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.
There was football at the Trop Monday.
Rain moved Bucs’ practice to the Rays facility, where the team was able to get in a full session three days before they hit the main stage (kind of) in Philadelphia for Week 1 of the preseason. Head coach Dirk Koetter admitted that red zone work was a little tougher to execute with foul lines instead of yard markers, but noted that they were fortunate just to have a roof over their head.
Position drills moved like clockwork, as players are in a routine and zoned-in 10 days into camp. Quarterbacks looked sharp in warmups, as well as isolation work where they put a heavy emphasis on throwing on the run. It’s clear they’re adding more details to drop-back and play-action practice as they near the midway point of training camp.
After a couple periods of install and one-on-one drills – where Winston’s best two throws came on an out-route and deep post to Evans – the Bucs moved to 7-on-7’s and 11-on-11’s. Here’s a count of Winston’s reps Monday:
Winston’s 11-on-11 stats (calling audibles at the line): – Complete to Vincent Jackson on slant – Complete to Jackson on hook – Incomplete on deep sideline wheel route intended for Charles Sims, well covered and a little too far – Incomplete on cross intended for Evan Spencer, covered by Chris Conte – Incomplete on deep cross in traffic intended for Russell Shepard, too far
Winston’s 11-on-11 stats in blitz period (still a lot of checks at the line of scrimmage):
– Incomplete on rollout right quick out intended for Cameron Brate
– Complete on quick slant to Adam Humphries
– Complete to Brate on comeback, pocket collapsed and stepped up to deliver
– Complete to Jackson, pocket collapsed and stepped up to deliver, then broke up mini-scuffle between Ayers and an O-Lineman
– Complete on deep post to Evans, perfect execution in single coverage against Brent Grimes
– Incomplete on play-action roll right intended for Brate, broken up by Grimes
– Incomplete on out-route intended for Brate, lobbed in perfectly but broken up last second
– Incomplete on hook intended for Kenny Bell, pocket collapsed and ball thrown away
Winston’s 7-on-7 stats:
– Complete to Humphries on quick slant
– Complete to Doug Martin on quick slant
– Complete to Humphries on cross underneath
– Complete to Shepard on post between defenders
As the first game approaches, intensity and competition is ramping up. There was a mini-scuffle between Robert Ayers and an offensive lineman that was quickly broken up by Winston, but no hard feelings after practice. “Just guys competing,” Ayers said later. More to come from Ayers time at the podium.
Quarterbacks, meanwhile, were making more calls from the line of scrimmage, indicating that real football is around the corner. It’s almost game-time and the signal callers, particularly Winston, seem to be taking full command of the offense.
Koetter spoke after practice and said it’s always good for players to have to adjust to a different environment, such as the case Monday at the Trop.
“It’s a changing environment,” Koetter said. “Adjust and improvise – that’s all we could do. Not many options on a day like today, so we did fine. We’ll see what the tape looks like here in a little bit, but we got our work in and that’s all we can do.”
The focus again Monday, Koetter said, was on red zone. Winston threw a few nice deep balls, including one to Evans at the end of practice, but Koetter tempered enthusiasm a bit by revealing that it was a no-collision day. In other words, cornerbacks may have been giving a little extra cushion and pulling up to avoid contact.
“There was that one big one over the top,” Koetter said of Winston’s pass to Evans. “I’m not sure – Brent Grimes was right there – I couldn’t tell from where I was standing if he pulled off right before. We had one of those days where we had to be careful with each other. We couldn’t have collisions, so we talked to the guys about being real careful. We weren’t working on deep balls, per se; we worked on a lot of red zone stuff today. Low-red zone was a big emphasis today and then some special teams stuff.”
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
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