defense looked a little more even. The completion percentage for QBs, who rotated every 2-4 reps, can be a little deceiving as a few checkdowns may have otherwise been blown dead or counted as a sack.
Here’s a count of Winston’s passing reps Tuesday:
Winston’s stats in 11-on-11:
– Complete to Vincent Jackson, rolled to the right and delivered perfect out-route in front of Haden
– Incomplete on quick out intended for Brandon Myers, defended well
– Incomplete on comeback intended for Alan Cross, thrown low under duress
– Complete to Evans over the middle 15 yards down field, escaped pressure and found WR on the run
– Complete to Evans on quick slant in stride
– Incomplete over the middle intended for Cameron Brate (last 5 plays during blitz period)
– Intercepted by Joe Haden, tipped by linebacker on slant
– Complete to Adam Humphries on out-route near sideline
– Complete to Danny Vitale on drag over middle
– Complete to Charles Sims on checkdown
Winston’s stats in 7-on-7:
– Complete to Sims on checkdown
– Complete to Evans on quick inside slant
– Incomplete on slant intended for Evans
– Complete to Bernard Reedy on short comeback
– Complete to Sims on checkdown
– Complete to Brandon Myers on quick out
– Complete to Jackson on inside slant
– Complete to Austin Seferian-Jenkins on short out, great play to hold on
– Complete to Evans on quick slant
– Complete to Jackson on quick slant
– Complete to Jackson on comeback
– Complete to Jackson on deep comeback in traffic
– Complete to Evans on deep sideline, ball dropped in on a dime
Despite Koetter’s assessment of the offense as a whole, Winston had a few impressive stretches Tuesday.
He completed his last 10 passes in 7-on-7, including a string of connections to Jackson. And from the bleachers his deep ball looked as good as it’s been in practice. It’s hard to get an accurate idea of the defense in training camp – whether they’re going full-speed or pulling up last second – but Winston seemed to be throwing fine and releasing quick.
Still, the Bucs offense should come out with more “juice” Wednesday once Koetter reviews tape, challenges bubble-players fighting for a spot and raises the tempo in the final joint practice of the year.
Zach is entering his 3rd year covering the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as a writer for PewterReport.com. Since 2014, he's handled a large part of the beat reporting responsibilities at PR, attending all media gatherings and publishing and promoting content daily. Zach is a native of Sarasota, FL, and a graduate of the University of Tampa. He has also covered high school football for the Tampa Tribune and the NFL for Pro Player Insiders.
Contact him at: firstname.lastname@example.org