Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston is in a critical contract year and is learning a
new offense for the first time since arriving in Tampa Bay in 2015.
PewterReport.com will chronicle each one of Winston’s practices during camp
in the Winston Watch.

The biggest obstacle for Jameis Winston in Sunday’s practice wasn’t exactly something he could control. As Bruce Arians put it after practice, the Bucs defense threw the kitchen sink at Winston. And with it being the first day of full pads, it gave the opportunity for Tampa Bay’s defense to really get in his grill.

Even before there were full 11-on-11 drills, Winston wasn’t as sharp as he could possibly be. In the first passing drills indoors when it was only wide receivers against defensive backs, Winston got off to a fine start with a 15-yard reception to Breshad Perriman followed another completion for significant gain. He followed that up thought with an overthrow on one pass and an interception that should have been had if Jordan Whitehead had not dropped it. Winston completed the drill on a positive note with this completion again to Evans.

As practice moved along and outside to 11-on-11 drills, the unique blitzes increased and it made the offensive line stumble. Winston was always moving to create space for himself, or checking down for a short reception. When he did make some throws downfield, most of the time they were to Mike Evans, with the exception of a great 20-yard pass downfield to his former Florida State teammate, Bobo Wilson.

On Friday, Arians mentioned that he felt Winston over did it and threw the ball too much during his practices this summer at Florida State, and wanted to limit some of his reps early on. They may have been the case on Sunday as Winston threw just two passes during goal line drills – one incomplete to tight end O.J. Howard and one touchdown to a wide open running back Andre Ellington. The touchdown to Ellington was a sloppy throw and Ellington had to adjust to make a great catch despite no one being around him. It was the only touchdown pass he had on the day.

Winston probably had his best start to any of the sessions on Sunday’s practice when they moved to the 7-on-7 period. He started out with completions to Howard, Ronald Jones, Evans, and a big gain to Justin Watson. But again, he was forced to check the ball down plenty due to tight coverage from the corners, yet he was able to pick his spots. One of Wintson’s issues has been throwing the deep ball over the middle, and he had a bad overthrow on a pass intended for Chris Godwin that sailed at least five yards over his head.

The limited amount of reps carried over for Winston once the Bucs went to their second 11-on-11 session. Blaine Gabbert and Ryan Griffin took most of the reps in this portion, with Winston throwing a small number of passes. That included a bat down at the line by Ndamukong Suh and just a screen pass.

In the final 11-on-11 drill that included a race against the clock where Winston had some ups and downs. He started off well with a long completion to Godwin, but then fell victim to a drive-killing interception by Vernon Hargreaves. Arians did confirm after practice that a bad route by Perriman was the culprit.

Winston ended the day on a positive note with a deep bomb to Evans down the right sideline. The two of them were clicking the entire practice.

On the day, Winston didn’t take too many shots down field, normally opting for the safe route. It was tough at times for him to get in rhythm with the defense really dialing up the blitzes. The practice was hard fought for all the quarterbacks. Yet Arians believed that Winston was consistent, given all that was thrown his way.

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About the Author: Matt Matera

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blind melon
blind melon
2 years ago

If the defense continues to throw the kitchen sink at Winston, I’d expect this to be a positive for his development in training camp and in live play versus non-kitchen sink throwing opponents…

I am getting a good feeling about this defensive scheme.

owlykat
owlykat
2 years ago

Given the poor play of the OL on the first day of pads forced Jameis to throw short gains for a good while but he eventually acclimated to it and finished strong with the exception of Perriman running the wrong route. He has had the experience of producing despite a bad OL last year but with a Top Ten Defense and a strong kicking game he is going to do a lot better than last year and the next draft will go all Offense with an emphasis on top OLmen. But play calling will improve offensive production this year.

Alldaway 2.0
Alldaway 2.0
2 years ago

Knowing Arians if the talent is similar he will play the OL that commits less errors. If an OL is slightly less talented but smarter he will play that player over the more talented OL.

The best “five” in previous years was the five most talented OL you could put on the field. With Arians staff it is clear the best five are the players that do their assignments accordingly. That is a big departure from previous years and will impact the final starting five on the o-line.

MizzouBucs24
MizzouBucs24
2 years ago

Don’t forget Winston is learning a new system and add in the aggressive defense Bowles is throwing at him he’s going to make mistakes. I trust BA will have Jameis ready to go.

matador
matador
2 years ago

This reminds me of reading about Freeman’s lack of accuracy during training camp in his contract year. That season my greatest fear was that Freeman played just well enough to get a contract extension, with enough guaranteed money that it would set the franchise back for the next three years.

As the saying goes, history may not repeat but it sure does seem to rhyme.

Spitfire
Spitfire
2 years ago

Freeman feel to the evil pain killers, Winston is seeing a solid Defensive Scheme for the first time while learning a new Offense while the Oline shakes out, this is nothing like Freeman. It’s all about how it progresses from here now that the pads are on. Let’s hope the waitress brings the pitcher instead of assuming the glass is gonna stay half empty.

macabee
macabee
2 years ago

I can understand Buc blitzes being a little challenging for any QB with Caleb Bennonoch taking 1st team reps at left tackle in place of sidelined Donovan Smith. Whew! lol.

fredster
fredster
2 years ago

If the blitzes are bothering Winston they will bother lot other QBs more. Say what you will about Winston’s deep ball or too many int’s he is one of best in NFL under pressure.

Ironman Donavan Smith was re signed largely because he never gets hurt and already issues early in camp after getting paid. That’s typical for Bucs luck. Lol.

grafikdetail
2 years ago

love it! iron sharpens iron… going against one of the softest and worst defense in the NFL has held this offense back… practicing against an aggressive defense like they have in place now will take winston and an already potent offense to the next level

Buc stops here
Buc stops here
2 years ago

Well it is interesting and makes good news but I don’t think this really tells anymore very much. It may mean the defense is better now between the new defensive coordinator and players they have. It may also tell you that Winston does not have much help still and for except Evans he may not have much to throw to. It also might tell you Winston still overthrows the ball which will lead to interceptions in a real game. We find out the truth to all of this in September. For now all we can do is be entertained by… Read more »

Don
Don
2 years ago

Good. Sounds like he’s seeing a challenge camp defense for the first time in his life.

Dave
Dave
2 years ago

Outside Evans he has nobody to throw to? Huh? He has Godwin, Howard, Brate, Watson, and Ellington. All of them are above average in either hands, route running, or speed. And most of them are above average in multiple areas. Sorry but I strongly disagree with he has nobody to throw to. The rest of the depth chart is questionable, yeah. But the starting lineup of pass catchers is one of the best in the league