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Cris Collinsworth/PFF- “Winston will challenge for passing yardage title”

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Aug 9, 2018; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston (3) calls a play at the line against the Miami Dolphins during the first half at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports
Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

We have officially entered the lull of summer for NFL teams, as training camps in late July a little bit away. However, the debate about which players were teams will bounce back is always relevant. And, that would include, a prominent football voice and outlet backing Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston to have a big bounce-back year statistically.

Peter King of NBC Sports, and formerly of longtime leader writer for Sports Illustrated, has a popular online column, “Football morning in America.” And, while he is away on vacation himself, he lets guest writer and writers provide content for his popular slot.

This week that is covered by his NBC colleague and lead NFL analyst, Cris Collinsworth and Collinsworth’s outlet, Pro Football Focus.

Collinsworth says at the outset of the column that he is now the majority owner of PFF, because he believes in football advanced stats and analytics and the importance of quantifying how good teams and players are. Then, he, several of his prominent employees and analyst write different things in this week’s column that have to do with subjects like: advanced stats, players looking for breakout years, gambling data and more.

The interesting part was Collinsworth giving some opinions near the end of the column with one of the most prominent ones was his opinion along with the the staff at PFF, that Winston is poised to have a huge bounce-back statistical year throwing a football.

Here is what Collinsworth wrote Monday morning about Winston being paired with new coach Bruce Arians and the weapons around him:

“Jameis Winston will challenge for the passing yardage title in 2019. Last year he trailed only Josh Allen in average depth of target. These throws put Winston in a position to do great things at times (he was second among quarterbacks in the percentage of throws we grade as “positive”), as well as bad things (he was 21st in limiting negatively-graded throws).

New Bucs head coach Bruce Arians has a track record of succeeding with high-variance quarterbacks like Winston. In 2015 Carson Palmer had an MVP-caliber season under Arians, posting roughly the same average depth of target as Winston in 2018 and leading the league in percentage of positively-graded throws. With Mike Evans, Chris Godwin and O.J. Howard a very capable trio of pass catchers, look for Winston to either make good on his 2015 draft position or give the Bucs no other option but to find his replacement the following year.”

Obviously, the Buccaneers are gambling on the same thing having picked up Winston’s fifth year option of his rookie deal, when they had an opportunity to cut ties with him. This is especially, after he was suspended for the first three games of last year due to violating the NFL personal conduct policy and then later in October, was benched again, for poor play and interceptions for veteran quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick.

However Bucs ownership, the Glazer family, GM Jason Licht and obviously Arians with new offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich, all believe that he will be very successful.

And as Collinsworth and PFF point out, there are numerous receiving weapons for Winston to succeed with for the upcoming season.

Now, it’s going to be all about him putting it together.

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