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.
Winston sprinted from drill to drill during position warmups Friday, as if to try to lead his teammates by example and create an up-tempo environment. Quarterbacks began by throwing deep balls toward the sidelines to wide receivers and tight ends as Nelly’s “Heart Of A Champion” blasted through the speakers to start the second camp session.
While unopposed by a defensive player during opening passing drills, position coaches were simulating press coverage before releasing and letting another coach play the role of safety. The QBs and WRs and TEs mixed in every route, from back shoulder throws to quick slants to out routes.
Bucs QB Jameis Winston & WR Mike Evans – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR
The offense also worked on a red zone passing drill, rotating all four QBs for this one. In this exercise, four to five wide receivers split out wide, complete their route in the end zone and then turn back to the QB and move with him as he rolls right or left, simulating a broken play. The point is for the WR to stay alert and give the QB a makeable throw on the run and under pressure in the red zone.
Skill position guys always look good in warm ups against air, understandably, but on Wednesday it carried over to scrimmage. Kenny Bell and Russell Shepard both had another solid day and Mike Evans was on point, looking every bit like a No. 1 wideout.
“Better than yesterday,” Dirk Koetter said of Winston and Evans chemistry Friday. “Part of it is luck of the draw on what coverage they get. But Mike had a lot of balls thrown his way today. You could really see Mike going out of his way to look it in.”
After an early drop by Evans in Thursday’s opening practice – which received way too much attention and criticism considering it’s the first day of practice and he caught every other ball – Koetter joked that Evans was making up for it Friday after reading the rather ridiculous tweets.
“I think he probably read all your reports about how he dropped that first ball in warmups yesterday,” he said. “He probably had a few choice words for you all because you’re watching every single drop he has. But keep watching. He gets a lot of balls thrown at him every day.”
After a brief period of install – and few reps of 11-on-11 and 7-on-7s in between – the last 45 minutes of practice consisted of only 11-on-11 and 7-on-7 play. Once again, here’s a snap-by-snap record of Winston’s day passing the ball and this time I saw all 19 throws.
Winston’s 11-on-11 stats from midfield:
– Complete to Evans off play-action slant, quick read in front of Alterraun Verner
– Complete to Doug Martin on drag route out of the backfield, one handed catch
– Incomplete deep jump ball intended for Shepard, nearly picked by Brent Grimes
– Incomplete slant intended for Bell, pass broken up by Verner
Winston’s 11-on-11 stats from own 20-yard line:
– Complete to Vincent Jackson off play-action in pocket, comeback route on near sideline for 10 yards
– Complete to Evans off play-action roll to the left, deep comeback on far sideline for 20 yards
– Complete to Cameron Brate on 10-yard out-route
– Complete to Charles Sims off play-action in pocket, coming out of the backfield to go over middle
– Complete to Doug Martin on checkdown
– Complete to Andre Davis on short out route
Winston’s 7-on-7 stats:
– Complete to Evans on quick slant, in front of Verner and Chris Conte
– Complete to Evans on quick slant, first a pump fake
– Complete to Tevin Westbrook on short comeback over middle
– Incomplete over the middle intended for Brate, throw on point but dropped
– Complete to Shepard on drag route
– Intercepted by Grimes on deep ball to Donteea Dye, ball hung up and in double coverage
– Complete to Evans on quick slant in front of Jude Adjei-Barimah
– Complete to Evans on quick slant
– Complete to Evans on quick out, snap from under center
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]
Great info! Glad all of the QBs worked on red zone on the second day. This is where Jameis can actually learn from Glennon who always has been effective in the red zone, but he was poor getting down there, unlike Jameis. The increased better play by our secondary will give Jameis a better chance to really learn how to complete his passes even in traffic.
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