Turnovers have been the main issue for the Bucs offense this season with 18 interceptions and seven fumbles lost on the year. But another issue all season that is the number of hits quarterback Jameis Winston is taking.

The Bucs offense ranks third last in the NFL with 78 quarterback hits on the season, and while they only allowed two sacks against the Saints last Sunday, Winston was hit 12 times. The high number of shots to the Bucs’ quarterback reared it’s ugly head when Winston suffered an ankle injury in the fourth quarter.

Offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich is of the belief that Winston getting hit is just part of the game, and that the protection for Winston has held its own.

“That’s the game of football,” Leftwich said. “That’s what happens in this league when you play quarterback. It’s not just Jameis, you got to do the right thing with the football, get the ball in the right places, it’s difficult. The best athletes on the whole field is the guys that got they hand on the line of scrimmage playing defense, we understand that. We’ll do a better job of trying to get him not taking shots, but from the most part, the pass protection was clean enough to have an opportunity to win the football game.”

Winston was pretty mum about his ankle when speaking to the media, giving no concern that the ankle will prevent him from playing in Atlanta.

“When it’s time to play football, I’m ready to play football,” Winston said.

There are a number of hits that can be avoided and it’s playing smart football that will help do it Leftwich said.

“That’s the point of it,” Leftwich said. “That’s why you try to make sure he’s always playing smart, make sure he’s never putting himself in position to take added hits that you can avoid, if you can avoid them, you want to try to avoid them. You want to do everything you can to try and avoid hits, we are in the latter part of the season so really every player feels it, every quarterback feels it. He does a great job of really taking care of his body and doing the things like they all do.”

Between all the hits and turnovers, Bucs coaches have worked with Winston to throw the ball away when no one is open. But Leftwich, a former NFL quarterback, expressed that just throwing the ball away isn’t as simple or easy as it seems to others.

“It’s something that you work on,” Leftwich said. “It’s hard, it’s hard to play quarterback in this league. One of the hardest things to do is to throw the ball away, trust me. It’s so hard when you’re trying to do what you can every single play because you never know the play is going to win the game, you never know when that big play is going to happen. You convert three straight third downs with him [Winston] being him and then he takes a shot on another one, that’s the game, that’s the game of football.

“But what you do see with him, you see him making the right decisions, learning to get the ball out of his hand, that is difficult to do when you have the ball, it’s easy to say throw the ball away, but when you’re the guy that’s responsible for the offense moving, responsible for conversions on third downs, that things becomes tougher than you think of just throwing that ball out, but he’s doing an excellent job of getting that ball out of his hand, not taking unnecessary hits and hopefully we can keep getting better at it.”

Through all the work Leftwich has done with Winston in their first year together, Leftwich has still enjoyed the process despite a 3-7 record.

“I love working with Jameis,” Leftwich said. “I think Jameis is getting better. Yes, we got to fix the turnover thing, I know that, I understand that, regardless if they’re on him or not. As an offense we got to fix the turnover thing, we got to do a better job of keeping the ball and making sure we finish every series, every drive with a kick.”

33 COMMENTS

  1. With the Todd Bowles defense you’re gonna have to score 33 to 35 points to win the game so you’re gonna have to pass and everybody knows it so how you going to avoid the hits

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  2. Here’s a question I wonder why NONE of the reporters ever seem to ask.

    Does JW have the Authority to Call Audibles before the snap with making at least 1 target
    a Checkdown target?

    Reason being is it seems that there is an inordinate High number of plays with all the WRs
    running long routes, either Long Outs, Deep Ins, Streaks, Posts, Post Corners, etc. Not counting
    the few screen plays we see a game or a TE crossing or curl route I just dont see many checkdowns.
    Maybe 15 out of 50 plays there is a checkdown target.

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    • Dude spitting straight facts. Thank you sir

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  3. Bryon, you’re not the problem.

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  4. Again, the offense can and does score. Our defense just cannot, has not and will not..stop Anybody. THATS OUR BIGGEST PROBLEM.

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    • Besides the Oline, yes, I agree

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  5. I think this is it for Winston. He either turns this around on Sunday or his career in Tampa is over.

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  6. This staff is really confusing.Winston is throwing interceptions we all know that but we’re getting a head coach that’s really not all in!!He is supposed to be the guy who can change Winston but we’re getting 70% of Arian.I honestly feel sorry for Winston because just maybe if we have brought in someone else would Winston be better?I get the interceptions but Arian isn’t getting it done and shame on him.I wonder if he came back just to be around football again and really not committed to commit to it.

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    • Dex, it seems hes not the same BA. Hes delegating more than ever and the number of staff is proof..what hurts the most is the fact he believed in Byron and gave hime the keys.

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    • I think the Bucs knew what they were getting. They were getting a coach who had a health scare in Arizona. They are getting a coach who has a good history but was going to delegate more.

      I had this expectation when he was announced as head coach. It will either work or it won’t. I am not sure having Arians working with Winston would make any difference. Kotter did not make a difference either, and he had success with a number of quarterbacks in Atlanta before he came to Tampa. Leftwich may not be preferred by the fans, but do we truly think having Arians having his hands all over the offense would make a real difference? It comes down to the player and how much they are willing or able to change to succeed. The jury is nearly out on Winston if he can do this.

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  7. Because you worked with a young kid 10 + years ago and followed him the last 10 years doesn’t mean who you thought he was back then and now what he really is.

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  8. The coaches on this team need to stop babbling and pandering and tell the key players on this team the way it is – either you stop screwing up or you’re gone. Period.
    After decades of suffering as a Bucs fan the nonsense coming out of this squad is unbearable

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  9. It’s hard to win and stay in a game when you have aQB that likes to give up the ball deep inside his territory either by fumble or interception. How many coaches has this guy eating up yet He’s been given more chances than he deserve. He doesn’t know how to audible and change plays, because he can’t read defenses. He is not a receiver QB friendly thrower more than often his throw are high or out of reach, low or too high, behind receivers, not leading them in catching the ball in strive but he show know how to get his 300 plus yard a game that’s good for him. In today’s NFL he is not an adequate person to play the position which requires a person to be agile on their feet and can move and get yard when coverage dictates and can make throw out of the pocket on designed play, basically he’s too bottom and top heavy, he doesn’t have the quickness of mind and intelligence to keep track on the reads and accounting for the receivers during play breakdown. He is not cut out to be a QB and if the new coaches are honest they should know this by now and move on and start auditioning for next year for starters lets see what Griffin or Gabbert can offer. Winston is definitely not it.

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  10. Maybe Jameis is learning how to “throw it away”, but he sure has mastered the “give it away” in his repertoire. In fact, he has become the Grand Master under the tutelage of Coach Christensen and Coach Leftwich whose teaching tactics have failed.

    Here’s an “old school” method. Have Jameis go to the black board (do they even have those now) and write 100 times, “I will not throw interceptions or fumble” I know I sure wrote, “I won’t talk in class” thousands of times………………….. Forget that, it didn’t work either. Hey Jameis…………….go stick your nose in the corner.

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    • Awesome comment.

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  11. Every week when Leftwich comes to the podium to speak he always says “Winston just has to learn”…………. fill in the blank. He never takes any responsibility for his poor play calling or the decision to keep Winston in the collapsing pocket early on or the fact that you only had 8 rushing plays called for the entire game. This weeks narrative is Winston has learn “how to avoid hits”. Whaaaaat! So Byron let’s see you call 50+ passing plays behind this terrible oline and you expect your QB to protect himself while still trying to win the friggin game. What a complete waste of time and media minutes. I keep wondering how Winston feels about this and if he even wanted to come back and play for this Circus Act next year ….
    I will say this: Winston is in his 5th year as an a professional NFL Quarterback. Why would he need some rookie OC telling him something that he learned when he was playing Pop Warner football. Everybody knows including Winston that he needs to protect himself and that turnovers are killing this team. As the OC/play caller you have the responsibility to put him the best position to be successful and so that leaves you with two choices:
    A) If Winston’s my QB then I have to put him in position to limit his mistakes, and throwing 50+ times a game is not the best use of his talent or
    B) Winston cannot run my offense so we are just going to have to move on, let’s bench him and keep him from costing us from winning the game Because after all there’s 52 other players out there fighting to win but this turnover machine I keep playing at QB is costing us games.
    Take a Dump or Get off the Pot!!!!

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  12. It’s hard for me to judge Leftwich as OC not knowing all the facts of what he’s calling. Are these his ideas, and play designs, or BA’s? Makes a difference. So who’s playbook is this, how many plays are all Leftwich, and how many times is he calling a play out of Bruce’s playbook? Young Gruden became an OC, because he was an up, and coming offensive mind, like McVay, Shanahan, then became HC’s. What is Leftwich? Is he a new offensive genius, or just a guy calling his grand pappy’s plays? Until I know that, I can’t lay praise, or blame. I will say this offense looks out dated with long pass plays compared with today’s NFL getting the ball to play makers in space.

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  13. Leftwich ,Bruce Arians And never forget the game face of Todd Bowles
    This group of stars aligned coaches is going to advance The Bucs to the rear
    just like they left Az.
    The Pewter Boys will daydream and have fond memories about the days of Dirk with 5 wins in a season and talk about what it will take to get back to at least 5 wins in a season!

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  14. Christensen was part of the most inept offense under Dungy the franchise has ever seen. I was truly shocked he was even allowed back in the building. Then you have Lefty and Bowles…

    Here’s a question – which of the Bucs current coaches would you try to get on your squad if you were named head coach?

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  15. Uh maybe try getting an o line that doesn’t suck if you don’t want your QB taking “unnecessary hits”

    Also maybe has something to do with your idiotic play calling.

    I’ve watched and held my tongue for most part this year with this new coaching staff. Young team and new systems but this shit is getting old quick and it’s just so stupid.

    The last podcast was dead on correct on how stupid the play calling has been. I remember few years back when we couldn’t defend a simple slant and teams would throw them over and over because it worked, and we didn’t adjust. Even worked in red zone where it’s hard to make a slant work. Now we have Arians saying never call same passing play twice? They are playing back because we try to air it out every down practically. A short passing game would help Winston and this o line and this team so much! If they start crowding and adjust then you go deep again or screen. It’s like they do it assbackwards. Ok they are playing back and o line can’t block anyone so let’s just keep running long developing plays asking O line to block several seconds and WR can’t get separation. Not working but hey have to keep trying right?

    It’s hard to watch. I know Saints are super bowl team and very good defense but we make it so easy.

    Defense is close to being average I like our front 7 we just have to communicate and find CB or two that can play! The Saints game was the worst we have done against run too. They man handled us up front on both sides of ball pure and simple.

    Our Offense is just a joke. All this firepower and when they give Winston time they score but it’s so feast or famine just like Brees said when asked about Bucs! Great analogy and spot on by guy that knows his shit hall of fame QB.

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  16. Also there is a fine line between delegating too much and not enough. Arians crossed that line imo and is delegating too much. I remember beginning of year him saying he’s not in Winston’s ear that’s what Moore and Christensen are for. I thought at times this sounds stupid. The QB whisperer that is going to fix this offense and QB isn’t calling plays and isn’t in his ear? What does he do then? Lol. Challenge plays and win? Nope. Manage game? If you call losing and challenging plays when you have none left then he’s your guy. Lol.

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    • This is at the heart of the problem.

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    • Spot on Fredster, If I was the owner of this franchise I would have to believe that some voodoo witch doctor has placed a spell on my team. Think about it: you’re forced to fire Schiano because some mysterious infection broke out in your locker room eating off the foot of your pro bowl guard and a law suit by a marginal punter. Then you try and restore some discipline back into the organization by bringing back Tony Dungy’s #1 Disciple Lovie Smith. That didn’t work out so let’s hire his OC to be HC since we got this new QB that everybody wants and build around him. We hire Koetter thinking all he’s got to do is put a mediocre defense on the field and we’re set. So he hires Mike Smith who at the very least is competent DC but for some reason not in Tampa. We’re forced to fire Koetter primarily for his loyalty to his friend only to hire a Coach with the same issue.
      I think it was Scott who said that they need to perform an exorcism over this organization or something because no team has been this unlucky since I have been watching football.

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  17. You can’t tell me that a slant wouldn’t work and force defense to play up more. We have big bodied WR and TE that can pull them in and out leverage defense. It’s so frustrating they don’t call a slant or drag route when all defense is back and they are making Winston run for his life.

    I swear It’s almost like they are trying to make it as difficult as possible like the podcast said……lol.

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  18. Just don’t throw the quick slant to Howard. Lol. He will try to catch it behind his back and everyone will complain about that damn Winston turning it over again. Lol.

    That was the start of us really getting behind against Saints. Not Winston but this shitty O line and stupid Howard. They should have traded him the guy is worthless for whatever reason.

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  19. Espouse an offensive philosophy or who we want to be and the scheme that reflects that. Build your roster to fit that philosophy and scheme. Adjust your scheme to your players and their strengths until the roster matches the scheme. Less than one year in and a 3-7 record, the coaching staff is failing at this miserably.

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    • They are failing at it because they don’t know what they are doing plain and simple.
      I watched us make all of these same excuses with Lovie: “let’s get the right players” blah blah blah
      Then we excused Koetter: “Oline needs work” and “RoJo is a Bust” blah blah
      Arians is telling all of who he is I say we listen and move on!!

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  20. The Bucs thought they were hiring the Offensive play calling BA from Cardinals days. What they got was totally something else. He delegates the play calling to Leftwich who has never called plays for a complete season! Clearly, he is not quite ready for prime time play calling. The bigger question is why we don’t hear more from Bowles, the Defensive Coordinator about this shit show he is running? Saw Hargreaves bust up a third down pass last night. Not saying it was not the correct move to cut him because it was! Just makes u wonder. The heat should be on Bowles big time. These guys are no longer rookies. They have played 9-10 games already. Simplify to a base Defense if they aren’t picking it up! For Christ sakes change something! Do something different. I feel as if Jameis and Leftwich and BA catch the heat daily. I don’t think I’ve ever heard Bowles talk? It’s just so frustrating but after so many years as a Bucs fan, my Sunday really are upsetting when the Bucs lose! When they win the day seems a little bit sweeter. Lately it’s been all sour Sunday’s. It’s not so much that they always lose, it’s the manner in which they continue to do so. Same errors and penalties almost every game. I thought by delegating offensive play calling to Leftwich that this would enable him to to be involved with the other facets of the team. Defense, Special Teams and Just managing the players on the sideline. I’m not seeing it! And I’m tired of it! Put some heat on Bowles and force him to alter his defensive tendencies because whatever u r doing bro is clearly not working! I’m just saying…

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  21. By definition it’s just pure insanity! Other teams fire their coaches, or change QBs, or sign new players. But with the Bucs, it just ALWAYS seems to be the same shit show!

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  22. I keep checking Pewter Report daily hoping to see the news that Winston is NOT the starter this week. But alas, the insanity continues. Run the same plays (and players), but expect different results. Yeah, that’s gonna work!

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  23. If Winston plays good this week CG , Fredster And Spitball will be talking extension, If he has a clunker they will blame others and Winston continues again the next week.

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    • That’s right BAB, and Winston plays well, we expect the same thing from you which is silence. Instead of calling other people out, why don’t you just admit that you’re the exact same way. Damn hypocrite

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  24. Come on #4

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