Now that Jameis Winston has a full year under his belt as an NFL quarterback and a firm grasp of the offensive system, he can focus more on the physical aspect of his game this offseason. That means spending less time learning the playbook and more time refining the on-field motions that complete a quarterback.
“That’s been the beauty of having him here for a year now,” quarterbacks coach Mike Bajakian said Thursday. “When he got here last year, for much of the early process it was dedicating so much of our time to learning the offense and learning the procedure and being able to manage the offense.
“Now we’re at a point where he’s proficient enough in the offense that we can focus even more on the details of his technique. Everything from his footwork to his release to accuracy – little things like that are things that we’ve emphasized.”
Winston also improved his physical condition before reporting back to the facility in April, something that Bajakian said will give him a better chance to stay healthy through the entire season. But beyond stamina that takes him from week to week, Bajakian believes Winston will reap the benefit of his weight loss during games, too – from snap to snap.
“Being in better physical shape can allow him to maintain a better base, play with lower hips and better feet and can allow him to just focus on the details of his technique,” Bajakian said. “When you’re more physically fit fatigue doesn’t become as much of an issue.”
Asked if Winston’s slender build will tempt him into running more, Bajakian said that it’s always a bonus when a quarterback can avoid pressure, but the plan will always be to throw once he drops back in the pocket.
As for improving the deep-passing game – a hot topic at One Buc throughout the offseason – Bajakian said it comes with chemistry between the quarterback and his receivers, and chemistry comes from invested reps. Which has been the Bucs approach since they finished Phase 1 and began on-field practices.
“Just through Phase 2 here of our offseason program we’ve invested significantly more time into the timing that goes along with the deep ball,” Bajakian said. “And I’ve already seen an improvement here in this offseason.”
Winston’s growth in the offense and the unit’s improvement as a whole in the deep-passing game will almost certainly be the most closely watched development through training camp and the preseason. Bajakian’s comfort level in both aspects should give Bucs fans confidence.
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: [email protected]
Ok…I need the season to get here NOW!!! I think Winston will improve over last season. Definitely want to see more accuracy.
I can’t wait to see the more experienced and better conditioned version of Winston!
I prefer the Pittsburg Steelers’ QB’s weight at about 250 pounds so that he can’t be brought down easily and can get off throws with tacklers hanging on. I remember what happened to Freeman when he tried to slim down to be more athletic. When touched then he went down like a rag doll and is out of football now!
I also would be concerned about injuries to Winston too after his slim down this year.
Can’t wait to see what Jameis brings next year. This was his first full football off season! I’ve never had the chance to see him progress with a full off season so this should be fun. As long as our pass catchers can stay healthy as well. That’s big.
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