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.
On a hot and steamy morning at the Jacksonville Jaguars practice facility adjacent to EverBank Stadium, the Bucs walked from the tunnels inside the stadium out onto the three fields with several hundred Jaguar fans with a few Bucs fans mixed in as well, waiting by the roped off gates. Scanning the crowd, you noticed several fans dressed in different colors from the Bucs or the Jags. Those fans were wearing the garnet and gold of the Seminoles and a few had on quarterback Jameis Winston’s No. 5 FSU jersey. Even in a enemy’s city, Winston still draws a crowd.
Winston and his offensive teammates began their individual period on Field 3, the furthest ones from the stands set up for spectators, and the Bucs signal caller looked sharp in the drills. Soon after, one of the Bucs coaches worked a defender, and the receiver had to adjust his route depending on which way the coach went. If the coach went inside the receiver adjusted his route to an out. If the coach went outside it turned into a deep seam. Winston was more accurate with the seam route, although he did have a couple balls sail.
Finally going up against the Jags defense, Winston started slowly but got better as the day went along. Winston misfired on his first two passes, including a fairly simple out route to Doug Martin. Winston’s first connection was to “Mr. Reliable” Adam Humphries. Winston and Humphries have developed a good chemistry over the last 12 months and it continues to get stronger. Winston then connected with Mike Evans, something the two did a few times on Wednesday. Winston missed on a deep ball next, then completed a pass after initially not finding an open man. On his last throw of the period Winston under threw an open receiver on a deep pass down the left sideline.
Later in another period Winston threw just one pass, but it was a 20-yard completion to tight end Brandon Myers, who was back practicing after suffering a knee injury last week against the Eagles.
During the last passing period PewterReport.com was able to see, Winston finished 5-of-9 with completions to Charles Sims, Mike Evans and Adam Humphries. During this period, former FSU teammate and friend Jalen Ramsey, who now plays for the Jaguars had a nice pass breakup on a throw intended for Mike Evans it looked like. Winston was a tad late and Ramsey was able to come over the back without making contact too soon to swat the ball away, drawing a loud cheer from his Jaguar teammates.
Following practice, Koetter talked to the media and was asked bout facing another team in practice.
“That was great. That was really good work. They gave us some looks we haven’t seen; especially [when] we had a little third-down period there, they gave us some tricky looks. We’ll go back and look at them on tape this afternoon and that’s always good learning.”
Mark Cook currently is the director of editorial content and Bucs beat writer and has written for PewterReport.com since 2011. Cook has followed the Buccaneers since 1977 when he first began watching football with his Dad and is fond of the 1979 Bucs team that came within 10 points of going to a Super Bowl. His favorite Bucs game is still the 1979 divisional playoff win 24-17 over the Eagles. In his spare time Cook enjoys playing guitar, fishing, the beach and family time.Cook is a native of Pinecrest in Eastern Hillsborough County and has written for numerous publications including the Tampa Tribune, In the Field and Ya'll Magazine. Cook can be reached at email@example.com