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    • michael89156

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      Winston, Mariota start NFL rivalry in historic Week 1 meetingrival_zps9gsnjxa1.jpg Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston looks to throw during the first quarter against the Cincinnati Bengals Monday night at Raymond James Stadium. JASON BEHNKEN / STAFF By Ira Kaufman | Tribune Staff Published: September 8, 2015  TAMPA — Credit the NFL schedule-maker for having a flair for the dramatic.Under normal circumstances, a Week 1 matchup between a pair of 2-14 clubs wouldn’t cause much of a stir. But when the Titans and Bucs meet at Raymond James Stadium Sunday afternoon, two rookie quarterbacks will be in the national spotlight.Tampa Bay’s Jameis Winston and Tennessee’s Marcus Mariota, the first two players off the draft board four months ago, respectively, share more than a Heisman Trophy. When they hit the field for their vaunted regular-season NFL debuts, Mariota and Winston will be gripping more than footballs.They hold the fates of their franchises in their hands.“Jameis is going to be looked at a little differently than Marcus, only because he was taken first,” said former Bucs quarterback Vinny Testaverde, the No. 1 overall pick in the 1987 draft. ”He’s probably facing a little more pressure than Mariota. As a rookie, you have to learn to deal with that. But coming from Florida State, he’s probably accustomed to what’s coming his way.”On the brink of this historic matchup, both quarterbacks will dutifully remind everyone this game isn’t about them.That’s called diplomacy, NFL-style, but Winston and Mariota realize they are destined to be linked forever heading into the first season-opening duel between rookie starting quarterbacks selected 1-2 in the same draft.“That’s taken on a life of its own — and we realize that,” Bucs coach Lovie Smith said of Sunday’s intriguing game within the game. “Jameis knows his role and what we’re asking him to do. Let all that take care of itself. You just be a quarterback. Make good decisions, be Jameis Winston, and we’ll be OK with that.”Mariota, who directed a prolific, up-tempo offense at Oregon, was impressive in the preseason, completing 21 of 30 throws for 326 yards with a 102.9 passer rating. He will not, however, be speaking with Tampa Bay reporters on today, after the Titans declined a request for Mariota to participate in the weekly opponent conference call.“It is about us, it is about the Tennessee Titans and that’s all that matters to me,” Mariota told reporters in Nashville on Monday. “People will obviously try and make debates and opinions about what is going on, but I am focused on what our team has to do. I don’t play defense, so I don’t play against Jameis. Obviously, people will continue to make that debate, but you can’t focus on it.”Winston’s preseason play was more uneven as he hit on 23 of 47 passes for 311 yards. He was intercepted twice and sacked seven times behind an offensive line that could start two rookies on Sunday.“I’m in it to win games and be the face of someone’s franchise,’’ Winston said at the combine. “This is no competition between just me and Mariota because one thing about me — I plan on winning the Super Bowl. So it’s going to be me versus Peyton Manning and Jameis versus Tom Brady.’’So who will come out on top Sunday?“I think Jameis Winston will win the battle when it comes down to this Week 1 showdown, but Marcus Mariota will win the war, in terms of having the better overall rookie season,’’ said Gil Brandt, a longtime Cowboys executive who now writes for NFL.com. ”I see Mariota finishing with a better passer rating and completion rate than Winston.”Fellow NFL.com analyst Charley Casserly likes the visitor’s chances as the Bucs seek to snap a nine-game home losing streak.“I am going with Tennessee,” Casserly said. “I don’t see this as Mariota versus Winston. I see it as Titans (defensive) assistant Dick LeBeau against a rookie quarterback. LeBeau’s record against rookie quarterbacks is 19-2.”Winston dropped only one game during two seasons with the Seminoles, winning a national championship as a freshman.Mariota flourished within a spread offense at Oregon, but Titans coach Ken Whisenhunt has focused on his skills as a pocket passer. While Tampa Bay’s defense will try to keep Mariota from breaking containment, LeBeau has a reputation for confusing inexperienced quarterbacks by disguising coverages.“He’s a good football player,’’ Whisenhunt said of Winston. “We put a lot of work into he and Marcus and I have a lot of respect for Jameis Winston and what he’s done. He’s performed at a high level. He’s performed at clutch times with Florida State in big games. I’ve seen him do some of those things on the football field at the pro level. I’m under no illusion that this guy will not be a good NFL quarterback.”Former Bucs coach Jon Gruden, now an ESPN analyst on “Monday Night Football,” still ranks Mariota more favorably than Winston as a pro prospect.“Ken Whisenhunt has put him under center a lot and he looks like he’s in rhythm,” Gruden said. “I think he’s impressed a lot of people with the way he’s thrown the football, and a lot of people are shocked that he hasn’t taken off in the run yet. I think that’s when you’re going to see the greatness of Marcus Mariota. He is a double-edged sword. I like the way they’re bringing him along. If I was a Titans fan, I’d be really, really happy.’’ikaufman@tampatrib.comTwitter: @IKaufmanTBO

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    • Anonymous

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      Post count: 9276

      Gil Brandt.....Winston will win the battle, but Mariota will win the war

      is this the same senile old coot that once proclaimed Bruce Allen the architect of a Super Bowl winner in Tampa? After that comment, he lost all credibility with me.

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    • Anonymous

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      Post count: 8983

      Gil Brandt.....Winston will win the battle, but Mariota will win the war

      is this the same senile old coot that once proclaimed Bruce Allen the architect of a Super Bowl winner in Tampa? After that comment, he lost all credibility with me.

      1. Marcus is going to have big trouble with the elite blitzing teams. He had better wear his brown pants those days.2. Bruce allen was a dumbass, and im willing to say markd cared more and worked harder than that turdnugget ever did. That fuc#tard started all the cheap sh1t here, then went on to another team and sold the farm. Still sucked.What i dont get, is how the tits are supposed to be that much better off than the bucs? When i look at their roster, and then tampas, i cant help but to feel tampa has the better roster as a whole group.The buc defense should be better than theirs, the run game is showing more promise this season, and tampas wideouts are better as well. Even IF you give the edge to mariota, its not like anyone has anything, like, reality to contend with or anything.. its not JUST a qb playing the game.Both need help, obviously, but its not like the current surrounding cast wont matter. Jameis could potentially enjoy an elite defense within another year or two. Idk if i would say the same for the mariotanaughts.

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    • Anonymous

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      Post count: 11045

      So we’ll the game Sunday but Mariota will have the better rookie season?I could see that.

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    • Anonymous

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      Post count: 4344

      So we'll the game Sunday but Mariota will have the better rookie season?I could see that.

      i wouldnt be surprised if Mariota has the better season after watching our OL play. if we cant reliably block then Winston wont have much chanceafter watching the Penn State - Temple game on saturday i got a chilling view into a possible future for the Bucs if we dont improve the pass protection. watching Hackenberg get sacked 10 times in a game was insane

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    • Anonymous

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      Post count: 11045

      So we'll the game Sunday but Mariota will have the better rookie season?I could see that.

      i wouldnt be surprised if Mariota has the better season after watching our OL play. if we cant reliably block then Winston wont have much chanceafter watching the Penn State - Temple game on saturday i got a chilling view into a possible future for the Bucs if we dont improve the pass protection. watching Hackenberg get sacked 10 times in a game was insane

      You can scheme better protection. I'm not going write them off yet

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    • Anonymous

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      Post count: 504

      is this the same senile old coot that once proclaimed Bruce Allen the architect of a Super Bowl winner in Tampa? After that comment, he lost all credibility with me.1. Marcus is going to have big trouble with the elite blitzing teams. He had better wear his brown pants those days.2. Bruce allen was a dumbass, and im willing to say markd cared more and worked harder than that turdnugget ever did. That fuc#tard started all the cheap sh1t here, then went on to another team and sold the farm. Still sucked.What i dont get, is how the tits are supposed to be that much better off than the bucs? When i look at their roster, and then tampas, i cant help but to feel tampa has the better roster as a whole group.The buc defense should be better than theirs, the run game is showing more promise this season, and tampas wideouts are better as well. Even IF you give the edge to mariota, its not like anyone has anything, like, reality to contend with or anything.. its not JUST a qb playing the game.Both need help, obviously, but its not like the current surrounding cast wont matter. Jameis could potentially enjoy an elite defense within another year or two. Idk if i would say the same for the mariotanaughts.This is such a well written and professional post. The maturity level is top notch. lol

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    • Anonymous

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      Post count: 3169

      TAMPA — Credit the NFL schedule-maker for having a flair for the dramatic.

      I don't think you can say this when nobody outside of the Tampa and Tennessee markets will see the game.

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    • Anonymous

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      Post count: 5188

      So we'll the game Sunday but Mariota will have the better rookie season?I could see that.

      i wouldnt be surprised if Mariota has the better season after watching our OL play. if we cant reliably block then Winston wont have much chanceafter watching the Penn State - Temple game on saturday i got a chilling view into a possible future for the Bucs if we dont improve the pass protection. watching Hackenberg get sacked 10 times in a game was insane

      Yup. Kills his draft stock a little bit. It was almost entirely o-line stemic, but he had no chance from “hut”…That is what is going to happen to Winston consistently. And when they drop into coverage, he will be nervous, and make poor reads. Hopefully not over the middle where he will sail passes into safeties mitts...he needs to stay calm, but that is easier said than done when you have mastodons crushing you underfoot every minute and a half, thanks to the wimps up front trying their hardest to do a relatively simple job. Most of them just don't have the toughness to make Winston's life easier. They aren't physical, are not disciplined, not overly good with gaming up front, and at least two thirds of them need immediate vacations. The other two are on their way out, and I'm not sure what version of Cherilus we are getting. Hopefully, the average one. Jamies is in deep crap. And it all falls on Warhop, Lovie, and the players themselves. They aren't ready. This sucks man. It's so easy to see it coming...bad things...the offense is going to be absolutely putrid. Better run the ball effectively right up the gut.  That's the Bucs only hope. The pass rush will give Mariota way too much time to dissect the zone. He will feast on the soft coverages. He is an ace at finding wide open guys.

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    • Anonymous

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      Post count: 11045

      Woe is us!!!

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    • Anonymous

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      Post count: 46

      Tom Brady is def. better than Winston.  …but he is ours.  and I am cool to roll with our peeps. 

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    • Anonymous

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      Post count: 5188

      We shall see. And then thine shall vanish under a rock.

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    • Anonymous

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      Post count: 4344

      So we'll the game Sunday but Mariota will have the better rookie season?I could see that.

      i wouldnt be surprised if Mariota has the better season after watching our OL play. if we cant reliably block then Winston wont have much chanceafter watching the Penn State - Temple game on saturday i got a chilling view into a possible future for the Bucs if we dont improve the pass protection. watching Hackenberg get sacked 10 times in a game was insane

      You can scheme better protection. I'm not going write them off yet

      Im not panicking yet but im concerned for sure. especially week 3 against JJ Watt

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    • Anonymous

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      Post count: 955

      So yall say we ain’t got a chance in Hell?  Really? Maybe I got too much faith in this kid?  IDK, I’m not feeling it’s going to be the debacle I’m reading on this board right now.

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    • Anonymous

      Inactive
      Post count: 11045

      So we'll the game Sunday but Mariota will have the better rookie season?I could see that.

      i wouldnt be surprised if Mariota has the better season after watching our OL play. if we cant reliably block then Winston wont have much chanceafter watching the Penn State - Temple game on saturday i got a chilling view into a possible future for the Bucs if we dont improve the pass protection. watching Hackenberg get sacked 10 times in a game was insane

      You can scheme better protection. I'm not going write them off yet

      Im not panicking yet but im concerned for sure. especially week 3 against JJ Watt

      He better stay on the defensive left side because if he tries the right Donovan Smith is going to knock his dick in to the dirt.Yea i said it.

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    • Anonymous

      Inactive
      Post count: 4344

      So we'll the game Sunday but Mariota will have the better rookie season?I could see that.

      i wouldnt be surprised if Mariota has the better season after watching our OL play. if we cant reliably block then Winston wont have much chanceafter watching the Penn State - Temple game on saturday i got a chilling view into a possible future for the Bucs if we dont improve the pass protection. watching Hackenberg get sacked 10 times in a game was insane

      You can scheme better protection. I'm not going write them off yet

      Im not panicking yet but im concerned for sure. especially week 3 against JJ Watt

      He better stay on the defensive left side because if he tries the right Donovan Smith is going to knock his dick in to the dirt.Yea i said it.

      Hahahathat would be awesome. not gonna hold my breath but if it works out that way you definitely have something to hang your hat onboldest of bold predictions

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    • Anonymous

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      Post count: 3392

      I was curious about the “19-2” versus rookies stat. So I looked it up. For one thing, it doesn't include his first stint in Cincy (under Wyche). I only looked at '89-'91 for that era, but he lost to rookie Jeff George in his rookie season. Didn't play any other rookies.But overall, it shouldn't be all that shocking when you consider that:a) the Steelers won a lot of football games in generalb) in bad years (some of the Cincy era for example) he didn't face a lot of rookies.c) Most of these guys weren't good QBs period, much less good rookie QBs.Here are the 2 guys his team lost to:Troy Smith Peyton Manning (interestingly, despite the fact that Manning threw 28 picks his rookie season, this game was only one of 2 in which he threw zero picks. He threw for 3 TDs and had the highest QB rating of his rookie year).Here are the guys he beat:Tony BanksTim Couch (2 times)David CarrEliCharlie FryeKyle OrtonDerek AndersonG-ForceAndrew WalterJohn BeckFlaccoAndy Dalton (2 times)GabbertWeedenRGIIIEJ ManuelGeno SmithBortlesNot a lot of good QBs in that list. Flacco (non-great rookie year), Dalton, and Eli are it. And Eli actually had a good game - the G-Men scored 30 points and still lost. Beating RGIII looks good on the surface since the Skins were 10-6, but that was in the middle of a 4 loss in 5 game stretch. also, he turns 78 today.

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    • Anonymous

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      Post count: 855

      I was curious about the "19-2" versus rookies stat. So I looked it up. For one thing, it doesn't include his first stint in Cincy (under Wyche). I only looked at '89-'91 for that era, but he lost to rookie Jeff George in his rookie season. Didn't play any other rookies.But overall, it shouldn't be all that shocking when you consider that:a) the Steelers won a lot of football games in generalb) in bad years (some of the Cincy era for example) he didn't face a lot of rookies.c) Most of these guys weren't good QBs period, much less good rookie QBs.Here are the 2 guys his team lost to:Troy Smith Peyton Manning (interestingly, despite the fact that Manning threw 28 picks his rookie season, this game was only one of 2 in which he threw zero picks. He threw for 3 TDs and had the highest QB rating of his rookie year).Here are the guys he beat:Tony BanksTim Couch (2 times)David CarrEliCharlie FryeKyle OrtonDerek AndersonG-ForceAndrew WalterJohn BeckFlaccoAndy Dalton (2 times)GabbertWeedenRGIIIEJ ManuelGeno SmithBortlesNot a lot of good QBs in that list. Flacco (non-great rookie year), Dalton, and Eli are it. And Eli actually had a good game - the G-Men scored 30 points and still lost. Beating RGIII looks good on the surface since the Skins were 10-6, but that was in the middle of a 4 loss in 5 game stretch. also, he turns 78 today.

      Another quality post. Thanks BR

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    • Anonymous

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      Post count: 3392

      Thanks. Bored during lunch.

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    • billym

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      Post count: 3348

      So yall say we ain't got a chance in Hell?  Really? Maybe I got too much faith in this kid?  IDK, I'm not feeling it's going to be the debacle I'm reading on this board right now.

      Agree and trying to be positive right now. After a few games I might change my mind but lets give them all a chance at least.

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    • Anonymous

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      Post count: 955

      So yall say we ain't got a chance in Hell?  Really? Maybe I got too much faith in this kid?  IDK, I'm not feeling it's going to be the debacle I'm reading on this board right now.

      Agree and trying to be positive right now. After a few games I might change my mind but lets give them all a chance at least.

      I got the butterflies and everything man.  I'm so pumped up.

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