Dirk Koetter and Jameis Winston – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR
Head coach Dirk Koetter rarely holds back when discussing his team, and following Sunday’s three first-half -turnover-fest, Tampa Bay’s head ball coach made his feelings known about his quarterback Jameis Winston.
During his post game press conference Koetter was asked if he was concerned about the play of Winston, and he bluntly answered.
Tampa Bay’s first-year coach went onto explain.
“He’s not regressing, but we’ve got to take care of the football,” Koetter said. “We can’t turn it over three times in a half. We just can’t do that. You’re playing a championship football team there. Our defense was playing good, we were running the ball okay. Fairly balanced in the first half. We cannot turn it over three times in the first half. You’re not going to win football games that way.’’
Bucs QB Jameis Winston – Photo by: Mark Lomoglio/PR
Winston, who has eight interceptions in the Bucs first four games, agreed with his head coach.
“Protect the football. Don’t give them the ball on your side of the field. That’s the easiest thing.”
Koetter saw this movie last year but said Winston was able to get out of his turnover funk, and did a much better job limiting his interceptions after a rough rookie start.
“The only thing is, he decided last year to come out of it. He made a conscious choice to come out of it,” Koetter said. “He did a great job of that. We need it again.’’
A subdued Winston, who finished the afternoon 17 of 35 for 179 yards, reiterated that he has to make better decisions after the game on Sunday.
“I need to protect the football. That’s what I need to be worried about protecting right now.”
A dejected and frustrated Koetter’s opening statement summed up his overall feelings of his offense’s performance on Sunday.
“Three turnovers in the first half,” Koetter said. “You’re not going to win games against a Super Bowl defending champions and a team that’s won eight in a row by turning it over eight times in the first half. Our defense did a good job in that first half, but our offense put us in trouble. And it’s going to be tough to overcome those types of turnovers.’’
Despite Winston’s recent struggles with turnovers, Bucs middle linebacker Kwon Alexander still believes in his quarterback.
“Jameis is a great guy, a great leader,” Alexander said. “Me and him talk about a lot of stuff and like I said, I’ve got his back, regardless of whatever situation it is. I love him to death and I love that offense to death, too.”
Mark Cook currently is the director of editorial content and Bucs beat writer and has written for PewterReport.com since 2011. Cook has followed the Buccaneers since 1977 when he first began watching football with his Dad and is fond of the 1979 Bucs team that came within 10 points of going to a Super Bowl. His favorite Bucs game is still the 1979 divisional playoff win 24-17 over the Eagles. In his spare time Cook enjoys playing guitar, fishing, surfing and family time at the beach. In addition, Cook can be found in front of a television or in Doak Campbell any time the FSU Seminoles are playing. Cook is a native of Pinecrest in Eastern Hillsborough County and has written for numerous publications including the Tampa Tribune, In the Field and Ya'll Magazine. Cook can be reached at [email protected]
I’m very concerned too, Dirk.
But it’s not over…………yet. The Panthers can be beat and the 49ers can be beat. Yes they’re both road games but it’s not impossible. Just really improbable at this point. Ok, maybe impossible. I’ll watch anyway and hope for some quality play to show up on the field. I haven’t seen much of that lately.
After that second pick Jameis was so afraid of throwing another one, he started holding the ball to long, and took a beating. I saw a Denver team with a rookie Q.B., have a clean pocket, and WIDE OPEN receivers being hit on time. Jameis mean while was under siege, and his receivers had no seperation. We need a big up grade at receiver. After Evans the cupboard is bare.
We saw the same things Surfer. What happened to Humphries in this game?
The Broncos sniffed out his famous screen play (not surprising given the coaching staff they have) and Humphries doesn’t offer much outside of screens and punt returns. Look at Humphries yards from screens plays versus yards where he has to get himself open this season. If a team can manage to stop the screens to Humphries a team can manage to stop Humphries altogether.
Jameis’ picks were bad, as was that ugly fumble by Sims …but that wasn’t the end of it. The offensive line was simply unable to protect Jameis, and committed a bunch of stupid penalties despite a quiet home crowd. The defense made two young quarterbacks – one on only his fourth NFL start (PR of 141.7), and the other on his very first NFL start (PR of 94.1) – look efficient and experienced when throwing the ball. About the only parts of the Bucs game that looked efficient were our run defense (allowed only 89 net yards) and our punding (Anger continues to do well, averaged 46.6 yards per punt). The pass rush looked OK at times, netting 4 sacks. Our defensive backfield continues its complete inability to get an INT this season so far in four games, while Jameis continues to give them to the opposition at 2 per game (8 total).
It’s a total team lack of results, not on only one player here.
Dirk, it’s not just turnovers. We have a turnover problem. But that’s not the real story. It’s a very typical and easy coach response to blame the turnovers. It’s harder to address the rest of the debacle. We were outmanned and outclassed across the board. Yes, they’re a Superbowl team. But that performance would have lost to any other team this week.
I watched Denver QBs Siemian and Lynch. Know what they got? Time to throw the ball. Winston is right. He has got to protect the ball, but needs time to throw it too! They also have a coach who has heavily scripted their plays and they have WRs that run specific route trees designed for the QB script. Sound simple?
They ran those scripted plays again and again, very limited, but effective against a secondary that never could adjust. S Conte was terrible. So much so that he wouldn’t even address the media after the game. Alteraun Verner was benched and never played a snap. Hargreaves is the rookie that stays with his assignment and is not allowed to play to his instincts. This could mean that we have no pass rush (we don’t)or they have a great O-line (they do). At any rate, we need to fix some things and it’s not all Winston! This brings me to the coaching.
There is a major coaching fail in game planning. We have no pass rush due to injury. And what little we had is in a walking boot (Gerald McCoy) and an arm sling (Noah Spence) now. We have no effective secondary. CB Banks has not been in a game and CB Verner was benched yesterday. We have one go to WR (Evans) and he doesn’t run routes. We have no running game with Martin hurt and Sims stutter stepping in the interior of the line is a lost cause.
So what do we do? Here Jameis, here’s the ball, go win the game! Denver CBs Talib and Harrris said after the game “we knew what to do. Just bump Jackson off his route and follow Evans, the ball would be coming soon”. More than any other QB in the league now, Winston needs to be scripted, Sims should never run inside, and the playbook should not be wide open to a team with the defensive acumen of the Denver Broncos.
As a team we’re hurt and not that good yet to turn over this team to a near rookie QB to overcome all of its shortcomings. We have the makings of a franchise QB that is now being set up to fail! We have a new coach who sounds like he has lost faith and confidence in his offense – an offense of his own making. Sound familiar of our defense last year? It’s just as simple as that!
I’ll differ with you on a couple points, macabee:
1) we actually DID have a pass rush yesterday, four sacks, a lot of hurries, knocked the starting QB out of the game …. the best we’ve had this season to date … but yes, we have two of those guys banged up now … I dunno if Ayers can play next game at CAR, but if not and McCoy and Spence are out, geesh, I dunno how we survive that one
2) Just telling Jameis to go out and win the game for us is not a plan, other than for failure. To win a game, especially a game on the road at CAR, our defense has to show up, first and foremost. Secondly, we have to get Doug Martin back, because without him we have no running game, and without a running game JW is toast .. geez, he took 16 hits yesterday, and the CAR defense is of near the same capability to rush the passer as Denver’s. Thirdly, the offensive line simply has to play better – better pass protection to keep JW upright, stop the stupid drive killing penalties, and make some holes for the running game.
Jameis Winston needs to play better, but no QB can go out and singlehandedly win any game, especially any game on the road. Nobody is holding Jameis back from doing what he does … but he needs much more support from his offensive teammates, and the defense has got to start clicking.
I agree. Toward the end of the first half the front four picked it up after McCoy was injured and left the game. DT Akeem Spence stepped up his game and DT MacDonald equaled his best game since joining the Bucs. I won’t try to guess why that happened then and not before in other games. Perhaps an adjustment was made – can’t explain!
Right on Naplesfan
While I’m commenting here, I should clarify that there is no mal-intent or desire on anyone’s part to see Winston fail. To the contrary, Winston admittedly has his problems and has a steep learning curve to become that QB that we are all looking for. He has to protect the ball and it falls squarely on his shoulders when he doesn’t. And it happens far too frequently for any of us to be happy or making excuses for him.
What I’m saying is that should be recognized be by the coaching staff and to not script/restrain the playbook for him is a recipe for failure. JMO, but John Gruden ran Cadillac Williams far too much and if Jameis is allowed to throw too much, bad results can be expected. When we have essentially no run game, it gets exponentially worse!
BTW, Winston is getting hammered over and over again. I lost count of the number of sacks and hits he took yesterday. If this continues, We aren’t going to have the prospect of a franchise QB much longer!
I’m sick of this clown already. His”tell it like is” talk has worn me down. Let’s be honest Jamesis doesn’t look like the qb we saw in game 1 I think he has a knee injury look at the drive b4 the half he was hit on the knee his movement in the pocket just seems different to me. Also he is shouldering much more responsibility because he is face of the franchise and on offense but he is down his starting left guard blocking tight end running back we cut one of his other tight ends v Jax looks like an old man o and his line can’t block. But yes I’m concerned for Jamesis but he is young and with proper coaching he will excel I just don’t believe in this staff or front office. Hey coach I’m about to “tell you how it is” no imagination in this offense at all its basically been the same offense for 10 years. Run for a yard on 1st down no gain on 2nd down on 3rd gain of six then punt. The second thing I’m noticing is how we went from Rutgers south to bears south now we are falcons south. We need that trend to stop we need to pick guys up that will help cuz it’s a awful trend. If we are holding people accountable Mike Smith should be on the hot seat because u were brought to Tampa to b an aggressive guy I don’t know how people believe that because he wasn’t that with the Falcons. I’m sorry it’s time to bench Grimes and verner and see what vh3 and j banks have which can’t be worst safety is just abysmal and depressing linebackers look ok alot of plays but I expect all pro attitudes and leadership and production. Do line hit by the injury bug again for the umpteenth time u let the 2nd leading pass rusher play special teams which is stupid then ur prized free agent acquisition hurts his ankle now ur all pro dt hurt but they fought so hard yesterday the d line coach deserved to be on the most impressive list lol so all in all coach ur qb has issues right now but so do u and ur staff of and don’t let me start with that front office lol ok and coach I hope u send in a cut up of all the missed personal foul roughing the qb calls that were missed this year I know so far I have seen 3 or 4 between the games I have watched from wire atl and Denver. Also tell that damn center to play ball and stop with the antics
I too am very concerned, and not because Winston doesn’t have the ability. But I DO worry he is trying to do so much, AND as a leader you MUST produce and be successful at your position in order for people to follow. Does Winston’s “run through this brick wall with me” mentality start to lose it’s effectiveness?
No I wouldn’t say that at all mark if anything he earned my respect cuz the last drive he got beat on by the d line and stayed in the game if anything the our o line needs to take the last series personal because u have to protect the qb. We r blaming the qb when it’s not his fault he made great throws but penalties derailed drives more than turnovers some times they scored on us early but it was still enough time. Also I’m sick of Joe Hawley act it’s a killer and a waste of time I just want a smart team it’s like the whole offense regressed not just jameis
Winston’s, with his type of personality, seems like he’s focused a bit more on bigger goals. He trying to explore everything and push the envelope so he can become a wizard of a quarterback, maybe to how he looked like in his first year at FSU. He’s wants to become the best quarterback in the NFL as mentioned. It seems like he’s trying to figure out what doesn’t work while trying to push the limits.
Like Trevor right now or as Cam did last year, if the Bucs and Winston really want to just win now, Winston would have to “simplify up”, pull back on the superman goals and just do the simple things that will work, advance the balls and avoid turn overs. I believe Winston really does want to be absolutely amazing. But… that may not necessarily bode well for winning Super Bowls. Maybe he let all the hype from the first week get to him a little and now he’s trying to live up to it too.
To the entire team: If the Bucs want to be great for a long run it maybe wiser to shift their focus from “win now” to “quantifiably improve each week” in one aspect or another.
Regardless the Bucs need to become more professional. They need to get off this emotional roller coaster. They can’t wait for a positive emotion to ride in order to win. They can’t start panicking “the sky is falling” when one bad thing happens as Lavonte admitted they tend to do. They need to focus on perfecting their execution and amazing execution on the individual level, in their role for the team.
At this point, this artificial and highly unrealistic “win now” pressure, if kept up, will keep the Bucs losers year after year. They must develop and improve step by step year by year. They can’t do this if they are focused on “winning now” when they are not able to do so, especially with our very tough schedule. Wise owner understands this. Amateur ownership does not. Kotter must not feel this pressure either of “wining now”, not with this team, although he must have a methodical mindset for rapid and solid improvement.
For example, one commentator remarked how Denver’s defense didn’t do too many fancy things, but they focused on becoming really, really great at what they do. What if the Bucs changed their approach and focused on becoming execution masters instead of “trying to win” a game…
Ok back to work. Just had to vent that game out. It was really deflating…
This looks like the beginning of the end for Winston. A pity. I think he could be a franchise quarterback, but our fans lack patience and endurance. Without the threat of a running game and a big time tight end, our offense is mediocre. Still, who really thought we would beat Arizona on the road, Denver at home, or even St. Louis, which is now showing they are a very good team (largely because they have shown patience with a losing coach (who routinely beats Tampa. I’m afraid that Winston will be another case of a guy we run out of town and don’t give a second contract. And now I’ve seen the Koetter critics begin their onslaught. Fact is, we have six or seven starting caliber players out. No team in today’s NFL can take that kind of hit. This will sound like sour grapes to some, but it’s reality. We were playing most of yesterday with one starter on the defensive line. It’s hard to ask for patience with a team that has been so crappy for the best eleven years, but that’s what it will take.
I did criticize coach but I am wrong. He is in his first head coaching job with alot of 2nd or 3rd year guys on offense who play important positions and our defense is banged up and in year 1 of a new system so I for one need to relax. I don’t live in Tampa but the fans and people deserve a winner and honestly we are close this year. I know it sounds crazy but our division is just as banged up as we are. We beat the Falcons once we get a shot at Carolina this week in front the nation and we have winnable games. In our losses we were there against the rams, yesterday if not for turnovers we were going blow for blow with Denver I think the d got tired we didn’t have any more bodies and Arizona was a blowout but honestly I think we would have been here or maybe 2-2. We move on to Carolina and I say we will win and take off from there GO BUCS IT’S OUR TIME NOW
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