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 had a couple ill-advised decisions – specifically a checkdown to Mike James that was intercepted by Lavonte David, and a short out intended for Brandon Myers that was picked off by Bradley McDougald – but he made up for it with a few ropes delivered from the pocket, some of which where the pocket was on the verge of collapse.
Before 7-on-7 and 11-on-11 work, however, there were of course position drills and warmups. Like all prior practices, receivers, tight ends and running backs ran a number of different routes, including skinny posts, hitches and quick slants. All three QBs (Dan Lefevour released Wednesday morning) looked sharp.
After drop-back practice for QBs over on Field 2 – consisting of moving in the pocket, throwing on the run and rolling out, among other standard practices – while simultaneously holding Power-O scrimmage from the offensive goal line, Tampa Bay started its install period and eventually moved into scrimmage to close out the last hour of Wednesday’s session.
Below are Winston’s stats, excluding a few 7-on-7 plays that were unseen by PewterReport.com:
Winston’s 11-on-11 stats:
– Incomplete to Mike Evans on post, covered well by Alterraun Verner with support from Chris Conte
– Incomplete to Vincent Jackson over the middle and fit in traffic, but McDougald broke up pass
– Complete to Russell Shepard over the middle, surveyed the field and delivered a bullet in stride
– Complete to Adam Humphries on late out route, no one open downfield
– Incomplete across-field bubble screen indented for Austin Seferian-Jenkins, play-action roll to left and threw back right
– Complete to Doug Martin on checkdown, hit by a racing Kwon Alexander
– Intercepted by McDougald on short out intended for Myers, play-action to right but pressured by Jacquies Smith who tipped ball and set up pick
– Incomplete to Shepard on skinny inside post, ball thrown a little behind
– Complete to Sims on checkdown, but Lavonte David blitzed in and was there for the would-be sack
– Snap over Winston’s head, fumble
– Complete to Evans on short hook over middle, ball thrown high in traffic and pulled down by Evans
– Incomplete on skinny post intended for Evans, read perfectly and broken up by Verner
– Incomplete on out route between defenders intended for Shepard, Verner and Conte there to make play – Last four plays from under center
– Play blown dead as pocket collapsed
– Play blown dead with Noah Spence bringing pressure from left side and there for the would-be sack
– Complete to Evans on comeback, coverage from Brent Grimes
– Complete to Humphries over the middle, stepped up in closing pocket and delivered 15-yard rope
Winston’s 7-on-7 stats:
– Complete to Sims on out route out of backfield
– Complete to Jackson on short hook
– Complete to Russell Hansbrough on out route
– Incomplete to Shepard on out route
– Complete to Evans on out route
– Intercepted by David on 7-yard checkdown intended for Martin, jumped route and picked with space in front
– Complete to Martin on checkdown over the middle
– Complete to Myers on quick slant in front of Grimes, quick read and thrown on point
– Complete to Shepard on deep go toward the sideline, ball placed on target with Vernon Hargreaves in coverage
– Complete to Sims on deep back-shoulder comeback toward sideline with David in single coverage, ball thrown before receiver turned and on target – Last four plays of 7-on-7 under center
Winston finished strong on Day 6, throwing his best two balls in 11-on-11s on his last two reps and his best three passes of 7-on-7 on his last three attempts.
While there were times when a linebacker was able to sprint through the line or a defensive end was able to collapse the pocket, Winston certainly had impressive moments of evading pressure and standing in to make a tough throw. The defense was creating game-like situations and causing the offense to read and react and, to Dirk Koetter’s approval, Winston kept his eyes downfield.
“It’s probably the best thing – other than running (the ball) today – that we’ve been doing right now,” head coach Dirk Koetter said Wednesday about completions down field. “But consistently, over six practices, coach Monk (OC Todd Monken) charts our completions over 10 yards and it’s probably the best thing we are doing on offense so far, which is a good thing.”
Development in the offenses’ downfield passing game could have a lot to do with improved chemistry between Winston and his receivers. After practice Evans claimed that he and Winston can communicate at the line of scrimmage and get on the same page just by just looking at each other.
“That’s shown already, early on in camp, where we (WRs) know where he’s going to throw the ball on certain routes,” Evans said. “We had two plays like that today – where (Winston and I) knew if it was going to be man coverage or zone coverage and we hooked up … Now that we’re in the second year in this offense, we’re playing fast. He knows where we’re supposed to be. Based on the coverage, he knows where we’re supposed to be so it’s been great so far.
He’s a true leader and he knows how to win,” Evans continued later on about Winston. “He’s just a great leader.”
Winston’s leadership and maturity heading into Year 2 has stolen headlines throughout the offseason and for good reason. Equally as impressed as the players, Koetter said Winston’s personality is contagious for everyone in the building, coaches included.
“Jameis is the motivator for our whole team. He motivates me,” Koetter said. “I don’t know about their private texts or anything like that, but Jameis, he’s a passionate guy about football. And that passion, he tries to get it to rub off on guys around him. I think if you ask the other guys, it does rub off on them.”
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
Hopefully Winston doesn’t play in a game how he practices. This whole using practice to test limits could backfire on the team
The defense sees the same plays over and over. They can get a read and react which is most likely why the interception. This IS WHERE u test those limits.
Thanks Zach. I sure hope fans aren’t judging any of the incomplete’s or interceptions? This is about repetition and timing from players at various positions on offense and defense. Go Bucs!
Still amazing to realize we have a Real QB. Now some can say like J Gruden use to say… “The future is so bright, I gotta wear shades”. I am So anxious to see our 2016 Bucs play some meaningful games. GO BUCS!!!
Jameis has all the tools but this right here is what makes him special. “Jameis is the motivator for our whole team. He motivates me,” Koetter said.
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