Cover 3 is a weekly feature column written by PewterReport.com’s Tampa Bay Bucs 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

There were plenty of reasons to get excited about the Tampa Bay Buccaneers offense this season. Head coach Bruce Arians coming to town was certainly one of them. His veteran presence and the experience of his coaching staff got Bucs fans thinking that this was finally the right group for the job.

When it came to the players, the Bucs offense still had a lot of talent to it. With guys like Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, O.J. Howard, Cam Brate and Ronald Jones, this group, which was in the Top 10 in most offensive categories over the last two years, was not only intact but a year better and ready to go.

The offensive line may not have been upgraded the way people wanted it to be, but Donovan Smith having a new deal, Ali Marpet and Ryan Jensen back as an interior duo with good chemistry to build off of last year, Alex Cappa showing signs of solidifying the other guard spot better than any other player had over the last three years, and Demar Dotson hopefully healthy and ready stretch out one or two more serviceable years with team, you could at least convince yourself that, with a new offensive line coach, this group could be enough to get it done.

Bucs QB Jameis Winston
Bucs QB Jameis Winston – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

There were plenty of reasons to be optimistic about the Bucs start to 2019, but all of them rested on the shoulders of quarterback Jameis Winston.

Going into his fifth-year option of his rookie deal, this was supposed to be the year for Winston – it had to be, in a sense. After four seasons of growth, plateauing, coaching changes, comeback wins, brutal losses, changes in throwing motion, revamped footwork, an evolving cast and a whole lot of time gone by, we began 2019 not knowing what the future held for a player who just five years ago was viewed as the one who had come to change it all.

Winston has had his moments in Tampa Bay. He’s been the catalyst of some of the most uniquely incredible plays I’ve ever seen from anyone on the offensive side of the ball wearing a Buccaneer uniform. However, to this point, the consistency with Winston has just not been enough. Winston has failed to do the little things well enough to give this team a chance every week. And that has led to quite the roller coaster.

As stated in the opening paragraphs, 2019 was poised to be Winston’s best cast and his best situation he’s ever had in Tampa Bay, mainly getting to work with Arians, the one they call “the quarterback whisperer.” After one game in 2019, the only whispering going on was likely the murmured words underneath the coaching staff’s breath as Winston let his third interception fly to seal the 31-17 loss to the 49ers last Sunday with a crushing pick-six – his second of the day.

This loss, as is always the case, was not all on Winston, but the stat line wasn’t pretty.

Winston completed 20-for-36 passes (55.6 percent) with 194 passing yards, one passing touchdown, three interceptions and a 45.4 quarterback rating. I’ve decided that for this week’s stats of the week, I’m going to dive into each of the categories of that stat column and give it some historical, as well as expected-result context.

20-for-36

Winston’s 55.6 completion percentage was well below his career average. Winston has actually be steadily climbing up in terms of accuracy throughout the years, starting at 58.3 percent his rookie year, then going to 60.8, then to 63.3 in 2017 and finally 64.6 last season. That was encouraging. The performance last Sunday was not.

Winston just looked off from start to finish. Some of the turnovers weren’t all his fault, and we’ll get to that, but even to start the game, Winston just did not look comfortable or accurate. I didn’t think the play designs and the route concepts chosen by first-time offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich were the best on Sunday, often asking Winston to make some pretty difficult throws with a lot of time in the pocket, but difficult or not, Winston is the guy with the ball in his hand to make them.

Of the games in which Winston has completed 55.6 percent of his passes or less, he is now 2-17. I rounded up that record as to scream the obvious that, whatever the circumstance, anything near or below that number will not be enough to get it done. Whether it’s the play design, the play call, or the player himself, a 55.6 percent completion day can’t happen. That won’t win.

194 Passing Yards

It was pretty strange seeing a quarterback in this offense only amass 194 passing yards last Sunday. Over the last two seasons, we’ve been used to seeing Winston’s passing number well above the 200 mark, and many times into the 300 levels.

Bucs QB Jameis Winston
Bucs QB Jameis Winston – Photo by: Getty Images

Winston is 2-5 in games in which he does not throw for at least 200 yards in over the last four years – excluding games that he did not start or did not play the whole game. Knowing this offense, I was actually surprised that the record was even that close. This whole operation runs through Winston. The Bucs averaged 4.7 yards per carry on the ground against the 49ers, which was very encouraging, but they weren’t able to marry that run success with enough passing success.

1 Passing TD

In the most surprising stat of this entire research session, Winston is 13-14 when throwing one or less touchdowns over the last four seasons when playing the entire game. On the flip side, Winston is 8-18 when throwing two or more touchdowns. I found that very hard to believe. But, for some context, that 2016 year was a crazy outlier with how well the defense played. And Winston’s rookie year he got lucky with some wins in poor performances.

Perhaps this a hint that the Bucs have built this team to ask too much of Winston, and that the focus of team building should have been the other way around towards the defensive side of the ball. Maybe they’re asking Winston to do to much. Maybe they always have.

3 Interceptions

As you would expect, Winston’s record when throwing three or more interceptions is not very good. Over the last four years, he is just 1-6 in games where he gives the ball away at such a rate. The lone win, and the source of many outliers for these stats, was the New Orleans game in the final week of the 2017 season.

There have not been too many games where Winston has gone overboard with the turnovers, but games like the one we watched last Sunday remind you of the Cincinnati game where Winston just could not stop turning the ball over and eventually got benched.

49ers CB Richard Sherman - Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR
49ers CB Richard Sherman – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

Now, to be fair, the interceptions this past Sunday need a lot more context than just the number. The first one hit O.J. Howard straight in the hands before it fell right into the linebacker’s lap. The second one Peyton Barber didn’t run a precise route, and the third one was a broken screen play where Winston had the get the ball out quick and the running back got swallowed up by his own blockers. He should have thrown it in the dirt instead.

A team will never win turning it over that many times, and the Bucs lost the turnover battle 4:2 against the 49ers with Winston’s two pick-sixes accounting for the difference in a 31-17 loss.

I would actually say that, of Winston’s games in which he has recorded high turnovers in a loss, this one was likely the least on him, in terms of blame.

After looking back at some of Winston’s numbers in the past versus what we saw on Sunday, my takeaway is that maybe we’re doing this Winston thing all wrong. We believe he’s destined to be this 300-yard, big-game passer, but maybe that’s just not in his blood. Maybe he just doesn’t have it in him to be that efficient on a consistent basis when asked to throw that much.

What’s more important than pushing the ball is the efficiency in the little things and taking care of the football – wins will come if that happens. Coaches have said that for many years, yet they ask Winston to go out and throw it all over the yard. Maybe that’s just never going to be how they win.

In Arians’ vertical offense, we’re likely not going to see the Bucs dial it back anytime soon. They’re still going to ask Winston to throw the ball 35-40 times per game. It took Carson Palmer about 6-8 weeks to really get comfortable in Arians’ offense, so barring a meltdown, I’d like to try to do the same with Winston. Perhaps the offense evens out by then. But that’s not all on Winston, either.

Winston’s supporting cast, mainly the men blocking in front of him, will have a lot to say about that. We examine their film on the next page.

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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]

66 COMMENTS

  1. I am going with my gut instincts.

    Winston has to carry this team on his shoulders in some of these games this year as the defense can’t play lights out in the next 15 games. Winston reaching or playing at NFL average is not good enough IMVHO.

    Bucs will be lucky to win 5 games with the worst offensive tackle combo in the NFL. At some point Dotson is going to be benched if he doesn’t elevate is his play which is why the Bucs brought in Wells who is a swing tackle as well as as Hawkins. If you don’t think Arians doesn’t see the same thing think again because the Bucs have added two swing tackles within less than two weeks while also cutting Benenoch. Benenoch was the primary backup and competitor of Dotson and he was cut. That is a telling sign that Benenoch couldn’t beat out an aging Dotson.

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    • how can anyone dislike this post. it’s spot on

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      • Sapp can you say Troll.

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      • Winston doesn’t have to carry this team. He just can’t turn the bell over and he needs to take advantage of plays when he gets good blocking. If he does that we can win 8 or 9 games.

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  2. Winston has to play better than NFL average to earn a second contract. D. Smith has to play NFL average to be considered salvageable at LT. Marpet is fine while Jensen is too costly for 2020 so the Bucs will need to explore a cheaper option at center. Cappa might turn out NFL average and on his rookie deal would be a bargain. I do not have confidence Dotson finishes the year as the starter. But even if Dotson finishes the year as the starter this is going to be his last year as the starting RT IMVHO.

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    • Mentioned this earlier, but Dotson said this is the worst he’s ever felt after training camp, can’t think he’s going to feel any better during the grind of a 16-game season. Hopefully Hawkins or Wells can step in and provide improved play once they’re up to speed. Smith has $14.5M guaranteed for 2020, so we’re stuck with him for at least another year. Frustrating part is he’s seems to accept he can take a handful of plays off each game and, regardless of the outcome, there aren’t any repercussions.

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  3. Plenty of blame to go around – at some point Donovan Smith getting “clowned…on a weekly basis” has to become unacceptable for the coach…he’s getting $14m; he can at least touch the DE on every snap.

    Winston – it’s all been said. At some point – as my high school coach used to say – “excuses are for losers”.

    Leftwich: one of my 3 keys to success this year was him creating an offense that took advantage of what Winston does well…that didn’t happen on Sunday.

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    • This week’s play calling and play designs were… head scratching. Super simple and easy to cover. If this continues, it will be obvious and I’ll highlight it.

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      • I saw this as well. As much as I would like to say Winston just has to do better and we will be good (after all, this is only one guy who needs to adjust), I saw a myriad of issues. San Fran’s secondary was so well prepared for this game plan. The route schemes were so basic and the guys still couldn’t make it work. Winston has to play better, but wow, he’s being asked to make tight window throw after tight window throw. Watching the All-22, there weren’t open receivers running around.

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      • maybe they were saving it for Carolina? didnt wanna give them a game plan ?

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    • I agree EEB and Trevor. They had him dropping 7 steps and standing in the pocket and throwing deep outs.-his least competent type of throws. He needs more seam throws, hooks, curls, and an occasional deep post route. I think this offensive performance was on Leftwich. Let’s hope he grows into the OC position. It’s natural that the O and D will struggle early while learning the new systems when the live bullets are flying, so simplify.

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  4. If you want to say some of the picks we’re Winston’s fault, then you have factor in the two passes that hit 49ers right in the numbers, and were dropped. What was a bad day with three picks could’ve been a lot worse with five!! Even the pass that bounced off O.J.’s hands was high, and hot so Winston can take half the blame there. Are we asking to much of Winston to hit his T.E. in the numbers on a 10 yard pass? Some of the clips you showed where the protection was good, and Winston had time, look at his happy feet. A 6th round pick rookie for the Jags came in cold yesterday, and had a better day then Winston. He also got no practice reps in practice leading up to the game. If you say we’re putting to much on Jameis, and need him to be more of a game manager, then he certainly isn’t worth a new contract paying him 20 million plus. As Jaws was fond of saying, you can’t hide your Q.B. in the NFL. From what I’ve seen of Griffin be it preseason, he’d be better at that then Winston. I’ve seen enough Trev, Winston will NEVER be a consistent NFL Q.B..

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    • He is running out of time to prove you wrong, that’s for sure.

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    • 1000%

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    • Surfer I saw his jittery feet also.

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    • Let’s not forget the fumbled snap and strip sack either that were both recovered by the Bucs. Real potential for a 7 turnover game. Not good…

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  5. D. Smith would be okay as a right tackle or guard. But he struggles in using his length or being on island to stonewall any rusher on the left side because he is not moving his feet fast enough. Don’t be surprised if the Panthers put a wide 9 defender across from Smith and see if he can stop that.

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    • The Bucs need to keep a TE on that side to help D Smith.

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      • Probably a TE or RB to chip and help him out. Problem is Dotson’s isn’t doing so hot on the other side. AT that point when you have two tackles that struggle it is hard to have an NFL offense perform.

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  6. They have been designing teams for Winston to carry on his shoulders now going into 5 seasons,
    for the first 4 years, it did not work, this is the third coach with the last 2 coaches hired specifically to fix Winston.
    I watched Bruce Arians video game press conference, I saw a broken down old man making excuses and trying to keep James up mentally.
    It was not the same coach in the NFL film showing strength courage and swagger.
    Bruce Arians know in his heart he is part of the biggest joke in football and by Halloween, the season will be over and his reputation shot and people will be pointing out the team he left AZ and the Bucs for years to come
    I kind of feel sorry for him, that said he should have never taken on a team owned by the three stooges Byron, Avram and never forget Joel.

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  7. During and right after a game emotions are always running high and we tend to over react to everything and think the sky if falling, especially week one. 2 of the 3 picks we now know weren’t on Winston. Obviously that last pick was a major bone headed play that cant happen. We can picket outside of One Buc Place asking for a new QB… but that help wont be coming till 2020. At this point lets wait 8 weeks and see if anything changes. Still have a lot of season ahead.

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    • Agreed Diehard. I find that Winston (and the rest of the Bucs) play like they are nervous at home – especially when there are expectations placed upon them like there were in game 1. Now that the bandwagoners are off the train after game #1, I fully expect Winston and the rest of the offence to settle down on the road versus Carolina, despite going against a good D. If you look at their history, I find Winston shows much better on the road, as I think he functions better when it’s just him and his team ” against the world”. Those seem to be the flashes we all see of greatness, but then he brings us back down to earth as soon as expectations begin to rise again when in front of the home fans. Not saying they will beat Carolina, but I expect that we will get a better showing from the offence. Go (hopefully not the same old) Bucs!

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  8. People who talk about dropped INTs are morons. I dont believe that statistic exists in the NFL. Sort of like the stat for called back TDs, fumbled ball before TDs and dropped TD passes. Tell me where I can find those elusive stats.
    I would be more interested to see what Winston’s record is when the Bucs have 2 or more rushing TDs in a game.
    Even when I saw the second INT on replay I knew it wasn’t Winston’s fault since Barber stumbled and almost fell down coming out of his break. Those are timing throws that have to be made before the receiver comes out of his break.
    Even after watching that replay a dozen times I still don’t see where the Dot held him. Am I blind.
    And finally for you clowns that like non existent stats how about this one. Obvious PI calls not made by officials wanting to catch an early flight home.
    That wasn’t simple pass interference on Evans on the final play, it was a public mugging.

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    • East there was no hold on the 1st TD pass to Brate, just a shit call. And Evans was mugged, so we got screwed on both occasions. Winston should have thrown the last int away, 1st 2 not his fault as you said.

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    • DRDNeast throwing the ball into hands a defender is never a problem with some teams the defenders do not practice to catch like receivers, and when Winston throws it to defenders there caught off guard because they are not used to the other team QB to throw right at them.
      The practice of throwing the ball to other team defenders can cause you to lead the league in INTS
      Wait a minute Jameis Winston does lad league of all active QB since he has been in league HUH

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    • Well said drdneast. People always call out the Jameis supporters but can’t see from their own blind hate for him that any time something goes wrong they lay all the blame at Winston’s feet. He needs to play better YES I agree but so does everyone else. It’s only week one folks let’s play a few more games before we start mock draft crap on here. If Jameis can’t improve drastically by the end of the year then he’s gone we all know that and he knows that but we aren’t there yet.

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  9. The passing plays took too long to materialize. We knew our offensive line would be very challenged against the speed rush of the 49ers, yet we ran plays that took significant route development and consistently saw the pocket rapidly collapse on Winston. Combine porous Oline with poor decision making and you get multiple turnovers. Our run plays were mostly north-south and Jones went straight at them hard with success. We should have done the same with passing. Quick north south passes that allow our receivers to use their speed to beat the defenses.

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  10. Trevor I was very impressed by our run blocking also. But why aren’t we running play action.This offense needs an identity. I have noticed over the years with Winston that he is more effective in up tempo. His game is more quick decisive passes, its not the long ball game which every coach he has had tries to force on him. We look more like a west coast zone blocking team to me that occasionally takes their shots deep.

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  11. I think you guys hit the nail on the head on the last podcast. I like Winston getting yards on the ground when he can. If its not there and he can move the chains with his legs do it. If the coaching staff is wanting him to always look downfield 1st and avoid the run, that scares the hell out of me with him. He is a big athletic guy they should let him take off when needed. I hope that is not the approach for the season.

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  12. I have complained enough and inherently I’m not a complainer. So today while I am more lucid I went back to see what really happened Sunday. My complaint was with the offense hence my evaluation is with the offense. Something is wrong! The defense has improved, the run game has improved and the kicking has improved. But there is something that is not quite right about this offense.

    We have basically the same group of skill players that led the NFL in passing last year and Winston has set passing records in years before. Even when Winston played badly the last few years, we moved the ball up and down the field. Guys were always running free. TEs and WRs were getting open and Slot receivers were in the mix. I’m not seeing that with this offensive system.

    The WRs and TEs are not getting open. In preseason, the same thing happened. The offense stalled under Jameis, it fared better in the second half under Griffin and the second teamers who never saw the field under Koetter. This is the only system they know. TE Tanner Hudson has never played with Jameis. And the first team has never played together with this system where there was a slot receiver used as a safety valve.

    Jameis either doesn’t like this system or he doesn’t know it. Everything I I’ve seen so far has been clunky or out of sync. I hear BA often defend Jameis by saying this player or that player was not in the right place or ran the wrong route. I take from that that this is a precision offense that requires people to be in the precise location and for Jameis to anticipate and throw to an exact spot – Winston grew up playing schoolyard football where he finds the man that is open and Humphries was his safety valve.

    I could be wrong and things will eventually work themselves out. It just doesn’t feel that way to me. I don’t know if playcalling has to change or the offensive system has to change, but something has to change. Go Bucs!

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    • Like Trevor said, it took C Palmer 6-8 games to get comfortable in Arian’s system. Maybe we just need to run the ball more often until that happens for Jameis.

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    • Mac I don’t know how anybody could vote thumbs down on your post. I’ve been watching football (and playing some early on) for 65 years so I’ve developed a feel for things. Receivers were not open and were often out of position forcing Winston to throw into tight coverage. Winston had a big case of the jitters which didn’t subside during the game. Also, he was asked to make throws (deep outs to the sideline and flag routes) that are not his forte. He likes the middle of the field -especially seek routes. This offense is out of sorts. Hopefully this staff and time will solve the issue.

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      • Obviously young whippersnappers who are visually impaired. Lol. Hope you are having a great day 76Buc. I’m looking forward to a Bucs win on Thursday night. Go Bucs!

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    • Macabee, I felt the same as you. I got home late last night in San Diego and this morning I looked at the recorded game.
      The offence wasn’t in sync. Howard missed passes he should have caught.
      A lot a penalties on both teams.
      Winston really didn’t look that bad.
      Arrian’s was right about so many wrong routes.
      I’m definitely not ready to say anything good or bad about Winston at this point until we are a few more games down the road.
      I think some of you are overreacting; take a breath. It’s way too early.

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    • It was the blocked punt! Just like the Saints game at home last season, the blocked punt set the mentality of the game.

      I thought the same thing macabee. Offense just didn’t look right from the start. Then, when it did show some signs of life, Big Dot gets flagged, albeit one of them questionable. Maybe too much or too little thinking. From my perch, I thought Mike Evans obviously being sick, was more of a factor than perhaps it should have been. I thought the offensive line in general played well enough most of the time. Either the receivers weren’t getting open or Winston’s newfound caution caused him to hesitate enough to become problematic.

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  13. As many mistakes the team made during the 49ers game, I’ve got to pin the biggest blame on Dotson. He nullified 2 TDs, meaning we could have sent the game into overtime with point after kicks from M Gay. We’re going to see plenty of mistakes all season, even during the games we win, but self-defeating crap like holding calls are going tokill this team’s chances.

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  14. I’ve been saying for two seasons, move on from Dotson, move Smith to RT, draft/sign a LT.

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    • Whether he’s a better fit at RT, or probably RG, the fact is that we’re now paying him LT money. He has no incentive to take a pay cut…with 5+ years of NFL LT experience (bad as it’s been) some team out there will pay him to be their LT if we threaten to cut him unless he takes a pay cut. He’s now a $14m man, and you can’t use $14m of your cap on a RT or RG…yet another Jason Licht blunder.

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      • It’s more that he has 1 year of guaranteed money left, so if we Draft a Left Tackle and move him to Right Tackle next year, then we Draft his replacement at Right Tackle next year as well or the year after that and then he is gone.

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        • RT’s in the current NFL are paid big money so moving D. Smith to RT would be okay till his replacement is on the roster. But Jensen’s contract is too much as you can gain a decent starting center for less while having money left over to upgrade another area of the team.

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        • If a good LT is available at whatever position we pick in the 1st round next year, I say take him and move him to RT for his rookie year and see if it lights a fire under D Smith.

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  15. Never thought this day would come, but I think I’ve reached my breaking point. There’s been no bigger believer in JW than me. But I think it’s starting to become obvious that he’s never going to become the player he was drafted to be. Or at the least, not in a Buccaneer uniform. I was willing to ignore the pre-season because most cases, the preseason means nothing. But when he comes out and looks exactly like he’s looked all training camp and preseason, it’s officially a huge concern. He was at home, has a top 5 receiving core, and was facing a pathetic 49ers secondary that 2 picks all of last year. Jameis was downright putrid all game. If this continues for the next 3 or 4 weeks, I think it’s time to pull the plug, bench him for the rest of the season, then release him. And maybe if they can finish with the 2nd or 3 worst record, they can land their next franchise QB in the draft. I give Jameis 1 more month. If he still blows, bench him and start playing to lose, so we can land a top 3 pick. Enough is enough man. Even league average or above league average QB’s exploit the bad defenses on the schedule. He can’t even do that at this point. What possibly gives anyone any confidence he can fix it at this point?

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    • Amen brother! I’ve been making excuses for him since day 1 and keep holding out hope. I didn’t think we would see 400 yards and 5 TDs Sunday, I was hoping for 300 yards, 2 TDS and 1 INT. Instead we get under 200 yards, 3 INTs and 1 TD, ugh. I just don’t see any situation where Jameis will turn the corner. He should have turned the corner after year 2 or 3, but here we are in year 5. It ain’t happening. Arians may be a whisperer but you can’t fix stupid. He may be able to fix his deep ball touch, but people who make poor decisions just snap out of it ANY walk of life and/or profession. You can’t teach common sense, you have it or you don’t!!!

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      • Just think how he would play if he wasn’t the “hardest worker on the team and the first one in/last one out of the building everyday”….. 😉

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  16. Want to know who the real morons are Drd ? Fans who say it isn’t Winston’s fault. There are also no stats for receivers who ran the wrong route when there is a pick. Want to talk about real stats? Winston has more picks, and fumbles then any other Q.B. in the league since he’s been a starter. Want another stat? He’s lost more games then he’s won. Blame the sun in his eyes, the ground he walks on, blah, blah, it’s never his fault. Here’s another real stat for you. One touchdown, three interceptions, two returned for touchdowns. Look it up, it’s his stats, it’s on him.

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  17. I was at the game and very much agree that Winston and the Offense just didn’t look settled from the get off. All I kept feeling is that the Preseason and the fear of Players getting hurt now doesn’t give the Starters enough time to shake off the rust and leads to a lot of teams looking like shit on Week 1. Even the great Drew Brees looked sloppy in his first half. For Winston, the last game that was in his mind was the Browns game and he seemed a bit antsy as soon as the ball was snapped. I feel like the Oline did a decent job against a Dline full of Number 1s so hopefully Winston can find some comfort. But every time the Oline would create a pocket the receivers never seemed to be free.

    After listening to some explanations about the INTs it seems the issue is more Scheme change than anything. Everyone isn’t on the same page yet after being in the same Offense for years and it may take a few games to really get comfortable with all the Options Routes and timing. I’d just like to see them have a dump option more often that they go to if things aren’t opened up before the pocket collapses.

    It was just a sloppy game all around and crazy crazy Flags being thrown for Bullshit Intentional Grounding and Pass interference where the 49ers receivers were taking a dive and reminded me of the NBA. Unsportsmanlike calls because we led with our shoulder.

    I’m sure there are things with the scheme that the Offense will get more comfortable with each game and that should be expected. I know Arians loves the vertical game but I just don’t understand why we don’t run more Slant Routes, Stick Outs and Flat Routes. Teams like the Patriots do that little shit all day long 5 yards at a time.

    I hope to see them settle in and get more comfortable and improve every game. That’s all I wanted to see this year was the guys on both sides of the ball start to get it and working together and improving every game. We set the bar low with the first game so hopefully it’s only up from here. The Defense I thought looked solid overall and that will help things out a lot. Next year we draft 3 Olineman and it would be nice if it can be in the first 3 rounds because Winston hopefully settles in and finds his way. If not then it’s wide open next year. I just wanna see improvement, still 15 weeks left.

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    • I agree spitfire. Run those short routes (maybe not flats- he doesn’t throw them well) and force the DBs to move up and then go for the longer game.

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  18. It’s become very clear that Jameis is a terrible deep ball thrower. Look what Wentz did in 1 game with MeSean, and look at what Fitz was able to do last year. Going to have to adjust to his strengths and give up on the bomb.

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    • I’m not so sure we should ditch the deep ball altogether, but maybe a few deep seam routes would play to Jameis’s strengths better than deep shots to the sidelines.

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  19. Do something bold Tampa Bay. Upset the apple cart.Hire Colin Kapernick as a backup. I bet he would play his butt off for this team. But wait..my bad, I said bold..that ain’t in our DNA huh? We just wanna wait around for the sorry aftermath. WINNING people. 12 years and no WINNING. Aren’t you pissed at being the laughing stock of the NFl? I am. Do something Bucs..Anything!

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    • Kapernick is more interested in politics than football. Let him stay where he is making $$$$ telling Nike to ban sneakers with flags on them.

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    • Our current backup is.

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      • Better.

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  20. Trevor, Why not change the question to, “Is the coaching staff asking too much of this offensive line?” I’m in no way making excuse for Jamies. I’ve been one of is staunchest supporters and Sunday marked a new low point for me. That said, he had two TD passes nullified early. And thinking it’s on Jamies to makes vertical routes requiring 5 to 7 step drops is just stupid. Dotson and Cappa take turns screwing up. Throw in the occasional Donvan Smith and OJ Howard Ole’ blocks [I just about fell out of my chair as Howard stepped aside for D. Ford] and at some point someone needs to ask why they can keep dialing up the long throws.

    Again, Jamies let us down Sunday. But there were 10 other guys on the field that were pitiful as well. How about we start asking whether we’re asking too much of the offensive line?

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    • Coaching staff let them down.

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  21. All i have to say is it is going to take this team some time to get it all together. They are all learning either a new offense or a new defense. As much us fans want them to go 16-0 and score 40 points a game while pitching shutouts every week that is just not how it works in real life. B.A. will get this team playing good football it is just a matter of time. The defense will look better than the offense for a few more games because that is just how it goes. The same thing happened in training camp and it will happen in the regular season too. I really only blame Jameis for one INT. One was O.J. Howard’s fault and the other was a combo of Richard Sherman playing well and Peyton Barber not running his route properly. The last INT was the one I fault Jameis with 100%. It will take a bit for the pass blocking to gel just like it does for most teams. We have a new LG and a whole new blocking scheme. We need to feed Ronald Jones the ball both in the run game and in the passing game and we need to run pick plays more often to get Evans and Godwin easier routes until the entire offense has everything down and is just playing Vs thinking and playing. We will be a 8-9 win team this year but if the team starts to gel faster and starts to play faster we could win more than that.

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    • You got it Benjamin. The answer is run, run, run. It’s working for now. Throw short passes with 3-5 step drops, mostly over the middle or down the seam.

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      • Throwing short passes, plus running the ball 50% of the time would certainly throw off Carolina on Thursday, wouldn’t it?

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        • No it wouldn’t throw them off. They’ll be prepared for everything based on film. That’s why I prefaced my comment with “working for now”. Eventually they will stop the run by filling the box and stop the short passes by moving up the DB. That should open up other things (I hope).

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  22. When you watch the All-22 watch how many times there are multiple receivers running similar routes in similar areas on the field. This was a mess.

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  23. A-The 49ers saw the weaknesses in the Preseason. No more deep threat as D.Jackson is gone. No more dangerous slot WR since A. Humphries is gone. So the Bucs are left with M.Evans who was constantly pressed or double teamed and had a miserable game.

    B-You can blame the game on the new offense or a player ran the wrong route, but the QB is supposed to compensate for that by either checking down or throwing it short. Neither of that happened. 17 teams have new O Coordinators this season and only 1 other QB had a QB Rating close to Winston.

    C-Will the excuses keep coming if we see similar inconsistent play as all the other years?

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  24. You don’t draft a QB#1 over all to just be efficient. You can get an efficient QB in rounds 3-5. You draft him to lead your team, to be a playmaker, and to carry your offense. Unfortunately we have bad luck with drafting QBs. Hopefully next year that will change.

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  25. Just like to give a shout out to Trevor.

    I don’t get to watch a lot of bucs games where I’m at, so I really depend on your analysis of their games to help me form an educated opinion of how the team is truly preforming

    I have to say that you are by far my favorite bucs analyst, you are always fair, open-minded, and on point. Keep up the good work and GO BUCS!!!

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  26. Question:

    Didn’t seem to me that we bucs aired the ball out much.

    Anyone know Winston’s longest pass attempt or his average depth of pass attempt?

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  27. Read through several posts and now i have watched the game 3 times. First interception was on oj howard ball right in his hands and also costs us a fumble in the red zone.
    Is it odd that the officiating played such a huge part of this game? How many times do we need to score a touchdown and have them called back. You could say that dotson cost us that touchdown, but he really didn’t. He had his hands extended and was blocking him well then the de did a spin move and all went between his arms so it looks like dotson is hugging him or arms around him holding. Some calls are called on point, but some other calls are not exact and football should be played out.
    As for the interceptions of Jameis, different nfl packages are all about miss matches. We would love to have Mike evans or breshad perriman covered by a middle linebacker would just can’t keep up in deep coverage. And love having Brate or howard covered by a small corner for a jump ball. BA said several of his ints were not his fault, i dissagree. Jameis should know that to create missmatch one of his other receivers they extended barber to a wide out receiver spot and the 49ers did as expected and split their cb out, ( which happened to be a top db richard sherman) and jameis if you watch does not make a read. He does not read an olb or safety. I looked at the backside there was nobody open right away. Only way that was successful was to roll out of pocker hope for more or throw away. No…jameis throws to his rb against sherman and even if barber ran a yard or 2 past his hitch route, it was high, outside and uncatchable. Why throw that? Do you think barber is going to run better pass routes than what sherman sees?
    Their are a lot of improvements. This same time last year our defense gave up 40 opening day to the saints. Sunday our offense gave the 49ers 14. We have a defense, we have an improved offensive line. We need to improve on pass blocking on our offensive line. Our pockets are small, way too small even if jameis has time. The second pix 6 was aweful. BA said Evans was supposed to do a crossing route. I think he is covering for Jameis again. Evans does a crossing route zone sit. (When you see an opening sit and wait for the ball) jameis has happy feet. He throws the ball where there are 3 49ers and no bucs around. He got hesitant and just hoped, hoped someone would be there. Can’t do hope to God throws in the nfl. See the break happening throw before he comes out. 4th down on the goal line, did anyone watch as our wide receiver was wide open??? Jamies instead of hot hands on a quick route, pats the ball relaxed….thinking its all over and the linebacker catches up bats it away.
    Some questions as a bucs fan if you watch the game again and again. How many times did jameis pump fake a throw? Sometimes 2-4 times a play. Why not do first read second read run. Get 2-6 yards or sack and not force it. Kiss, keep it simple… First read second go!! Next is. Did anyone see some missed blocks that the offensive lineman made with t-rex arms ughh missing their block? I certainly saw oj howard miss some, i saw alex cappa sucking wind dizzy stumbling to the line, and some of our tackles miss some blocks. They should get angry after missing just one. If we have a run game shouldn’t we stick with it and throw in some easy short passes here and there to keep the defense offguard? Maybe especially…after jameis has his head rung from a helmet to helmet contact instead of a complicated read.
    There are lots of areas to improve. We are all upset it didn’t go our way. We also had some players sick during this game, some players not at their best. Buttttt, gosh darnit we have a great team. Have a defense, have a running game, have a qb that has potential if he can just pull it and run of he sees nothing open. Stop pump faking, see it no then go. We have an o line that will get better. Our offense will get better, it is week #1. But every need to be on the accountability board this week focused on cutting mistakes.

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  28. obviously the o-line wasnt great but much better than i expected after that browns game and jameis also wasnt good but theres no reason to beat a dead horse i trust this coaching staff and jameis, theyll right that (dotson idk…) but what got me was the receivers. no one got open no was seemed to be trying i get evans was sick and i dont vlame him he always comes to ball but howard and perriman, Godwin, brate very little effort it seemed they need to make it easier for jameis to get the ball outa his hand quicker he cant hold it that long.

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