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. Though Dirk Koetter after practice gave props to the defense for their effort in the low-red zone period, it shouldn’t be overlooked that Jameis Winston made some impeccable throws during the latter period of midfield 7-on-7s and red zone 11-on-11s work Tuesday.

Photo: Cliff Welch/PR
Photo: Cliff Welch/PR
Getting right into it, two of Winston’s best passes in 11-on-11 were timed out-routes to Mike Evans, the first against Alterraun Verner and the second against Brent Grimes in stride during blitz period. Both routes were well covered, but the offense won the play. During 7-on-7 from midfield, meanwhile, Winston hit Adam Humphries on a back-shoulder ball dropped in and finished his series with back-to-back deep go-routes to Russell Shepard, who chased it down in the end zone, and Evan Spencer, who beat Johnthan Banks in single coverage. Again, both deep passes were in stride. Winston also dropped a dime on a wheel-route to Javien Elliot, right over the head of linebacker Micah Awe who was in good position. Quarterbacks were rotating quickly Tuesday, sometimes only getting two reps per series in the up-tempo practice. But Winston had some mid-season-form-looking passes, despite a couple ill advised decisions in low-red zone. Here’s a count of the second-year quarterback’s passing reps in the Bucs final practice at One Buc before Week 1 of the preseason Thursday: Winston’s 11-on-11 stats from midfield: – Incomplete on comeback intended for Evans, broken up by Chris Conte – Complete to Humphries on drag-route, rolled out and threw – Complete to Doug Martin on checkdown, stepped up and avoided pressure – Incomplete on deep out-route intended for Cameron Brate – Incomplete on cross intended for Humphires, threw a little behind receiver on the run – Complete to Evans on hook, timed throw off play-action Winston’s 11-on-11 stats during blitz period: – Incomplete on deep sideline route intended for Shepard, pocket collapsed – Complete to Evans on quick out against Grimes, timed and thrown to only place receiver could get it – Complete to Danny Vitale on cross, though would’ve been sacked in real game – Complete to Evans on bubble screen – Complete to Brandon Myers on checkdown Winston’s 11-on-11 stats from low-red zone: – Incomplete over the middle intended for Shepard, thrown late and covered well and nearly intercepted by Bradley McDougald – Intercepted by Conte on pass over middle, thrown late and floated Winston’s 7-on-7 stats from midfield: – Complete to Humphries on quick slant – Complete to Vitale on comeback underneath – Complete to Mike James on out-route out of the backfield – Incomplete on quick slant intended for James, broken up by McDougald – Complete to Spencer on deep comeback, toe-tapping grab near sideline – Complete to Humphries on back-shoulder throw near sideline, perfect execution – Complete to Martin on out-route – Complete to Shepard on deep go in stride, pump fake and thrown on target – Play blown dead, good coverage downfield – Complete to Spencer on deep go in stride, in front of Johnthan Banks – Complete to Elliot on wheel route, thrown in on a dime over linebacker’s head – Complete to Freddie Martino on quick slant Winston’s 7-on-7 stats in low-red zone: – Incomplete over the middle intended for Austin Seferian-Jenkins, ball fit in but dropped after hit by Kwon Alexander – Complete to Humphries on back-shoulder in corner of the end zone, great coverage by Vernon Hargreaves but receiver gets two feet in. – Complete to Shepard on cross underneath – Incomplete over the middle intended for Evans, too high and threw the end zone The Bucs travel to Philadelphia Wednesday for their opening game against the Eagles Thursday night. For the locked-in starters, Week 1 of the preseason will most likely consist of one or two series – yet still a chance to find rhythm in live action and make a good first impression on hopeful fans. More important in this game, Koetter said, will be the chance for coaches to evaluate position battles and lesser-known players. Without whistles and teammates holding them back from playing full-speed, this is their time to shine and make coaches take notice through the final three weeks of exhibition football. “Well the most important thing about your preseason games, especially the first one, is you’re evaluating guys,” Koetter said after practice. “Everybody who’s healthy is going to play. Some of these guys get buried down at the bottom of the depth chart and we quick-whistle everything, trying to keep guys healthy – but when Thursday night comes, it’s live football. We’re going to have some guys show up and make plays that we might not necessarily know about. “I’m anxious to see all of it. Again, the guys who were here in the past, those are guys that you know about. The guys that are all those new people, all the free agents that we haven’t seen and the rookies, those are the guys we’re excited about.”

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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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