For the first time since 1987, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers had the No. 1 overall NFL Draft pick and selected former Florida State Heisman Trophy winner Jameis Winston. The area is abuzz with excitement for the Bucs news quarterback, one the fans and the organization hope becomes a franchise quarterback, and can lead the Buccaneers back to the playoffs for the first time since Jon Gruden roamed the sidelines at Raymond James Stadium.
PewterReport.com will chronicle Winston’s practice reports throughout camp, and his performances in the preseason games and during the regular season. Make sure to check back with PewterReport.com daily for our Winston Report.
Buccaneers fans are down to one final opportunity to see rookie quarterback Jameis Winston up close and personal tomorrow afternoon.
Tuesday’s practice session at One Buccaneers Place got cut short by rain and lightning, but not before the team worked in about an hour and a half of drills and scrimmages.
Despite playing through a sprinkle that turned steadily into a driving rain, Winston managed to complete 78.3 percent of his passes (18 of 23). That total was buoyed by an 11 of 12 day during 7-on-7’s where Winston targeted eight pass catchers inside of 10 yards from the line of scrimmage.
Winston went 5 of 9 during the day’s first 11-on-11 scrimmage and then 0 of 2 in the next period before the weather stopped cooperating and he ended up inside taking questions from the media.
Three pass attempts into the rookie’s day, though, linebacker Lavonte David was jumping in front of tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins and running the other way with an interception in his grip. The pick came one pass after recently promoted linebacker Kwon Alexander reached up to tip a Winston pass intended for receiver Russell Shepard over the middle.
Defenders managed to get hands on three of Winston’s 23 total passes and just the one was intercepted. The rookie tends to get nabbed at least once per practice but head coach Lovie Smith said that should be expected from the 21-year-old signal caller.
“There’s going to be some ups and downs but all this is what he needs to go through,” Smith said. “Everybody that goes out to the practice field I think gets better each day. There’s different things you see from day to day. We keep a running total on how many passes and all that, but just trust me, every day when you’re a rookie and you get reps, you get better.
“And that’s what’s happening with Jameis. There’s going to be some balls we would like to have back each day.”
Winston’s best effort Tuesday came during the initial 11-on-11 period. He may have been locked in on receiver Donteea Dye a little too long, but Winston dropped a 15-20-yard pass over the outstretched arm of cornerback Al-Hajj Shabazz for a completion down the right side.
That was one of just four completions all day on intermediate-to-deep balls Winston connected on. His longest attempt came during 7-on-7’s and was in the direction of rookie receiver Adam Humphries running a deep post. Humphries had his man beat and Winston launched a well-thrown, tight spiral that sailed just a yard or so too long.
Though incomplete, Winston nearly hitting Humphries in stride was a welcomed sight considering the number of times receivers have had to slow down or been spun around by underthrown passes.
Winston and the Bucs will get three more training camp practices in before Monday night’s preseason home opener against Cincinnati. The rookie’s first pro experience Saturday night in Minnesota ended with him throwing for 131 yards, zero touchdowns and an interception on 9 of 19 passing. Winston did manage to find the end zone with an 8-yard second-quarter scramble that capped a nine-play, 76-yard drive.
The former Florida State star spoke Tuesday about the offense’s performance in Minnesota, stating that he felt the entire unit was in rhythm during its drives.
“When we have a fast paced tempo we play fast,” Winston said. “We play well. Things happen faster but they kind of slow down for our offense because we are so used to playing fast.
“The most positive thing was definitely the drive; the first drive that we had to get three points. Tempo was good, we were moving the ball up and down the field, converting on third down. There were some good things and some bad things. You build on the positives and eliminate the negatives.”
Winston also addressed an issue he’s had during training camp and throughout much of his last season at FSU – starting slow before finishing strong. He continued that trend in Minnesota, but when he began to get the Bucs on track they were still facing a double-digit deficit.
“You know, it’s not how you start it’s how you finish for the most part,” Winston said. “Early in practice you can’t really judge that. We got so many different situations that happened in practice. It might be a bad decision here, or someone might make a good play.”
Tomorrow’s final open-to-the public training camp session is scheduled to go from 2:30–5:00 p.m.
Winston’s Unofficial Final Stats: 18-of-23 (78.3 percent) with 1 INT
PewterReport.com Practice Grade: B
Don’t mind me fellas, but I’ve got a loop in my training camp program. Every practice is starting to look the same to me. And that may be a good thing – you know the old learning by repetition for emphasis method!
Maybe PR could help me (us) see what is different, where we are learning, where we are getting better. I’m not even watching Winston anymore. The kid is good, probably will be great, but like all rookies he’s got a learning curve that he’s going to have to go thru with all the up and downs that will prepare him for the NFL.
What I don’t know is whether this team as a whole is visibly getting better and is it being demonstrated with every next practice?
Well we try and do that with the practice reports. But if you have been to practices, it is basically the same thing day in and day out. And without coaches film of practices, being in the meetings and so on, I am not sure anyone from the outside could say “what is different, where we are learning, where we are getting better.” Smacking tackling dummies, practicing in shorts like they did yesterday and basically running virtually the same plays against a defense that is beginning to know exactly what is coming, makes writing if the team is getting better, pure speculation.
Mark, I understand and to be clear, I think your practice reports are fine. You will notice that I said every practice, not every practice report. I think you saying the same thing I’m saying – I can’t tell much from watching the OBP practices. Lovie doesn’t do full on scrimmages, nor does he believe in practice with other teams. BTW, I read the practice reports on all local websites and Yasinskas on ESPN. I simply come to PR first! lol.
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Macabee, I agree with you, but this is better than nothing. The quality of players appears to be better than seasons past, but so has our opponents. I think it’s rare to jump from 2-14 to 10-6, so I’m going to stay with my 5-7 wins this season and happy if something better happens. Go Bucs!
Need to start Jameis out with some easy throws when he starts his games.
That should help him get into a rhythm and help build his confidence.
The way the Bucs started their TD drive was perfect. Easy sideline pass to Stocker helped jump start the offense.
I disagree to a point drdneast. He has the potential to be special. I don’t think babying him will help him. Im a Gator obviously and I think that with a yr of growing pains this kid could be special. There is no ‘homerism’ in this post.
Rarely to I promote the Steve Duemig show (however no personal dislike), but I recommend that all of you hear last night’s 9 min interview with Jameis Winston. It gives us a feel for where his head is and the emphasis and confidence he has on winning. I thought there was genuine heartfelt expression about where he is and what he’s trying to accomplish. A young man that is growing up fast, but knows what he has to do to get there. Needless to say, I was impressed!
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