Sometimes the best source of information for a defensive coordinator comes not from film, but from his own quarterback. During the first few practices this offseason, Jameis Winston has been an extra set of for Bucs defensive coordinator Mike Smith.
“If (the quarterback) is seeing some triggers that your defense is giving (in practice), you better believe the other quarterback is going to see the same thing,” Winston said at the podium after the first OTA session Tuesday.
Earlier this month Smith talked about having Winston to provide feedback.
“Boy, I’ll tell you what, this is a quarterback driven league and I’ve been very impressed with Jameis,” Smith said. “He’s got great size and he’s cut us up a couple of times. You guys saw it in our veteran mini-camp. I’m enjoying competing with him and have actually had a couple conversations with him about, ‘Ok, what do you see in our defense? What does our defense look like?’ Because that’s going to help us because I want to know what the quarterback is thinking we’re doing.”
To help Smith game plan and make life harder on opposing QBs, Winston spends time on the field with the Bucs’ coordinator to discuss defensive tendencies. It’s a practice the second-year quarterback used to have with Lovie Smith last season.
“I think that’s the type of relationship that you have to have,” Winston added, “especially with your quarterback.”
The open communication between the quarterback and defensive coordinator doesn’t just benefit one side, either.
“I’m asking him some stuff I need to know, because they have a lot of different looks on their side of the football and they look great over there,” Winston said. “And getting a chance to see different looks and experience different situations on the defensive side of the ball helps me out tremendously.”
Though it’s early in the offseason, Winston has already been impressed by what he’s seen from the defense. He was asked specifically about the secondary, where Tampa Bay has added a top free agent and first-round draft pick.
“We have a lot of talent out there, especially with the addition of Brent Grimes and Vernon,” Winston said, adding that he’s excited for Hargreaves’ homecoming. “I’m excited to see OTAs down the road.”
And “down the road”, Winston said, is when the team expects to have a complete understanding of the system and translate their knowledge onto the field. For the Bucs’ first OTA session, though, the aim was just to correct old mistakes and learn from the inevitable new ones.
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]
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I love how Jameis is making everybody better!
The more and more I read about Winston, the more I know I was wrong about the whole Winston vs Mariota thing. Winston has a competitive fire constantly burning. He really wants to be the best QB on the field every week and is willing to put in the work to become it. I have been nothing but impressed with Winston since he became a buccaneer. His drive and passion for the game is going to make him a great QB.
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