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.
Jameis Winston started into Wednesday morning’s practice looking as sharp as he has all summer.
After running through drills to open the day, the rookie began his first 11-on-11 scrimmage on fire. Winston connected with receivers on his first six passes. It would have been seven straight, but receiver Louis Murphy dropped a midrange post. The first 11-on-11 session finished with Winston completing 6 of 8 passes. Following Murphy’s drop, pressure from the blind side forced a throw that was partially deflected.
Within those first six completions, Winston hit tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins four times. On the third of these four hookups, Winston stepped up in a collapsing pocket and checked down to Seferian-Jenkins in the right flat.
The Bucs are hoping for the second-year pro out of Washington to become a favorite, reliable target this season.
“It’s a work in progress,” Seferian-Jenkins said. “Me and Jameis are still working. I think you guys forget he just got here and he’s still working. He did a good job today and we’re finding some chemistry, but we’re still working.”
But as a change from the norm – i.e. slow starts followed by stronger finishes – Winston’s performance began to waiver when the Bucs got into 7-on-7’s and beyond. Only Winston and backup Mike Glennon took reps during 11-on-11 and 7-on-7 sessions to make up for lost time yesterday evening.
After his first attempt, a swing pass right, was dropped by running back Doug Martin, Winston has his next broken up by linebacker Kwon Alexander before hitting receiver Russell Shepard with a 10-yard curl.
The first of Winston’s two interceptions came next when he looked deep for Murphy but threw into double coverage and served up an easy pick to safety D.J. Swearinger. The interception dropped Winston to 1 of 4 during 7-on-7’s but he tightened back up by completing his final eight attempts, mostly with short passes inside of 10 yards.
Winston finished up his next 11-on-11 period by going 3 of 7 while facing a number of blitz packages and plenty of pressure. He stepped up in the pocket on one attempt to drop a well-placed ball into the hands on Seferian-Jenkins running a 20-yard flag route, opted for the safe option on one by throwing the ball away after being flushed out to his right and tucked another snap for a scramble up the middle.
Winston’s next interception – and nearly a third – came when the Bucs went into its red-zone offense. He completed his first two passes, including one zipped into a tight window to receiver Mike Evans running an out route to the left pylon. But the rookie’s first incompletion was thrown into double coverage toward the front-left corner of the end zone and went in and out of the hands of safety Bradley McDougald. The converted interception came on Winston’s very next throw on a short throw out to the left flat that was jumped by cornerback Sterling Moore.
The defense would have had a coverage sack two plays later before Winston completed a shovel pass to running back Bobby Rainey and then hit receiver Vincent Jackson running a curl to the front-middle of the end zone.
Winston threw only once when the team went into its goal line scrimmage period; a play-action incompletion in the direction of fullback Jorvorskie Lane. He did take off out of the pocket and rush toward the right pylon, but with defenders not going at Winston full-speed, it’s doubtful the run would have resulted in a touchdown.
Winston’s Unofficial Final Stats: 22-of-34 (64.7 percent) with 2 INTs PewterReport.com Practice Grade: B-