About the author

Trevor Sikkema

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 protected]

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  1. 1

    Hank Scorpio

    “There was heavy debate between Winston and now Tennessee Titans quarterback, Marcus Mariota, before the 2015 NFL Draft. Would you have preferred Mariota? Did you back then? Or do you believe that, in the long run, the Buccaneers made the right choice.”

    Oh man, here we go

    1. 1.1


      I have to admit I was big time Mariota homer. I thought the Bucs made a huge mistake drafting Winston instead of Mariota. The last 2 seasons Winston has impressed me and continues to impress me mainly with is work ethic and his fire and passion. He truly loves this game and plays with all his heart. Only time will tell if the Bucs made the right choice but ever since we drafted him, I am a Winston fan no matter what.

  2. 2


    Asking if one prefers one player over the other now is not a matter of who is the better NFL player today … the answer to which is it’s basically a tie. It’s more akin to asking “do you prefer zinfandel over merlot” or “do you prefer a pale ale over a stout?”. The two players are very different players and their respective teams are built around their very different skill sets.

    I preferred Mariota over Winston in the draft, primarily because I thought then that Winston was immature and Mariota was relatively mature, which was true in both cases, but Winston quickly gained maturity and avoided the self-destructive behavior we’ve seen in some other highly drafted QBs. Winston’s behavior off the field has been exemplary, for which I give him great credit. Both players are now just the right players for their respective teams.

    I don’t see a light suddenly coming on for Winston this year, but he will get better this year, and each year to come. There is no substitute for years of experience, great coaching, and a player who is wiIlling and eager to learn and not just rest on his talent. We’re in a great position … I can see Winston leading us to the playoffs this season, and winning a game in the playoffs. But to do that he’s got to keep learning and improving.

    1. 2.1


      With the additions of D Jackson, OJ Howard and C Godwin I do see the light coming on for Jameis and the entire offense. If Evans was able to put up the numbers he did last year with non-stop double teams I find it very hard to believe defenses are going to be able to cover everybody. Which should end up with Jameis being able to put up very impressive numbers

  3. 3


    Most all of nfl people rate M.M. higher then Winston in the past years . The bucs head coach now also wanted M.M. before his boss (Lovie ) changed his mind. M.M. was ahead of Winston on EVERY measure in the nfl draft so i think the bucs picked the guy to help fill the stands. Now Winston has so many good players around him it his his turn to end the debate or the bucs picked the wrong qb.

    1. 3.1


      Yeah… That whole leadership thing included in your measurements as well.

    2. 3.2


      Once MM broke his leg that about ended the discussion for me. Jameis is built like a tank. If you are a Titans fan you have to tense up every time he gets hit. Even DTs bounce off of Jameis like he is swatting away a pesky fly

    3. 3.3


      And once again you fail to mention durability. MM hasn’t played a full season of football in 4 years. And there was plenty of draft-niks that ahead Jameis ahead of Marcus pre-draft. And how many championships did MM win? I must’ve missed that on as well in your stats. Both guys went to the Exact teams that needed them.

    4. 3.4


      Need to insert Mariota’s fumbles into the equation. For some reason those are never considered.

    5. 3.5


      This is just pure revisionist history. Jameis was far superior as a prospect to Mariota in plenty of important traits – the ability to throw with anticipation, arm strength, mental grasp of the game, and pocket presence, just to name a few. He also demonstrated much more natural leadership ability than Mariota ever did. That’s not to say that Marcus isn’t a leader, but he’s just not on the same level a guy like Jameis is.

      Mariota was an excellent prospect, and so far, it looks like he’s going to be a great NFL quarterback. I said at the time of the draft that we were looking at what might have been the 2 best QB prospects other than Luck of the past decade, and I still think that’s true. We couldn’t have gone wrong. But I’ll roll with Winston every day, ESPECIALLY after you account for Mariota’s slimmer build and resulting issues with durability.

  4. 4


    I believe there is no debate now regarding Jameis and Marcus. As Naplesfan mentioned above, Each franchise got the right guy.
    I do believe Jameis will be even better. First, because he wants to and is putting the work in. Second, because he has more weapons around him. I believe he realizes he doesn’t have to force the ball now that he has more options. I do believe the interceptions will be down because of that.
    Go Bucs! 3 weeks from TC!

  5. 5


    Well I was back and forth and finally decided I’ll take potential over safe.
    I have seen Winston improve from year one to year two; Mariota hasn’t.
    I see Winston improving again this year, the next, and a few more. If our Defense gets a little better too then I see us in the Playoffs this year. Luck and injuries also play into this too.
    i am totally against Hard Knocks because it’s a distraction and we don’t need that crap right now. We’ve turned the corner; now I’d like to see us actually complete the turn and power on. Go BucS! Very good Article Trevor.

  6. 6


    I agree with Horse, excellent article (again!) Trev. I also originally wanted MM over Winston, mostly because of the maturity factor, but like Naplesfan states, both teams got the right guy for what they are attempting to do.

    However, optimist that I am, I DO see Winston making a big improvement this year. I really do think he plays better quarterback and reduces his interceptions, but I also think he’ll be inconsistent with it. He’s still a competitor and I expect that he’ll still throw a few picks that we will all end up shaking our head at. But, I think a reduction to 10-12 picks this year is doable for him along with increasing his TD’s into the low 30’s.

    Very excited for our team this year. Go Bucs!

  7. 7


    The question in my opinion is a no-brainer, Brad Johnson an at best average QB lead the Buc’s to a Super Bowl. Keyshawn, a few good receivers, and a great defense did the heavy lifting. Football requires a modest level of consistency and it really helps to have a QB who at this point in his career has been a good maturing player. Mariota has had some injuries but as far as who is the best, the jury is still out. Bottom line you need 53 good players, a limited number of injuries, good coaching, and a little luck. Jameis is a really good player but after watching football for well over half a century believe me when I say it is a team sport.

  8. 8


    How about “Sikk Stat of the Week”?

    1. 8.1
  9. 9

    Buc-n-Philly Fan

    Very nice job Trevor. I like the parallel with Thor. I don’t think I would have naturally come up with that myself.

    I wanted Jameis over Mariota but I was honestly nervous of the perceived “baggage” that could have come from that pick. In hind sight it was the right move as I think the upside is much higher with Jameis. I also do not want his mentality of taking shots to be slowed. The picks are an issue but the courage to make throws is what separates the good from the great. No matter what the opinions are I think everyone will agree that the excitement for this Team is super high and I can’t wait!!
    Go Bucs!

    1. 9.1

      Trevor Sikkema

      Gotta get a little creative to tell a story, right? I love using outside examples. Something they give a unique parallel. I’m not sure how I just naturally thought of Thor, but it clicked.

  10. 10


    McCoy vs Suh, Evans vs Beckham, Jr., Winston vs Mariota – all debate fodder for some but not for me. We’ve made our choice and I never look back. For me it’s ride or die! I like our choices and wouldn’t trade them for any player of the same position today. It’s called dancing with the one that brung ya!

    What really burns my a$$ other than a small brush fire about yea high is waiting to see some real football. I can’t remember a time when I was more anxious to see what we got. My anticipation makes this off season wait seem like 3rd grade – the longest three years of my life (I exaggerate) lol. Seriously, I like what I see on paper and I like the “stick carrier” attitude that is being adopted by the team.

    Stop the madness, never look back, look forward, there is football coming soon to an arena near you! And I got that sneaky little feeling that you’re going to like this team and the one tossin’ the rock. Go Bucs!

    1. 10.1

      Trevor Sikkema

      Was just talking about this on the podcast that will come out on Friday. There hasn’t been this much impatience (in a good way) for training camp in a long time. Longer than I can remember.

    2. 10.2


      As always macabee brings logic to the forum. There is little reason to continue debating the virtues of Mariota vs Winston any more than when one returns to his 50th class reunion to check out how his ex girlfriend has aged or how much weight she gained as compared to his wife. Thank goodness Scubog made the right Draft pick those many seasons ago.

  11. 11


    This Cover 3 is brought to you by Arm & Hammer Baking Soda. The favorite baking soda of Jameis Winston and Thor Odinson.

  12. 12


    Trevor, can you answer this question.
    Why would the Bucs want to display Winston at this point in time especially since he is starting his 3rd season; I guess it’s all about the money?

    1. 12.1


      This is in reference to Hard Knocks

  13. 13


    A couple of other elements that I have noticed from watching him are, one, he still throws off his back foot and the ball sails on him, and two, he doesn’t put enough air under his deep throws. On the former, if he manages to get his feet right before throwing, he wins the Rams game. He had several open receivers late that he missed because of bad footwork. Those should have been easy throws. The latter is that he is a bit enamored with his arm and throws a line drive on his deep throws. When you do that it makes for a harder ball to catch and an easier ball to defend. If he could put some air under his deep passes he could give his receivers an opportunity to adjust to the ball mid-flight and out jump the defenders. Give Evans a chance and he is going to come down with the ball.

  14. 14


    I like our chances this year. Bucs have done an excellent job on the Offensive side of the ball. We are solid at all the skill positions. If we can have the same success on Defense as we were starting to have at the end of last year, We are going to compete for the Division title.

  15. 15


    Good article Trevor.

    I’m one of the ones that wanted Mariota before the draft. I get that Jameis was a winner in college, and he was basically Captain Comeback, but there was a reason he had all those comeback wins. Mainly, slow starts. Something we’ve seen him not really be able to shake in the NFL either. So as a lifelong Bucs fan, I wasn’t too thrilled about drafting a QB that would need to come back all the time to win games.

    I also wasn’t sure about his character. I lived in NY when the rape stuff was coming out, and it seemed like only people in Florida were ready to defend this kid. Which wasn’t a great sign.

    But eventually, they tried 7 ways from Sunday to charge him with something and it just never held up. That was good enough to settle it for me. A case doesn’t get that long and drawn out just to be dropped if the guys guilty. The justice system slowly and methodically proved his innocence better than any FSU “homers” could.

    Then we drafted him and I adopted the “Alright he’s our guy now” mentality. And then the Tennessee game happened.😢 things did not look good.

    But man what a change. Just watching this kid grow on the field has been a true joy. He has literally ZERO “quit” in him. It just doesn’t exist in there. That is so damn refreshing to see in a Tampa Bay uniform. Us fans have been let down by this team enough; to see a guy that simply wouldn’t accept that on his watch- I get emotional watching him play sometimes. Not sad. Just like, you wanna hug the guy through the screen sometimes for representing your beloved team how he does lol.

    I’ve got to still say though, while I’d rather have Jameis for his leadership and athletic ability- MY GOD can Mariota sling it. Idk if enough people watch his tape, but that dude just makes perfect pass after perfect pass. Like, the form, the spiral, the placement, the release, on the move, in the pocket, fades, deep bombs, back shoulders. It’s like he’s allergic to putting the ball in a bad spot for his receiver.

    But that’s about it. I don’t think he’s got the leadership ability to carry his team, and I don’t know of many teams that make deep playoff runs when their QB isn’t THE guy- the Bengals, the Chiefs, the Saints, all great teams that I PERSONALLY believe never make it through the playoffs year after year because their lack of a charasmatic, fearless QB holds them back at that time of year. The Seahawks are the outlier here. Wilson is far from the leader of that team and they’ve made 2 superbowls with him. But that defense has enough character to go around I suppose.

    I’m rambling, I’m sorry. Great article Trev.

    1. 15.1


      Serious question – at the peak of the Winston legal stuff, did it ever occur to you to just review all of the available facts of the case, all of the evidence, and form your own conclusion? Are you really THAT reliant on things like a flawed legal system, or what the general public clamors on about, to form an individual opinion of a man’s guilt or innocence regarding an extremely serious crime/accusation?

      1. 15.1.1


        I’m not a lawyer. I didn’t have access to all the evidence of the case, nor did anyone else outside of the people working on it, and the judge presiding over it. All I had was the limited information that news outlets are given. I also have zero legal training.

        So no, I’m not arrogant enough to believe that just because I “googled” some available, but incomplete, information about the case that I was at all qualified to make an accurate judgement about whether or not he was truly guilty of anything. Sure, I had my individual opinion that his hands had to be dirty in this whole thing, but he was tried numerous times and nothing could stick.

        I don’t presume myself to know more than the people who actually have degrees in this field, and make living either prosecuting or defending clients, so I trusted the outcome of numerous trials.

        Clearly though, you believe that you DO know more than those people though, apparently from just “examining the evidence” that you didn’t have access to except for online information, so why don’t you enlighten us all on what Your Majesty’s All-important Opinion was on the case?

  16. 16


    Mariota profited in a huge way last year by having two really good RB’s and an improved offensive line while the Bucs took a step back with the loss of Logan Mankins and the troubles of Doug Martin.
    Winston was also suffering from having a lack of good receiver depth although Brate and Humphries both stepped up to fill in the void.
    Winston gets knocked a lot for his INT’s but as I have mentioned out her before, I can count 4 that clanged off the receivers hands or were due to poor or wrong route running. Add in the 3 or 4 INT’s that were tossed at the end of the halves in desperation heaves, and his INT numbers don’t look so bad.
    I can probably only count on one hand the number of INT;s that were bad throws and decisions by Winston and the majority of those were because he was trying to force the ball into his favorite target, Mike Evans.
    Winston had the same problem at Florida St. where he was constantly trying to stick the ball into I believe Kelvin Benjamin.
    Hopefully with the addition of new and faster receivers, this won’t be as much of a problem.
    One thing many people don’t fault Mariota for and that is the number of fumbles he has and loses. He put the ball on the ground 9 times last year and lost 5
    But more than anything, the Titans ground game really helped Mariota last year.
    If the Bucs can crank their ground game up to where it was in 2015, Winston will no doubt flourish this year
    As it is most analysts rate these two young men almost even as far as development and also in the middle of the pack as far as QB talent.
    I would have to say I agree with them.
    One intangible we haven’t seen in Mariota and possibly because we don’t see him enough is his will.
    Even though we lost the game, in the loss to the Rams I saw that fire in Winston that wouldn’t let him quit or his teammates either.
    During the Bucs final TD drive, right before he threw a TD pass to Evans in the end zone, I turned to my friend and said, “This guy isn’t going to let this team quit He despises the meaning of the word.”


    1. 16.1


      Well said DRD, and I believe it was Rashard Green that Jameis was always forcing those balls to. He does favor his main targets and it has gotten him in trouble in the past. I hope our O-line is improved with the Marpet move. That alone is big as pressure up the middle on a QB is the worst kind.

  17. 17


    Great article Trevor. When it comes to Jameis, he did have a habit of staring down his main read. But it was spurratick. IN the game against Oregon, which they lost, outside of his pick, which bounced off of his receivers hands, he was toying with Oregon’s secondary all day. Looking lefty and coming back right etc.
    I think both Jameis and Marcus went to the perfect teams. Jameis’ leadership and energy was needed for this team. MM would not have been as successful on this team as jameis. We needed a culture change and Jameis was just that.
    I’m a NOles fan so I’ve seen every throw of his and he’s getting better. His mechanics also had a big reason for his int’s or accuracy issues. Until the NFL he’s never been able to focus on just football. DOes he take chances? absolutely. I don’t think Jameis will ever be a single digit int guy. It’s not in his game. You have to realize, even QB’s like Ben Rothlesburger, has only had 3 seasons out of 13 with single digit int’s.
    Jameis will excel this year though no doubt. The last time Jameis had weapons like this, he was busy breaking records in College football with the highest scoring team of all time.

    1. 17.1


      ON a side note , even I will admit, MM has been much better as a pro than I thought coming from the spread. Durability was always my concern though and he’s never alleviated that since coming to the pros.

  18. 18


    Coming down here before I even read the 2nd page to say that I really love that Schofield piece. Great concept, and I love the style in which it was written to go with it. Thanks for sharing.

  19. 19


    After three years of waiting, I’m most anxious to hear my friend Pinkstob’s position on Jameis Winston.

    My superhero comparison for Winston, and really any other QB hopeful drafted by a downtrodden team, is Mighty Mouse and his warning, “Here I come to save the day!” Isn’t that what is expected?

  20. 20

    Buc 1976

    MM would have been injured behind our O-Line and IMO never recovered from it mentally. Bucs got the the right QB.

  21. 21

    David DeLeon

    I’m a big FSU fan so I was biased for Winston but I think he had started off a little better as well, best ability is availability. I think Mariota had been hurt both seasons.
    I think Winston has started great and still has areas to grow in, and that’s a great thing, his ceiling is still high.
    If his passes didn’t float just that much most of the interceptions would be gone. I love all the weapons he has now.
    I think he’ll be close to 5000 yards with about 10 int’s and 30 TD’s this year.
    I’m glad him and Mariota are doing well but I’m glad we have Winston.

    Good article Trevor

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