Entering his second season in the NFL, Jameis Winston, already a Pro Bowler and 4,000-yard passer, is now the undisputed leader and face of the Buccaneers franchise. The mission for Winston in 2016 is to develop even further in head coach Dirk Koetter’s offense while taking full command of the huddle and leading Tampa Bay to more victories.
It’s often said the biggest improvement for NFL quarterbacks comes in the second season. That’s why Winston’s performance and hopeful progression will be under an even closer microscope this year, and as such, PewterReport.com will return the “Winston Report” throughout the 2016 training camp.
Bucs TEs Cameron Brate & Danny Vitale and QB Jameis Winston – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR
As expected, the first day of Bucs training camp ran more like an introductory practice than an intense competition between players fighting for a roster spot. Head coach Dirk Koetter said they’ll “ramp it up a little bit when pads come on” but Thursday’s opening session focused mainly on install and walkthroughs.
Quarterbacks, like all position groups, spent most of the afternoon working with each other and taking reps throwing to unopposed tight ends and wide receivers. Kenny Bell had a particularly impressive first outing and the Bucs often employed two tight-end sets with Austin Seferian-Jenkins and Cameron Brate.
There were two 11-on-11 periods – with all four QBs rotating every four-six reps – and two 7-on-7 periods. Below is our snap-by-snap tally (excluding running plays and a few unseen passes) of Jameis Winston’s afternoon during his first training camp practice as a “veteran” quarterback.
Winston’s 11-on-11 stats:
– Incomplete over the middle to Seferian-Jenkins, throw a little high in good coverage by Chris Conte
– Complete to Charles Sims on short checkdown in pressure
– Complete to Cameron Brate on short comeback route
– Incomplete off play-action roll to the left to Evan Spencer, deep out covered well by Alterraun Verner
– Incomplete to Spencer, thrown away with good coverage by Brent Grimes
– Complete to Russell Sheppard on deep-go route towards the sideline over Grimes, perfect throw and catch
Winston’s 7-on-7 stats:
– Complete to Seferian-Jenkins on short comeback, two tight-end set with Brate
– Incomplete to Seferian-Jenkins over the middle, covered well by Kwon Alexander
– Complete to Cameron Brate on quick out route
– Complete to Spencer on comeback, though the ball was held long
– Complete to Kenny Bell on quick slant against Grimes
– Incomplete on the run to Sheppard, rolls left and throws comeback nearly intercepted by Verner
– Complete to Tevin Westbrook on quick out
– Complete to Sims on short checkdown
– Complete to Adam Humphries over the middle, quick read and perfect throw in front of Conte
It was only the first day, but already Koetter noticed a more mature quarterback. As many would remember, Winston turned the ball over frequently last training camp and into the first quarter of last season. Over the next 12 games, though, he threw just eight interceptions, showing a heightened understanding of the system and ability to go through progressions in such a short time. That same poise and maturity, Koetter said, reflected in his play at the first day of camp Thursday.
“I thought he did a great job today of taking what the defends gave him,” Koetter said of Winston’s effort. “He checked the ball down. He threw deep when we called for him to throw deep. He knew exactly where to go with the football. Just to be under control. I don’t think Jameis turned it over today at all. A year ago at this time we were still worried about how many times Jameis was going to turn it over every game. It looks like we’re past that stage. Jameis in not a rookie. He’s the leader of our football team.”
Winston also spoke to members of the Tampa Bay media after practice and said his focus over the next month – and beyond – is to improve “everything in (his) game.”
“I don’t believe that right now is the time for me to just focus on one thing,” Winston said. “We have a long time before the season. I have to get better on everything from foot work to maintaining my body, stay in shape, pocket presence – it’s a lot of things I have to do better and I’m going to keep getting better. My whole career it’s not just Year 1 to Year 2; it’s a whole life thing.”
As far as Thursday, though, Winston was excited to get out there in front of the fans and said he’s coming in with the same mentality this camp as he did last camp – only with more of a leadership presence on the team. The 22-year old quarterback is confident he made strides this offseason – both physically and mentally – but said he’s “nowhere near where (he) needs to be.” And while the entire offense has set the bar higher going into their second year in the system, the same still goes for them.
“We are excited but we know we got a long way to go,” he said. “We know we have to continue to get better with this group of guys.”
Zach is entering his 3rd year covering the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as a writer for PewterReport.com. Since 2014, he's handled a large part of the beat reporting responsibilities at PR, attending all media gatherings and publishing and promoting content daily. Zach is a native of Sarasota, FL, and a graduate of the University of Tampa. He has also covered high school football for the Tampa Tribune and the NFL for Pro Player Insiders.
Contact him at: [email protected]
Go Bucs! It has begun!
Horse I’m excited too. I see an uptrend to this thing and I like the slope of the line.
Lets get it on!!!
You can see that Winston is getting better. Because the players are getting to know each other this time around.Go Bucs
Love the kids honesty and humility. He said he knows he’s nowhere near ready. Some young qb’s are so immature and cocky act like they already accomplished something. He seems very grounded and I’m excited to see his progression this season.
Love the maturity Winston is coming into camp with. Very excited for this young team to start the season. We have a great all round team and coaching staff. Go Bucs!!
Gotta love it. Training camp has begun and I’m just eating up all the latest Buc news.
I’m like a pig in slop.
Go Pewter Report. I love you guys.
Finally!! So Excited!! Gonna be a Fun Season!! GO BUCS!!!
Damn I’m so excited. Finally back to football. Good to see Jameis taking what the defense is giving and not forcing things. Love the idea of roll outs, that lighter frame and better footwork will come in handy. Getting to know the same offense can’t hurt at all either.
Can’t wait till Sunday when the pads come on.
So happy. Football is back!
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