Bucs QB Jameis Winston - Photo by: Getty Images
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.
What is the price of winning in professional football?
Is it the value of the franchise? Is it whatever your salary cap budget is? Is it how much a team chooses to spend on coaches, facilities, team amenities, etc.? You could say all of those things play a part in bringing a world championship to a city, but there’s often another price that has to be paid or at least valued correctly for a team to take the leap from losers to winners.
That price is the No. 1 overall pick.
Records of 2-14, 3-13, heck, even 0-16 are the lyrics to a song that summons a No. 1 overall pick. Teams picking at the top of the NFL Draft are the worst the league had to offer the previous year, and the system is set up to aid them as much as possible. Sometimes the No. 1 overall pick isn’t as ideal as a team may wish it was. Each year’s top pick depends on the draft class that player is coming from. But, nailing that No. 1 pick can go a long way to changing a franchise, no more so than if the player selected is a quarterback.
Jason Licht, Jameis Winston and Lovie Smith – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR
Following a 2-14 season under the first year of then head coach Lovie Smith, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers found themselves picking in the Top 10 yet again. They were No. 3 overall in 2010 when they selected Pro Bowl defensive tackle Gerald McCoy, No. 7 overall in 2012 when they selected safety Mark Barron, and No. 7 overall again in 2014 when the selected wide receiver Mike Evans. But 2015 was just the fifth time in franchise history – first time since 1987 – that the franchise was selecting at the very top.
For a team that hadn’t had much success at the quarterback position since their Super Bowl era and truly hadn’t found itself a franchise quarterback since entering the NFL in 1976, the team opted to go with the former Heisman Trophy-winning signal caller out of Florida State, Jameis Winston, as their top choice.
Since then, Winston has been the talk of the town. He’s what has brought many Buccaneers fans back into a feeling of hope and has been a centerpiece for coaching decisions and free agency signings. There is no debate that Winston has already been better than most Buccaneers quarterback throughout the team’s history, but here we are in Year Three of Winston’s tenure (the appropriate amount of time allowed before you really get into to judging a draft pick) and his team will not be making the postseason for the third straight year under his leadership and tenth year since the franchise has played beyond 16 games since 2007.
When you’re a quarterback and go No. 1 overall, there are plenty of expectations on your shoulders – some expected, other unrealistic. Things are expected to get better, but how quick and how common is success three years in to a No. 1 overall selection at quarterback?
There have been five No. 1 overall quarterbacks who have come into the NFL in the last 10 years before Winston: JaMarcus Russell, Matthew Stafford, Sam Bradford, Cam Newton and Andrew Luck.
When you read each of those names, certain things immediately come to mind, but much of that is to their success or reputation they’ve had throughout longer careers. What were each of those former No. 1 picks like in their first three seasons, and how does Winston stack up in terms of individual performance and team elevation over that time?
Let’s take a look.
Russell’s first three years in the NFL were his only years in the NFL. He was drafted No. 1 by Raiders owner Al Davis to who was then the team’s head coach, Lane Kiffin. Russell held out all of training camp and even Week 1 in his rookie season, and because of that, he didn’t start right away, even when he finally agreed to his contract. In 2008, the team turned to Russell as their starting quarterback, but a divide between Kiffin and Davis, which ultimately led to Kiffin’s firing, caused turmoil among the team and Oakland finished at just 5-11.
In 2009, Russell, who was lazy and already struggling on the field for the previous two years, lost his uncle Ray to heart failure. It was a loss that spiraled Russell downward on and off the field leading to his benching and ultimately the end of his NFL career after the 2009 season.
It’s not fair to judge Winston in any way with the situation with Russell, even if it gives Winston a boost when you stack former No. 1 picks up next to each other. Though you can say that at least Winston hasn’t been a giant bust like Russell, which is true. Russell’s football life is unique in a sad way. For that, there isn’t much to compare from the first of the five players we’re going to look at.
The Stafford comparison is where things really start to get cooking.
A winless season earned the Lions the right to select Stafford out of Georgia in 2009, and as you’d expect for a team that hadn’t won a game in over a calendar year, they started their prized possession right away.
Stafford started the first 10 games of his rookie season before being placed on IR with a minor knee injury. During that season, he threw for over 2,000 yards with 13 touchdowns, five of which came in one game against New Orleans. But, Stafford’s defense was worst in the NFL, so the rookie couldn’t help the team’s record.
Though he came into his sophomore season fully healthy, Stafford sprained his throwing shoulder in Week 1, an injury which allowed him to play just three games that season. Stafford’s stellar 6:1 touchdown:interception ratio was for naught.
In his third season, his most healthy season to date, Stafford ascended to the franchise quarterback level. He was able to play and start in all 16 of the Lions’ games, he threw for over 5,000 yards and got his team to the playoffs despite a bottom-half defense. Though the rest of the Lions organization around him has been hot and cold since, Stafford proved that season (and even gave hints in the season before) that he could be the guy going forward.
Bradford has plenty of narratives around him, but when you look at the numbers of his first three seasons, they’re not nearly as damning as you might think when recalling them today.
Bradford became and will likely forever be the highest paid rookie draft pick in NFL history since his contract was signed before the CBA changed to cap to limit how much rookies can make. In Bradford’s first career game, Week 1 of 2010, he threw for 253 yards with one touchdown and three interceptions. After a rocky start, Bradford went on to throw for over 3,500 yards with 18 touchdowns and 15 interceptions. His Rams finished with a 7-9 record and did not make the playoffs.
The following year, Bradford continued the trend Stafford set by getting hurt for most of his sophomore season. A high ankle sprain limited what Bradford was able to do in the 10 games he did play, but he finished the season why a terrible 1-9 record as their starter.
In his third season, like Stafford once again, Bradford got a bump. With new head coach Jeff Fisher, Bradford finished his most healthy and productive season yet which saw a career high in touchdowns and yards as well as a career low in interception ratio. Though the Rams and Bradford were building in the right direction, the 49ers and the Seahawks were both more polished and talented teams within the division, both finishing with better records and keeping Bradford out of the playoffs for the third straight season.
In terms of hype, Newton and Andrew Luck were probably the two who closest match what people thought of Winston coming into the NFL.
Newton played in and started in 48 of 48 possible games during his first three seasons. In the first 16, Newton threw for over 4,000 yards with 21 passing touchdowns, 14 rushing touchdowns and 17 interceptions. However, despite all that, a 27th-ranked defense from the Panthers held the team to just a 6-10 record.
In Newton’s second season, he regressed in terms of sheer numerical statistics, but increased his value in efficiency. The team’s defense also took a big leap and Newton’s record in his second season increased to 7-9.
In his third year, with a stellar defense behind him, Newton threw for less yards, but his efficiency and growth was evident with the most passing touchdowns of his career paired with the lowest interception ratio of his career. His ascension in his third season, much like Stafford’s, resulted in the playoffs at a 12-4 record. In each year of Newton’s early career, he helped the team by becoming what they needed him to become while maintaining skillset and increasing efficiency.
It seemed like Luck was the “can’t miss” prospect of the century when he was coming out of Stanford in 2012. That was evident when Robert Griffin III, who would have gone No. 1 overall in almost any other draft class, was selected after Luck.
In his first three seasons, Luck absolutely lived up to the hype – in fact, his first NFL pass was a 63-yard touchdown. He, like Newton, started all 48 games during his first three years. In his first year, Luck threw for over 4,000 yards with 22 touchdowns and 15 interceptions. He broke the record for most passing yards ever during a rookie season. Despite having the 25th ranked defense, he still led the Colts to an 11-5 season with a playoff birth.
In his second season, Luck’s first-year numbers went down in yards, but his efficiency went up (as you can see is a trend with the successful, playoff No. 1 overall picks). He threw less than 4,000 yards in that campaign, but tied his previous year’s touchdowns total with 23 while throwing half the interceptions. He again led his team to the playoffs, this time to host a Wild Card game.
Luck’s third season was an ascension, like the others, but it was to a whole other level. Luck threw for a career high 4,761 yards with an astounding 40 touchdowns and just 16 interceptions on his way to hosting yet another playoff game. In each year of his first three seasons, Luck went progressively further into the playoffs.
So, which No. 1 overall path do Winston’s numbers relate to most? From a pure numbers standpoint, Newton is his closest comparison with similar yards and ratios, however, Newton’s efficiency took steps Winston’s hasn’t as his early years went on. On the flip side, Winston hasn’t been available quite like Newton or Luck with his shoulder injury this year, but he isn’t as unavailable as Russell or Stafford were. Finally, in terms of playoffs, Winston hasn’t ascended to that next level like the three quarterbacks who are still on the teams that drafted them had in their first three years. The Bucs are currently 4-8.
Though Winston’s 2017 numbers aren’t complete yet, this year’s pace divided and averaged to a full 16 games would have him throwing for less yards and less touchdowns than he ever has, though his interceptions would be lower as well – mainly due to missing three games with a shoulder injury. It also gets tricky when you think that Stafford and Bradford had their injuries in Year Two where Winston’s is in Year Three. Cast and coaching changes come into play, too.
No situation is the same, but I think the main takeaway from Winston compared to his fellow No. 1 picks is that right now he’s somewhere in between Bradford and Stafford. The Rams failed to surround Bradford with talent the way they needed to, and his injuries eventually caught up with him. Stafford has been up and down for the Lions, as they, too, have failed to put a consistent team around him, especially a running game and on defense, but he has at least shown he is capable of taking over in certain years even as the cast changes – that’s ultimately what having a franchise quarterback is all about, being the centerpiece no matter what.
Bucs QB Jameis Winston – Photo by: Getty Images
Winston has yet to get to that Stafford level of franchise quarterback and is therefore also short of Luck and Newton as well in terms of doing what you need to do from the quarterback position to get each varying team you’re on from year-to-year a playoff shot.
Right now Winston, who is just 23 years old, is who he is. I don’t think he’s yet shown he can adapt like Newton and Luck were able to do during their three years or even take that next one step like Stafford has. He’s still short of those three. Coincidentally, those are the three that have made the playoffs, too, and Winston has yet to do that.
Winston’s numbers suggest he is on the cusp of taking that next step, but the Bucs need to figure out how to surround him with the coaches, the running game and the defense that will allow him to do so or they may put themselves in danger of a Bradford situation, which ends in a parting of ways. Winston is young, younger than all the above examples except for Stafford. I’m not saying the Bucs are looking to move on, but that next step needs to come – and come quickly. It happened in Year Three for those other quarterbacks that were No. 1 picks, but it hasn’t for Winston, even without the injury.
Teams can’t wait forever, quarterbacks can’t either.
Turn to the next page as we go over some of that growth that has been done and has yet to be done that we saw from Winston in the Green Bay game last week.
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]
Being between Bradford and Stafford at the point in his career is acceptable to me. He has already broken records. I feel he just needs a good coaching staff and a few more pieces on this team. that could be done in one offseason. As long as he can stay healthy I expect Winston to take it to the next level in 2018.
Fix the lines.
Newton = The Panthers went out of their way to change their offense so Newton doesn’t take a beating anymore by drafting speed and doing more three step drops. Trade of K Benjamin wasn’t a surprise seeing what they want to do on offense now.
Luck = Bad line that has derailed his brilliant, brilliant career so far.
Bradford = Vikes oline was adequate but became poor as time went on.
Stafford = Lions has a mixed bag on the oline for a long time but Stafford played through it.
Fix the o-line. This has been considered priority #1 since the take over of Licht. What Licht has done has been a lukewarm approach.
DAk Prescott is a good example also. Last year behind the best O-Line in the league and a solid running game, he sliced through defenses with short or intermediate passes with all the time in the world. This year, missing Elliot and injuries on the O-Line, not so good.
Winston also has a tendancy to go for the big play instead of just think down and distance, and keeping the chains moving.
The problem with Jameis isn’t his talent. He’s an excellent football player and deserved to be the first overall pick in 2015. But I can’t take pride in a team that has a franchise player eating W’s and not respecting women. It’s sad because I grew up loving guys like Brooks, Alstott, Lynch, and Barber who went their whole careers without these issues.
Bradford with Rams = Worst oline in NFL with several draft busts. They finally fixed the lines with Geoff.
Trev, good article, but despite some of the issues you show here I think for Winston to be successful, at least in the near term, is a better defense. It seems to me that Winston is at his worse when he thinks that he has to be the playmaker that saves the day. Most of his bad decisions appear to me to come because he doesn’t trust the defense to do their job. It also appears that we play down 10 points or more far too many times. Yes, Winston does come out jacked up in the 1st quarter, but I wonder if it’s not more because he feels he HAS to put points on the board early because if he doesn’t the defense will put him down by a touchdown or more.
Yes, the offensive line needs some attention, but putting a defense that can actually stop the other team will help him the most. For reference look at last years 5 game winning streak. When the defense was locking down the opposing team, Winston seemed more confident. I’d like to see what his stats were for those 5 games as well as compared to games where the team fell behind from the first gun and played behind the entire game.
I still believe in Winston, but I think we need to give him more defensive help now rather than worry about if he can carry the team to wins. There is plenty of talent and will to work with, coaching needs to work on making sure that games don’t get out of control early.
When I watch Winston play, I see all the tools, all the attributes you want in a quarterback. Everything you look for is there: size, arm strength, accuracy, mobility, football IQ. He can make all the throws you want and need a quarterback to make. He can do so from the pocket or on the move. The problem is that consistency in doing what is needed from the quarterback position is not yet there. From an accuracy standpoint, yes, deep passes (20+ yards) must improve. Is he aiming on these instead of naturally throwing the football? I really like and agree with the points made on pre-snap reads. He is still very young, and this aspect of his game should only improve with experience. The more he sees, the more he learns. Tom Brady is an excellent example here. He has seen just about anything that a defense could throw at him. His relentless work ethic pays off here. He studies and studies and studies. He processes information quickly. And he is an absolute master at manipulating defenses with his eyes. Why is he so successful at this? Because he knows what is coming from his pre-snap reads. I believe Winston has the ability to be on the same level as Brady with this in time. I’ve seen and heard about Winston’s tremendous ability to process information quickly, for example on Gruden’s QB Camp. He wows people in the classroom. But the classroom is different from the football field, and I don’t think what he does in the classroom is always translating to the football field yet. Again, that should only get better the more he plays. Some growing pains have to be endured here. All this said, in my opinion, the critical, essential number one thing he must improve upon is protecting the football. The turnovers simply must be greatly reduced. If they are not, then he will never reach his full potential, and the Buccaneers will never be a consistent winner with him under center. It is here that I have concerns. Throughout his career (high school, Florida State, and now with the Bucs), he has committed too many turnovers. He could get by with it in high school and at Florida State because of his advanced physical abilities, but he won’t be able to do that at the professional level. Can he, and will he, dramatically reduce the interceptions and the fumbles? That must be his number one commitment to improving his performance.
would you kindly send me some of what you are smoking? It must be GREAT stuff. JW is accurate???, moves the defense with his eyes??? is good a pre-snap reads??? The truth is closer to “he locks on to one receiver, forces balls and could not hit Shaquille O’neal on a deep route”. Take off your scarlet colored glasses and go look at the ALL twenty two or just look at Trevor’s post. He DOES NOT see the field and routinely tries to jam the ball in tight places when there are other WIDE open options. I understand you like Winston, but let’s start with the truth about him. HE is average right now, the question is can he become elite. IMO after 41 NFL starts, what we see now is what he is, average.
I think Winston has done above average, but not good yet; doubt he will play as a Top 10 QB; however, most QB’s don’t meet that standard and can still play in the NFL for many years. He needs a LT to protect him and we definitely need DE’s too. I know you can’t get all this in one year, but I would try to pick up more draft picks by trading down or trading a player or swapping players.
I’m not a fan of Winston but he is our quarterback. The Tennessee Titans (yes, Mariota) are in the hunt because they placed an above-average line in front of him. He doesn’t have decent receivers with Davis out but he has an excellent tight end (we have two) and a very good running game (which up to last week we haven’t). John Robinson is building the team the correct way. Jason Licht is drafting good players but they are either scattered around the starting line-up or not as good as advertised (Donovan Smith). We need to move Ali back to guard and somehow get four offensive lineman over the next two seasons.
No – Winston is not currently living up to his billing as the no. 1 overall draft pick. He is not a bust either. He is somewhere in between, but not making any progress this year, in fact he regressed this year.
Then the argument is, how much of Winston’s lack of progression on him vs. on the coaching? The answer is, we don’t know. He’s had exactly one offensive coach/playcaller since his draft in 2015. It certainly appears more likely than not that the Bucs will test out the effect of coaching vs. player starting next month.
The jury is still out on Winston. I certainly hope he has been held back by coaching, which is going to be changed out anyway. If a new coaching regime comes in and makes him and the entire team winners next season, I’ll be extremely relieved, along with most other Bucs fans except for the dedicated Winston haters. But if the new regime gives Winston every opportunity to get better, and he does not, then the GM can either give Winston another 1-year extension to his rookie contract, to give him more time to get better while another quarterback gets acquired via the draft or free agency .. or the GM can just cut Winston. If Licht is still GM next season, the latter is not going to happen, because he’s figuratively lashed himself to the Winston mast to ride out the hurricane. If Licht is given his walking papers by the Glazers next month, then Winston will likely be given a shorter leash.
The weakest unit on our offense is not the Quarterback, it’s the offensive line. Bucs management should have known this but they said it was good enough. Well its not. Your lines are the heart of the team. When the lines are over matched the skill players cannot shine.
Regardless of how many games he’s played this year, he has regressed. I do feel some of this is coaching\playcalling. JW locks on Brate too much and everybody knows when that over the middle pass is coming. We don’t seem to utilize drag or cross concepts very much, too much vertical, and we get boxed into predictability, which doesn’t help JW. JW needs to understand when you got a guy hanging off you like a cape, take the sack. There’s a fine line between wanting to make something happen and being stupid – JW is stupid too often.
He could be helped out by using DJax on shallow drag concepts and overall, a more diverse passing scheme the mainly verticals. Too much talent on this team to not score points.
*than mainly verticals.
Great work Trevor, always look forward to the Cover 3.
I would be curious to know the effectiveness of Winston when using the audible. One of the beefs from fans this year surrounds play calling: Play selection, mix, getting players involved, not utilizing strengths of some skill players.
Ultimately the game plan rests with the coaching staff, but the QB has their role to play. Peyton Manning was the king of the audible. How good is Winston? How much does his audible usage contribute to the success or failure of this offense?
Great cover three as always Trevor. When looking back at a lot of those number ones, including Jameis, they didn’t have great offensive lines. I’d be inclined to agree with those above that Jameis isn’t a bust , but he’s clearly not “the Guy” yet. I think , actually, I know he has the tools to do it. He just needs to get these outlandish plays off of his plate when taking a sack. Just take the sack Jameis! He’s broken club records and such, which isn’t saying a whole lot, but it shows that he is legitimate at his young of an age. He’s still the youngest starting QB in the NFL which is crazy to think.
DO I think this coaching staff has helped him the best they can? I do and don’t. The scheme just doesn’t seem to me that it takes advantage of our weapons as needed. I often see Oj come of the field in goal line situations and not enough slants and rub routes. Or YAC is still baffling to me with who we have.
Our offensive line needs a big time improvement, that can always help as last week games was a jail break on numerous occasions. Let’s see if we can continue to have a strong ground game to help Jameis as well.
A lot with him depends on the outcome of these allegation. If he’s found, without a doubt guilty and he was the only one in the car, it’s time to move on, and you all know I’d hate to say it. But in terms of on the field, I think he was absolutely worth the number one pick.
No way he was worth the overall #1. HE’s proven to be an average NFL QB, not Elite. With the number 1 pick, we should have had an elite, not average player. Winston has 41 games under his belt, vey unlikely he develops much from here.
And why would I care what you think? You’re a hypocrite that holds Jameis to one standard and every other QB to another. Like you boy Mariota 41 to’s in 37 games, you seem to keep forgetting that.
I dont care about MM. I did prefer him over Winston but did NOT like either one. As i said, I preferred Gurley or a denfensive player over Winston or Mariota
are you angry??? you seem upset.
You can cherry pick numbers all day long, In short, QB rating 2015- 84.2 2016- 86.1 2017 -90.1 average 3 years 86.2
that what he is a QB with an average of 86.2 any given year 86.2 means there are starting 16 QB with a better rating and 16 starting QB with a worse rating.
You think a first all #1 pick is worth average rated QB *side note more turnovers than most all QB starting last 3 years
Also, do you really think Bucs are going to lay franchise money down for a QB with issues off the field and onfield like 26 fumbles and 39 INT in 2.8 seasons with 86.2 average rating?
You can get a better-rated QB with 2nd to 4th round pick with a rookie contract. Might as well start looking now instead of wasting next year!
Thank you for injecting some reality into this conversation.
Winston needs to grow up now! He needs to stop “saying all the right things” to his coach, to his team mates and especially to himself.
Perhaps his early success came to easily. He seems to be working hard. Something has to show him what he needs to do now. His current coaches (or his new coaches) need to find a way to get through to him.
All of the analysis and discussion here today indicates that it is not too late for him, yet.
It’s too late. He’s had 41 starts. He is who he is, average NFL QB.
IMO Winston is an average NFL QB, nothing more and nothing less. Given that he is average and has off the field issues, I believe its in the best interest of the Bucs to sign a FA, Cousins, Keenum, etc.. to compete with Winston. If the FA wins the job, we release JW without having to pay him $100mil for the next five years. OR we could draft a QB and let him sit behind JW for a year, let JW go and play the rookie. It’s important to remember that we don’t have to sign or draft an elite QB to end up where we are today. JW is not elite, he is average, so all we have to do is find an average QB, think Dalton, Flacco, Keenum, Bradford,Palmer, Prescott etc.. we don’t have to find the next Brady. We made a mistake drafting Winston as with the #1 overall pick; we should have gotten and ELITE QB which neither Winston or Mariota are. The important thing now is to NOT compound the draft mistake by locking up an average NFL QB(Winston) to a long term, cap killing deal. We can’t afford to turn a 4 year mistake into a 10 year mistake. We need to move on.
And what Elite QB should we have drafted that year Genius? We all know these guys just grow on trees to you. As for Jameis Deal, he’s a first round pick so you don’t have to worry about his contract for another year at max so slow your roll. We have a whole another year to make that decision minimum before we even have to think about that. You seem to be under the impression that no QB can improve year to year. Brees was horrible his first three years and then he found the right system. You literally take nothing into account when evaluating a QB outside of his numbers. LIne, Scheme, and defense play a big part in things.
As i said earlier, I preferred rating Gurley or defense that year. I liked Carr instead of Mike Evans the year before. The line has been VERY good in pass blocking until this last game. You are correct, we don’t owe Winston big money until 2019, that is why i say let’s either draft one or sign a FA now before etc pressure is on. we can have a REAL competition and play the winner. either way, we need to build out the rest of teh roster and accept that whether it’s Winston or someone else, we are likely to have an average NFL QB with is ok IF we build a GREAT defense.
At times he shows talent, he has a strong arm – but his style does not produce a consistent accurate throw couple that with rash mistakes, he has lost winnable games with fumbles INTs, penalties.
Depending on if they go after a top tier new head coach that may not want bet his future on Winston or if they hire less marque coach that they can force Winston on will determine the fate of number 3.
Winston will not be offered franchise money or The Bucs will not use the franchise tag on him, Most likely he will be traded or released and be back on another team. He has 5-6 years left in NFL as back up.
Another issue NFL is going to be under huge pressure on this sexual assault charge coming up most likely after this season is over, I do not know if he guilty or not but it might not matter in this investigation, if NFL lets him off with hand slap they risk huge damage if he get accused again. So look for 4-6 games next year possible suspension. That will factor in with the new head coach.
The Cardinals game should not count as an entire game. We need a play caller who is Winston friendly. Seems we should play to his strengths. There are some aspects of his game which are stellar and perhaps should be exploited. Sean Mcvay was able get Jared Goff playing fantastic.
Bucs have so many many needs that going after a new playcaller is out of the question. So forgettaboutit Bucnut-it aint gonna happen, Winston is here to stay–why don’t you look for a new team since you hate Winston so much. It seems like a personal vendetta with you. We can acknowledge Winston has some flaws but damn–you expect ultimate perfectness. I appreciate that the interception ratio has improved. Defense is really awful this year too.
I think Jameis is living up to the number one pick; is the organization living up to their duty to nurture and develop a franchise QB?
As a Buc fan since day one this team has always had a terrible OL. In the few years we were successful the OL overachieved and we had offensive weapons.
Superbowl year we had good OL play and Keyshawn, Jurevicious and a good run game. In 2010 OL played good and we had Amtonio Bryant and LeGarrette Blount. In 2016 we had decent OL play and Mike Evans and Doug Martin playing lights out. It has NEVER been elite QB play that made us siccessful
If we get better OL play and a running game we will be back on top. Until then you can all keep blaming all the problems on our QB even though that is not our problem on offense by indication of Winston’s record setting start to his career
Wow. This is a tough subject for us long time Bucs fans to deal with. Lots of interesting thoughts above.
Carr vs Evans for instance… I’d have to vote Carr, as much as I appreciate Evans’ productivity. Having Carr under Center next 10 years vs what we all project what we want/hope Winston to be is a no brainer, with the benefit of hindsight or foresight which our GM and scouts clearly lack(ed).
Then there’s the question about Mike Smith. Everyone loved him at the end of last season. This year he had to make do with a bunch of old and undersized players, most of which failed him. Was that his fault? I dunno.
It’s possible the game has passed him by, but maybe we have so little talent at DL and DB that he just can’t make chicken salad out of chicken sh—. If you can’t rush or cover what do you really have? Imagine us without GMC or Grimes (both nearing end of life) we’d have almost nothing to work with – zero – to fill 6 starting roster spots.
What I do know is that Licht’s ONLY job is to shop for the groceries – not giving self-deprecating interviews about being a meathead while busting in the draft more often than not.
Our OL completely blows. Only two players worth starting on a real team and one of them is a year or two at the most away from retirement with no backup except for a draft bust of a LT. Our DL completely blows. Two years from now we will need five new starters.
Beyond ridiculous and embarrassing. I respect differing opinions about Koetter but Licht must go. Hopefully he has learned from failing here and will take a different approach on his next team.
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