For the first time since 1987, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers had the No. 1 overall NFL Draft pick and selected former Florida State Heisman Trophy winner Jameis Winston. The area is abuzz with excitement for the Bucs news quarterback, one the fans and the organization hope becomes a franchise quarterback, and can lead the Buccaneers back to the playoffs for the first time since Jon Gruden roamed the sidelines at Raymond James Stadium.
PewterReport.com will chronicle Winston’s practice reports throughout camp. After a rainy night of practice to open training camp, here is the second installment following a day that saw no rain during the late afternoon practice. Make sure to check back with PewterReport.com daily for our Winston Report.
Winston looked energized to play in front of the fans at One Buccaneer Place for the first time. The grandstands were filled to capacity with over 3,000 fans attending the first training camp practice at the team facility, which was the largest opening day attendance since Tampa Bay started holding training camp at One Buc Place in 2009.
Winston started off in the 1-on-1 period where receivers squared off against cornerbacks. He completed 8-of-16 passes in this period, connecting with Mike Evans on a curl and Vincent Jackson on a slant and a curl route. Winston also hit rookie Donteea Dye on a slant for a touchdown against Leonard Johnson and with rookie Rannell Hall on a deep go route touchdown against Jude Adjei-Barimah. Evans dropped a pass off his fingertips in the end zone that he probably would have dove for in the regular season, and Russell Shepard also had a drop, so Winston could have gone 10-of-16 in this session.
Bucs QB Jameis Winston – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR
The rookie quarterback then switched with Mike Glennon, who left the tight end and running backs group to work with the receivers. As the 1-on-1’s continued, Winston’s first pass to tight end Cameron Brate was incomplete and his throw to H-back Evan Rodriguez was broken up a linebacker. But Winston rebounded and connected on four straight throws to tight end Luke Stocker, fullback Joey Iosefa, tight end Tim Wright and running back Doug Martin, who caught a slant against linebacker James Williams and took it the distance.
Austin Seferian-Jenkins dropped a catchable pass against safety D.J. Swearinger, or Winston would have had five straight completions. Running back Bobby Rainey had a nice catch on an out route against linebacker Larry Dean. Winston’s slant to Cameron Brate was incomplete, and then linebacker Khaseem Greene broke up a pass intended for rookie halfback Dominique Brown.
After Wright, Seferian-Jenkins and running back Charles Sims caught passes from Winston, rookie linebacker Kwon Alexander dropped an interception after he stepped in front of fullback Jorvorskie Lane. In the period with running backs and tight ends, Winston went 8-of-14, and would have connected on 9-of-14 throws if Seferian-Jenkins hadn’t dropped a pass.
During the entire 1-on-1 period, Winston completed 16-of-30 passes and would heat up during the 11-on-11 period where he continued to get the lion’s share of the reps, including every rep with the starters.
Winston opened up with a big play to Evans on a shallow crossing route and then hit Bell down the field on a deep go route. The Florida State signal caller showed a quicker release and nice ball placement on a quick screen to Shephard, but threw too low on a dump off to Jackson while under pressure from the pass rush.
On his second series in 11-on-11, Winston hit Evans on a deep out and connected with him on a slant – both of which were big gainers. Facing a safety blitz off the edge, Winston showed great touch and improvisation while throwing side-armed to Tavarres King to avoid Keith Tandy’s outstretched arms in his face. His final throw in this series was a short hopper to Jackson.
Winston finished the first 11-on-11 period completing 6-of-8 passes before the Bucs moved to 7-on-7 drills. Winston started off with a great completion down the sidelines to Bell, who had an impressive day catching the ball. Lane caught a short pass on an out route before Brate dropped a low pass. Winston finished the first 7-on-7 series with a nice completion to Bell on a crossing route.
Bucs WR Kenny Bell – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR
On his second series, Winston went 4-of-4, hitting Evans on a skinny post for a touchdown, Jackson down the sidelines on a deep throw, Bell on a pass in which he showed great touch to throw over a linebacker near the sidelines and then Sims out of the backfield on a flare pass.
The final 7-on-7 series saw Winston hit Doug Martin out of the backfield on a check down after quickly going through all of his progressions. That impressive play was followed up by one of the rookie’s best passes of the day. Winston hit tight end Brandon Myers 20 yards down the seam, threading the needle between a linebacker and a safety. The throw demonstrated Winston’s accuracy, his guts and his confidence in throwing into tight windows.
After hitting Evans for a nice gain on a skinny post, cornerback Mike Jenkins broke up a pass against King. Winston kept getting hotter as the practice went on and finished the 7-on-7 period completing 10-of-12 passes.
In the final 11-on-11 period, which featured a good mix of run plays and pass plays, Winston started off working the middle of the field, hitting Stocker with a short pass down the seam and Seferian-Jenkins on a short comeback. After his deep pass to Evans off play-action was broken up in the end zone, Winston hit Sims with a short screen pass before King failed to bring in a pass running a hook route.
King then proceeded to catch three Winston passes in a row – two on slants and a dump off pass to King just past the line of scrimmage. King was making a good impression until he fumbled and the ball was scooped and scored on by Jenkins.
Winston then hit Martin with a dump off pass, but his dump off to Adam Humphries was too low. Winston showed great touch on a pass to Sims out in the flat. Alexander got a finger on the pass, but Sims still caught it for a big gain down the sidelines.
Linebacker Danny Lansanah dropped a pass intended for Martin that should have been picked off, and that was probably his most errant throw of the day. After Bell hauled in a short pass on an out route, cornerback Johnthan Banks almost picked off a pass intended for Dye. But Winston finished the period with three straight completions to Shephard, Dye and Wright. Winston completed 12-of-17 passes in the final 11-on-11 period.
Winston was poised, confident and in control of the offense, making several audibles at the line of scrimmage when he saw a problematic pre-snap read and was careful with the football. He had three passes broken up, and six dropped passes that could have pushed his completion percentage to 74 percent. Without having to throw in the rain, Winston had a much better second day with cloudy skies and no precipitation.
After practice offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter said he has been pleased with Winston’s development.
“He’s making progress,” Koetter said. “Remember, this is our second practice. We haven’t even put pads on one time yet. Jameis is getting better all the time. He’s working hard. He’s going to be fine.
Koetter was asked what he wants to see from Winston in training camp.
“Run the show,” Koetter said. “I want to see him run the show. I want to see him tell Evan Smith to shut up a couple times. [Laughs.] Not yet, but I’m pushing him to. … Just the command of it. Can he get it from the coach-to-quarterback system, can he get it in his ear, step in the huddle and run it like an NFL quarterback? He’s off to a great start.”
Monday’s practice at One Buccaneer Place begins at 2:30 p.m. The Buccaneers and their rookie quarterback will practice in full pads for the first time on Tuesday at 9:00 a.m.
Final Stats (unofficial): 44-of-67 passes (65.7 percent) with one touchdown (in 7-on-7) and no interceptions (the entire day)
PewterReport.com Practice Grade: B
Scott Reynolds is in his 23rd year of covering the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as the vice president, publisher and senior Bucs beat writer for PewterReport.com. Author of the popular SR's Fab 5 column on Fridays, Reynolds oversees web development and forges marketing partnerships for PewterReport.com in addition to his editorial duties. A graduate of Kansas State University in 1995, Reynolds enjoys giving back to the community as the defensive line coach for his sons' Pop Warner team, the South Pasco Predators. Reynolds can be reached at: [email protected]rt.com
I have watched Winston play in every FSU game and he doesn’t usually do well in his first couple throws. They might want to think about having him throw seriously on the sidelines before he goes into any series. Most of the good ones get lose before going back in to the game.
correct Winston has never been considered a great practice player but when the pads are put on in actual games he is the REAL deal.
Sounded like a great practice. All the skill positions seem like they’re starting to click. Now be forewarned, there will be off days to, but it’s practice and over the preseason we may have that well-oiled offense we’ve been waiting for. I think Lovie said the pads would go on Tuesday. We will then start to see true performance under fire. Live ammo always gets my attention!
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Winston is for real and NFL ready, which is great. Too many drops by receivers today and we can’t have fumbles like King did today. Our defenders sound good and ready for action. Can’t wait for pads on Tuesday!
Love hearing that we are actually running screens!
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