Cover 3 is a weekly feature column written by PewterReport.com’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers beat writer Trevor Sikkema published every Tuesday. The column, as its name suggests, comes in three phases: a statistical observation, an in-depth film breakdown, and a “this or that” segment where the writer asks the reader to chose between two options.

Sikkema’s Stat of the Week

What’s the most important trait to playing quarterback in the National Football League?

Some would argue that it’s arm strength, or, more specifically, arm talent. Those emphasizing it would say the natural (mostly genetic) ability to not only push the ball down the field, but also zip passes in with high velocity is the trait worth coveting the most because it cannot be taught.

But, just because it can’t be taught (to an extent), does that make it the most vital?

I would argue no.

Everything starts upstairs with a quarterback. If you don’t have the proper mental processing or instincts, none of this matters. But, if you do, I would argue that there is a trait more important that natural arm talent (to an extent) and that is the trait of accuracy – more specifically, touch.

You can throw the ball 100 yards down the field, I don’t care – actually, I would, that would be very impressive. But, if you can’t throw a slant route with speed, an out route to the sideline or a nine route in the basket, what does all that power do for you?

Nothing.

Accuracy matters most because where the ball ends up means more than how fast it gets there. I’m not the only one who thinks that either. There are plenty of people in the NFL and in the scouting community in general who use accuracy as their top requirement, or make-or-break, when scouting quarterbacks to the next level. One of those people is Bleacher Report’s Matt Miller.

Despite what some may say, accuracy is one of the few traits that I believe you cannot coach into a quarterback. You either have it or you don’t, and it is the single-most important aspect to being able to play the position at a high level.

 Accuracy is the ability to consistently deliver a pass to the right location. It sounds simple, but it’s the basis for everything a quarterback does. Knowing where to put the ball so a defender cannot reach it is all you want from your passer each time he steps back to throw.

But, let’s bring to the stage the topic of this whole accuracy conversation and that is Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback, Jameis Winston. Last week we took a look at Winston’s decision making and what could be going on in his head that are causing some of these turnovers he needs to cut down on. I believe the conclusion as to why he may be processing things the way he does in his head was logical and could be corrected, but that still leaves another flaw of his we have to tackle.

Whether you’re Winston’s biggest fan or strongest hater, there is one thing you have to admit, he misses too many passes. In 2015, Winson was a 58.3 percent passer, which was pretty bad. His name was near the names of Johnny Manziel, Ryan Fitzpatrick and Blake Bortles – though, to be fair, Cam Newton, Andrew Luck and even Aaron Rodgers were barely better. In 2016, he saw his number jump to 60.8 percent, which averages over to 59.5.

59 percent is right around where the Mendoza line for passers would be in the NFL where it doesn’t matter how many big throws you make, you’re just not completing enough other ones to win games – minus Eli Manning’s first Super Bowl in 2007, which still, to this day, doesn’t make any sense.

But, we here at the Cover 3 column hopefully know by now that numbers don’t mean a damn without context. Completion percentages doesn’t tell us the whole story. We don’t know why each pass was incomplete. We don’t know whose fault it was, what the coverage was like, whether it was a blitz, whether the pass was five yards or 50 yards; it’s just a number. Miller, once again, agrees on this subject.

Many people will want to look at completion percentage to assess the accuracy of a quarterback, but this can be misleading. If a quarterback completes the majority of his passes within five yards of the line of scrimmage, he may have a high completion percentage, but poor intermediate-to-deep accuracy. This is why charting passes is so important.

He’s right. Simple stats without context don’t do us any good when evaluating player performances, scouting players to the next level, or figuring out how they can improve. Details are everything in the game of football, and it’s not that numbers don’t mean anything, they do. But, often they are not detailed enough to matter.

Thankfully we’re in the age of metrics. There are so many great people on twitter and outlets all over the Internet who devote tons of time towards logging advanced statistics. Fortunately for us, there is an outlet that has exactly what we’re looking for when it comes to Winston and the accuracy question. That outlet would be the folks over at BucsCentral.com.

Now, this chart is incomplete. It only goes through Week 16 of last season and doesn’t include the team’s Week 17 victory against the Carolina Panthers.

Instead of just looking at the 60.3 overall percent number at season’s end, let’s look at the chart above. The chart does a great job of not only telling us what the distance was on certain throws, but also tells us if they were under pressure. In addition to that, it gives us data on third downs and red zone chances. It also breaks up the field into fifths: left sideline, left, middle, right, right sideline.

Let’s start with the long ball, passes of 21 yards or longer. The only area of the field in which Winston completed more than half of his throws from deep was that left side – throws right outside the hash markers on the left. From there he was able to toss three touchdowns to just one interception. Versus pressure, however, Winston struggled there just like he did on the rest of the field, except for to the far left by the sideline – there he threw two deep ball scores.

On the intermediate level, Winston’s accuracy increased (as you would expect). His strength here was the middle of the field. You have to take into account the kind of routes that can be run at each level, as well. 15-yard “in” routes can be use from any wide receiver, and is usually a staple of any vertical offense (like the Bucs run). The intermediate level also includes heavy work from post routes and from the tight end position, which we know was effective due to Cameron Brate’s career year.

Short passes and passes behind the line of scrimmage were pretty much par for the course for what you’d want to see from a quarterback. Winston does fine in this are of his game. It’s when the ball must get pushed further down the field that he has trouble – a thought process that was had by many, but is now backed up with numbers.

One thing I can’t help but notice is that throws to his left had a far higher success rate on those intermediate to long throws to his right. Which is intriguing because Winston is right handed, so you would think it would be more natural for him to turn his body that direction, maintain technique and deliver a well placed ball. In fact, he also did worse under pressure to his natural side than any other fraction of the field. Also, if you’ll notice, Winston had four throws of 21 yards or more to the left sideline, while under pressure, where he completed two of those for touchdowns. The passes from that same distance under pressure to his right side, he was 0-for-3.

Maybe it’s all coincidence. On the other hand, maybe it’s not. But, to add onto the beauty of the Cover 3 column, not only do we get numbers with context, we look at the context ourselves. On the next page we’ll go through some of Winston’s 2016 film to see if there’s a mental, technical or situational reason he’s favoring competitions to one side when throwing deep, and perhaps locate a reason to think he’ll be more consistent in 2017.

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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]

45 COMMENTS

  1. Nice 2 weeks Trevor & nice fantasy draft…you won hands down.

    arm strength & accuracy or important in the NFL, but I think the most important is the QB’s head, period. You can have the “gods” touch your arm, but if you don’t have the intellect & instincts he”ll never be really good. The NFL is littered with gift QB’s that could never amount to squat.

    The thing I love about Jameis is that he has those instincts, self confidence, and ANTICIPATES throws. How many QB’s have to have an open WR to throw versus throwing them open. Jameis does that. At the expense of accuracy & gun slinging mentality he tries to throw receivers open.

    I agree with all your analysis and the data doesn’t lie, he’ll need to improve his mechanics & accuracy. I believe he’ll only get better. I would argue that the best QB in the league, Tom Brady, isn’t the best deep ball thrower either. He is a deadly assassin on short to intermediate routes, but misses a lot of deep throws (which is NE’s game-short throws). Koetter runs a vertical passing attack versus a NE short route offense. I would argue that this makes Jameis look less accurate .

    Now I have NO data but just simple observations. I lived in Boston for 4 years so I saw a lot of Brady.

    If I have to pick stats for 2017 I say 18 TD’s and 9 INTS. I think the BUCS will be better and leading more, and more ground game lessening Winston’s throws. (we had no RB’s last year and were mostly scrambling to win) Accuracy is going to be roughly 58-60%. He has too much Farve-ish gunslinger in him!

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  2. This is exactly what I was hoping for in breaking down Jameis’ accuracy. I tend to agree with the baseball concept here and a perfect example can be seen here:
    Youtube – ‘Jameis Winston outfield assit’
    The VERY first video shows a still shot of the throw. Hips open and he throws a dart to third. Pretty fun to watch in real speed as well. I believe baseball throws naturally open up throwing motions. Jameis is a natural thrower and its evident by all the unconventional throws he makes look easy. You could also make the argument his long delivery comes from his time in baseball. Its not quite Tebow but it was my biggest concern with him out of college. I am just very glad he is in the offense he is in – would probably struggle in a west coast system.
    We will never know for sure whether this really is playing a part in some of the inaccuracies. However, I do think this is something he can find – not necessarily coached. I see him personally getting better each year. As you mentioned before, our new weapons should create larger windows. Larger windows give him more flexibility to find the feel for throws. I cannot praise Jason Licht enough for 1.) Finding a HC 2.) consistency at OC 3.) Giving Jameis the tools to reach his full potential.

    I love Jameis and at the end of the day think he could see elite status very soon. Thanks for the open form to talk football, I love looking at football nuances in-depth. Even with longshot suggestions! haha

    2017: 4,285 yards, 61.7%, 29 TDs, 15 INTs

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    • That’s what we’re here for! I’m always down to get to the bottom of why things happen the way they do in such a complex game.

      I, too, believe Winston is in the right spot with the right coach, and now, with the right weapons. If it’s going to happen for him, it will happen in the next year or two, even with him being so young.

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  3. Articles like this are why I’m not sold on him as a franchise qb. While he is promising and has decent stats he has A LOT to work on to earn the coveted franchise label.

    – reduce turnovers
    -make better decisions
    -become more accurate
    -quicker decision making

    If he improves even on a few of these I can see

    4250 yards 63% completion percentage 32 TD’s 16 INT’s

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    • I get what you’re saying, but you’re confusing franchise QB with elite QB. Jameis is already very much a franchise QB in the same way that Matt Stafford and Matt Ryan are franchise QBs. Both have had 1 elite season, but their career numbers (particularly TD:INT) are fairly similar to what Jameis has done so far.

      Neither of the Matt’s are on a HoF career trajectory at this point, but both are capable of being 15 yr franchise guys with the possibility for peak seasons like the Falcons had last year if everything falls into place (Matt Ryan had career highs for yards, comp %, and TDs, and a career low for INTs).

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      • I classify a franchise qb as a player that gives your team a chance to win every week guys like Brady, Rodgers, Rothelisberger, Ryan, Brees, Newton, Carr, Luck, and Wilson all fit that bill.

        It’s a term that gets thrown around haphazardly as teams are desperate to find a qb. If you fit that franchise mold yes, you should be with your team for the long term. In my view Jameis is in the Eli Manning Stafford mold where he needs superior talent to help him and will either break your heart or excite you

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        • I would tend to agree with Hank and Bucpride.

          Also, great use of the word “haphazardly”

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    • You seem to be forgetting that
      A. he is still the youngest QB in the NFL, and
      B. his stats compare almost exactly like the greats such as Drew Brees, Ben Rothlesburger and others.
      He is already very much a franchise QB, our win total has increased every year sine he’s gotten here, and he will only improve as he puts in the work to do so. He does have a lot of work to do, he’ll even admit that, but he is the definition of a franchise QB.

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      • It’s kinda silly to argue the completely ambiguous, I would say “meaningless” term of “franchise quarterback”.

        Jameis Winston is our starting quarterback, likely he will be for many years to come, and he is a good quarterback, developing well considering he has only 2 seasons under his belt. He has the potential to become a very good quarterback,conceivably even a great quarterback.

        That’s all that matters, or should matter, to us as fans.

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  4. 2017: 4500 yards, 35 Tds, 16 Ints
    Go Bucs!

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    • That would be one helluva year!

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      • I think his yardage and TDs will go up because there is more talent around him. His interceptions will probably be about the same since he is a gun-slinger. Bring on TC!

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  5. Jameis did look a bit uncomfortable on some throws but I think the offense this year will take some heat off. The protection is hopefully better and defenses will respect the surrounding talent more, giving Jameis more time to dial throws in as well as cut down on interceptions.

    2017- 4,360 yards, 63.4 %, 34 TDs, 14 INTs

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  6. This would all be a different analysis if the OL played a little better, we had a little better running game, the WR’s ran the correct routes, the timing was in sync with a few more plays, and finally we used the dump pass as a prime play like all the QB’s who have higher percentages. Look no further than the two QB’s in the superbowl who used the dump pass over and over; sure made Brady and Ryan look very good. So I’ll take a wild guess based on ” a little better improvement from all the above”; 21 TD’s-9 INT’s, 62% Completion Rate, and Division Champs. Go Bucs!

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    • That would be a HUGE regression for Winston

      If you look back at some of Jameis incompletions on long throws he typically has a checkdown and ignores that option for the long throw

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  7. I believe that with the additional targets Winston’s long ball accuracy will improve as well a drop in the number of interceptions. The entire passing game got a huge improvement with the new acquisitions.

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  8. Great article Trev, accuracy was the main reason I was on Team Marriota before the draft. However, I’m very happy with Winston. I think Winston’s accuracy will improve again this season because I think, unlike last year, because of the number of weapons he has available this year. Between Evans, Jackson, Brate, Humphries, Howard, Godwin, Sims and McNicoles he has better options at every level as well as greater depth should injuries occur. Also, while accuracy cannot possibly be taught, better throwing technique will cause balls that were maybe close misses last year to be caught this year and Winston IS working hard on improving his throwing technique.

    So my guess is 4,400 yards, 34 TD and 13 interceptions.

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    • Oh, 62.5% completion percent.

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      • This would also be a great year, statistically. it would surely mean the playoff for them.

        I have my own preliminary thoughts on how much better Winston can really get, but the fact of the matter is, he’ll be in Tampa long enough to reach his potential, whatever that is.

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  9. 2017: 4320 yards, 62.1%, 31 TD, 13 IN.

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  10. Another great article Trevor. I’ve said, it will take a few years if ever, to get the baseball out of him. It is interesting that he appears more comfortable to the left.
    I think the accuracy will improve with time and now he has more than 2 guys to throw to as well. He clearly missed on some of those big throws last year, just no speed out there. Desean Jackson isn’t getting overthrown on that toss to Mike at the first clip. We have a bunch of possession guys until this year. AS for the INT’s as a Winston fan, I can guarantee he will never have a single INT season. I mean Drew Brees literally has 1 season with single digit int’s in his 15 year career.
    He throws with anticipation which can get him into trouble. If you throw with anticipation and the guys not there, boom a pick or such.
    Once again a great break down Trevor, this will be a telling year for Jameis, he has to get off of his first or hot reads better and just improve his motion a bit.
    I’m with Oberlon on his stats, about 4300 yards, 30 or so TD’s and about 13 picks.

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    • Thanks! And people need to realize this – I think you did some in your comment: Throwing interceptions happens to every quarterback. You can still like Winston on this team and know he might always be just a high-risk, high-reward player. Even if this is what he is, one of the years it will probably swing his way big time (look at Flacco on the Ravens).

      We’ll see. He is very young, and is going to shatter every single quarterback record this franchise has, I think. But, as we’ve seen, he can do that as the quarterback he is already. How much better can he consistently get? These next two or three years will tell us that.

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  11. I still get frustrated when the stats for a quarterback get linked to a wide receiver’s ability. I’m in no way saying that Winston is the most accurate passer but for example, the first long ball to Evans which he over threw landed dead center of the end zone where I believe Evans was supposed to be. In-completions when the receiver runs the wrong routes, etc. Time will tell when he starts throwing to Desean who actually has the speed to adjust to the ball.

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    • I hear you, but it’s up to the quarterback to deliver the ball where it needs to be. Routes and timing won’t always be perfect. Winston had the pocket to do so on that one.

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  12. Much increased passing yards and TD’s for Jameis this year as his new receivers will stretch the field and create more separation which should drastically improve yards and touchdowns. I think completion percentage will slightly increase but not dramatically as he will continue to stretch the field and not take the check downs. Also think his interceptions will remain higher than other franchise QB’s as he is a gunslinger.
    My thoughts are; 4,750 yards, 36 TD’d, 17 INT’s and 61.3% Completion %. Lastly, Jameis with new weapons and second half of 2016 defense takes us to the playoffs this year.
    Go Bucs

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    • I don’t know if he’ll throw for *that* many yards and *that many TDs, but 4,000-4,200 with 30 TDs gets them the playoffs, I think, even if the interceptions stay higher that other quarterbacks.

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      • 36 TDs isn’t really that many in today’s NFL, where quality offenses have quarterbacks throwing 40, 45, even 50 TD in a season. Ditto with the yards … 4,750 yards is clearly a very good total, but there are quarterbacks playing today IN OUR DIVISION – I’m talking Drew Brees and Matt Ryan who routinely throw for more yards than that in a season. Brees threw more than 4,750 yards in 7 of his last 8 seasons (and missed 4,750 by only a little more than a hundred yards in one season) and has thrown more than 5,000 yards five times. Matt Ryan threw near or above that many yards each of the last 5 seasons.

        Hitting 4,000 yards may seem high for a Bucs quarterback – it IS – but considering our divisional competition, our QB needs to be able to hit high 4s and 5s as a matter of course, just to keep up.

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  13. Love Jameis. I’ve caught flack here for saying he needs to improve his accuracy. The stats don’t lie. He’s young and I don’t agree you can’t teach accuracy 100%. Especially if it’s bad mechanics driving the inconsistency. He will be fine and I bet this area improves as the offense,weapons,run game,O line, etc improve. Would be shame to see D. Jackson streaking wide open for TD’s and getting missed!
    I thought the stat of being better on left is very odd. Like you said it’s not typically the case for righty’s. So if he can make the more difficult left roll outs I’m sure he can become more proficient in throws rolling right.
    Go Bucs!

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    • Sometimes it’s just the way the body is shaped, too. Winston is clearly more comfortable when he can open his hips and align his feet in an non-traditional way. It’s not *bad*, per se, it’s just him. He’s playing his fade right now. And we’ve seen that that can be fine to his left. He just need to find a way to be better to his right.

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  14. If he goes between 61, 62 %, 30 T.D.’s, can keep the picks under 15, 4,400 yds, I’d be happy.

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  15. This might sound a little ridiculous but I don’t think we can even start to judge the guys throwing ability until after this year. So far he’s only ever had Evans. VJax, who is my favorite player of all time, just wasn’t the same player Winston rookie year. He was slower, couldn’t get open as easily, and the biggest drop was his ability to make those contested catches that were really his bread and butter. And this past year, we all know how VJ played. Not well.

    Hump is a special little guy, but I think I can speak for everyone when I say that your team isn’t in a good spot when you have to rely on Adam Humphries as your 2nd or 3rd receiver. Not taking anything away from him, he’s a solid player and he’s worked his ass off. But for this team to make the playoffs, he has to have the 4th or 5th most yards on this team. It has to be Evans, DJax, Brate/Howard, then Hump.

    He finally has a decent arsenal of weapons where every bad throw he makes can’t be possibly blamed on receivers not being open, not being fast enough, not running routes well. If he struggles with the same throws this year, we’ll know it’s truly on him. But this past year I truly believe lack of talent around him forced him to become one dimensional. And because of that it’s just really hard to evaluate a guy accurately.

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    • Better weapons will help, no question. But there have certainly been times when Jameis has just missed guys. And some would say it’s the O-Line, too. But, I also tried to pick plays on film that were a relatively clean pocket.

      Many of his misses are still on him. This isn’t new; it’s been a thing since Florida State. He knows it and says it, too. However, better line play and better weapons certainly won’t hurt.

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  16. Winston will win some games for his efforts and lose others. When he’s on, he can be electrifying.

    Stats prediction: 4,300 yards, 63.1%, 32 TDs, 13 INTs

    Winston is so gifted over the middle of the field that I cannot ignore the dynamic created between OJ Howard and Cameron Brate. Safeties and linebackers are going to have their hands full. Winston’s completion percentage will improve significantly this year.

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  17. Great piece. Nice realistic breakdown but not at all depressing. Remember that this team finished 6-2 with the beat-up offense up and down. IMO he will take more pressure off the D and vice versa.
    62.8 percent, 4220 yards, 35 touchdowns, 12 INTs.

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    • Right. It shouldn’t be depressing.

      There’s a reason why there’s tangible faith in Winston as a franchise quarterback, and there’s also a reason why the offense hasn’t been too efficient with him. Both things can exists, and do. We’re just trying to figure out where they go from here.

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  18. After searching for a QB for 40 years; regardless of whether his completion % is 59 or 62, the 23 year old Jameis Winston, in just two years, has shown me he is the best we’ve ever had under center. He has the competitive fire in his belly that the team sorely needed. He has the work ethic to set an example. He has the charisma to lead. He has “it”, and “it” can’t be taught.

    Trevor pointing out that Jameis prefers throwing to the left probably made drdneast an even bigger Winston fan.

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    • Exactly. He already shows all the signs of being the BEST QB Tampa has EVER had. Freeman showed some real promise in 2nd season (25TDs, 6 INTs), along with a similar problem in throwing mechanics (Freeman seemed much more accurate when throwing on the run in 2010), but we all know about Freeman’s regression in his 3rd year.

      We still don’t know if Winston will ultimately prove to be the better pick over Mariota (Mariota has NO problems with throwing accuracy, but doesn’t throw deep as often). Mariota is obviously a more careful, West-Coast style passer, and would not have been an ideal fit for Koetter’s offense. But, if Winston can fix his accuracy issues, especially on passes 15-20 yards beyond the line (QBs typically throw from 6-8 yards behind the line, so a 20 yard throw actually goes 26-28 yards in the air) I believe he certainly can be a better on-the-field inspiration for his team than the more reserved Mariota.

      It really is a FASCINATING comparison, and a plus for both Tampa and Tennessee fans to see the career development of two talented QBs with contrasting styles like this. Winston and Mariota will continue to be compared as long as they are both playing.

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  19. This was kick ass Trevor!

    A few points that I think have influenced some of Jameis’ results in 2016:
    1.Logan Mankins gone and our offensive line trying to adjust and allowing too much pressure
    2.Injuries to our backfield coupled with #1 above lead to teams knowing we were going to pass the ball
    3.Numerous injuries to our WR corps that limited the ball to one side of the field (Mike Evans lines up mostly on the left too..hmmm. Maybe this lead to more perceived poor throws to the right???) as well as receivers with no continuity with Jameis
    4.Injuries to our Tight End group and the loss of a Tight End

    All of these items I think added to why Jameis’ throws may have been inconsistent. The fact that defenses keyed on receivers and the fact they knew we were throw heavy, coupled with a decimated backfield and poor offensive line play.
    I also believe that being a right handed QB lends itself to throwing to the right normally and that it is an easier correction to fix throwing to the right. Being very strong throwing left is a HUGE plus as well as throwing on the run.

    My prediction is 61.7% completions, 4250 yards, 34 TD’s,16 int’s and the playoffs Baby!!

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    • I would almost agree to everything on this to a tee.

      The factors you listed certainly came into play, but we can’t let them play too much of a role as to give Winston a pass on his misses. I also agree with your take on mechanics for a quarterback, what is correctable and what is more rare.

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    • Agreed. Jameis obviously has an accuracy issue, especially early in the game. There is no excuse for that and he needs to work on it…I believe he is. But we can’t forget that Jameis had ONE receiving option and NO running game last year. Not only did they know we were going to throw, but they knew who the target was.

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    • Are you quite sure his completion percentage will be 61.7%, and not 61.715%?

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  20. First off, great article and breakdown. I just wanted the media to add context to the turnover issues Jameis has had since 2014. Not excusing them, but also not just looking at 33 INT’s and blasting him in articles without adding some context.

    Secondly, Jameis missed receivers high in 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2016. It’s just his miss. Has been since high school. Probably always will be his miss. I do believe his baseball motion, plus sloppy/average mechanics contribute to his high throws. But he’s working on his mechanics every year & will continue to improve. Having watched Jameis at FSU, 2014 was the emergence of “hero Jameis,” who we saw last year far too often. Doing too much will always lead him to force throws and get him in trouble. Improved weapons AND better play calling from Dirk should alleviate some of his accuracy issues. Dirk’s offense puts a lot of stress on the type of throws Jameis has to make. It’s built for a veteran. Not a young QB. This year will be telling.

    Season prediction:
    4,064 Yards
    62% Comp
    33 TD’s
    13 INT’s

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  21. Trevor, you’ve done your typical excellent job of analyzing Jameis Winston’s throwing performance using both advanced metrics and film study. Very enlightening.

    As for projecting Jameis’ future performance, that’s tough to do. I do imagine that the Bucs have come to the same conclusions as you, and know very well where Jameis needs to improve his technique. Koetter isn’t going to change his vertical throwing offense, and to capitalize on it Jameis definitely needs to improve, particularly to the center and right portions downfield. He and our offense are not going to become West Coast dink’n dunkers.

    How much will Jameis improve this season is your question.

    I’m not very good at predicting stuff, but to play the game I’ll say he does 4,500 yards this season, improves his completion percentage a bit to 62%, but the most important stats are TDs and INTs. I expect that with the new weapons this season, he will improve to 35 TDs (though I honestly think he could well exceed that, to the 40+ range) and his INTs will remain flat at about 15 this season.

    Jameis will NOT suddenly turn around his throwing game this season … rather, he will make incremental progress this year and for years to come. Any large jump in offensive performance by the Bucs this season will be more of an artifact of the additions to our offensive skill players, and a more effective performance by our offensive line.

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  22. Read an interesting piece on Pewter Plank by Allen Schechter about Jameis’ interceptions that I did not realize:

    When Jameis is passing inside the red zone, he is 34-1 TD to INT. Meaning that Jameis takes very good care of the ball when he’s in scoring position, to use a baseball term.

    Additionally, most of his INTs occur when the team was behind in score – 25 of his 33 INTs. Meaning, that when we’re behind, Jameis’ INTs tend to result from his efforts to climb back into the game .. in other words, trying to put the team on his shoulders and perhaps do too much.

    An improved defensive performance, if it comes about, will also tend to reduce the proportion of games in which Jameis and the offense have to play catch-up.

    Combined with Trevor’s analysis that Jameis is very effective throwing to his left, it appears that there could be the situation this year, and in following years, when Jameis is feeling less heat because he’s playing from ahead, and perhaps having better receivers over the middle and to his right, who can go up and get the ball as Mike Evans often does over on the left side … so perhaps his accuracy stats and TD/INT ratio may improve quite a bit from his first two seasons.

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  23. I’m getting in a little late on this one so I’ll keep it short. Great article Trevor! Lots of fun. I’ll put my hat in at 64.3% for 4137 yards, 31 tds to 11 interceptions

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