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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.

In their seventh install and eight day of training camp, the Bucs spent a large portion of practice Friday in the red zone, particularly “low-red zone” as Koetter promised a day earlier.

Position drills foreshadowed the last half of practice, as quarterbacks threw every route from crosses to fades to high passes over the middle in the end zone. Winston overshot a few go routes to receivers in his first couple reps, but quickly settled in and was on-point, hitting in-stride for the last few deep balls in the warmup period.

The first 11-on-11 period, out of the two-minute offense, preceded the quarterback’s pocket and drop-back work on Field 2 before they returned for install and live-action play to close out Day 8 of camp. Tampa Bay, with refs on hand and calling it tight, worked out of the two-minute offense, a blitz period, and every form of scrimmage – 1-on-1, 7-on-7 and 11-on-11 – in the red zone.

Photo: Cliff Welch/PR

Photo: Cliff Welch/PR

Pewter Report didn’t keep a complete record of 1-on-1’s between wide receivers and cornerbacks, but some of Winston’s best throws in the low-red zone portion included a cross in traffic to Johnathan Krause and a pass fit in to the corner of the end zone to Mike Evans. Here’s a record of Winston’s reps in 11-on-11 and 7-on-7 Friday:

Winston’s 11-on-11 stats in 2-minute (Winston’s reps start and end with an offensive penalty):
– Incomplete on checkdown intended for Doug Martin, nothing open down field
– Complete to Vincent Jackson on out-route, rolled right and threw on run
– Complete to Evan Spencer on slant, tipped at the line of scrimmage into Spencer’s hands

Winston’s 11-on-11 stats in blitz period:
– Complete to Cameron Brate on cross
– Incomplete on deep sideline pass intended for Evans, jump ball broken up by Alterraun Verner
– Complete to Adam Humphries on slant out of shotgun, quick read and throw
– Bad snap
– Complete to Humphries on out-route, pressure on right from Jacquies Smith but hung in pocket and delivered
– Incomplete on comeback intended for Tevin Westbrook, low ball with blitz pressure from Kwon Alexander
– Complete to Crouse on out-route near sideline, thrown in stride

Winston’s 11-on-11 out of blitz period:
– Rolled right, taken down and run with for big gain (crowd’s biggest cheer as Winston shows off wheels)
– Incomplete, batted down by Noah Spence who applied pressure from right
– Incomplete on quick slant intended for Russell Shepard, covered well by Brent Grimes
– Incomplete on out-route toward sideline intended for Shepard, caught out of bounds

Winston’s 11-on-11 stats in low-red zone:
– Complete to Martin on play-action checkdown
– Complete to Brate on hook, stood in pocket despite pressure from N. Spence
– Incomplete over middle intended for Jackson, thrown through the end zone as pocket collapsed
– Incomplete on shotgun roll out right, nearly intercepted by Vernon Hargreaves

Winston’s 7-on-7 stats:
– Complete to Evans on slant
– Complete to Jackson over middle, thrown over linebackers and in front of DBs (Verner would’ve laid big hit if it were a game)
– Incomplete on comeback intended for Jackson, Bradley McDougald read play and raced in to breakup pass
– Incomplete to Kenny Bell on slant
– Incomplete to Shepard on out-route, broken up by Vernon Hargreaves

Winston’s 7-on-7 stats in low-red zone:
– Complete to Brate high over middle, where only he could get it
– Incomplete to Jackson, thrown out of the end zone
– Complete to Austin Seferian-Jenkins on out-route in the corner, ASJ went over top of McDougald for arguably the best grab of the afternoon
– Incomplete on out-route in the corner intended for Jackson, possibly PI called on Verner

Coach Dirk Koetter spoke after practice and confirmed the two points of emphasis Friday were third-and-long and low-red zone work, saying he’d give a slight edge to the defense when it came to third-down this afternoon. In the end, though, that bodes well for Winston and the offense, Koetter said. Better to see new looks now than against another team in the fall.

“We were working on some new protections and the defense gave us some new pressures that they put in today, so there were a lot of things we hadn’t seen on both sides,” Koetter said.

“Jamies did some really good things and he missed a couple. That’s ongoing but we’re getting so many great looks that are going to help us over the course of the year. It’s not like we’re really focusing in on a game plan where a team might only be giving us a handful of things. They’re throwing a lot at us.”

As for low-red zone, Koetter was glad to have refs while practicing in tight spaces and declared no winner for this portion – “Good plays on both sides,” he said. Pressed on what the Bucs need to do to have more success in the red zone this year, Koetter was honest and blunt.

“We need to score more. We’ve got to score more touchdowns.”

PewterReport also spoke briefly to Luke Stocker, the fifth-year pro who TE coach Jon Embree in May called “the most valuable guy” in the TE room. Since being drafted in the fourth-round in 2011, Stocker, a jack-of-all-trades H-Back/TE, has played under five offensive coordinators and with four different quarterbacks in Tampa Bay. That he said he already notices maturity and development from the offense as a whole, as well as a 22-year old quarterback who’s leadership comes as “second nature” to him, should encourage fans this season.

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About the Author: Zach Shapiro

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: zshapiro12@gmail.com
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5 years ago

Maybe its just me but I haven’t read a lot of Winston to Evans completions on these updates. Is Evans limited on reps? I do like the fact I am reading a lot about our first 2 picks Spence and Hargraves. Sounds like they are getting adjusted to the NFL quickly.

5 years ago

Just watched First Take on ESPN. Had the Bucs featured. Davin , Martin , Winston and McCoy were interviewed. Sounded pretty upbeat and positive. Seemed a lot happier than last year.
Maybe Lovie forgot to bring the love.

5 years ago

I meant David.

5 years ago

do you mean Krause rather than Crouse??

5 years ago

I expect our charging defense from all directions and looks to bring down the Eagles completion rate too. Jameis looks to improve his game and this camp will make him much more savy and successful in his second year. This is all good news.

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