The Jameis Winston sloppiness has never gone away.
In Spring 2015, former NFL Network draft analyst Mike Mayock, who is now running personnel for the Oakland Raiders, was discussing the pros and cons of Winston as the top two picks in the draft. Like many NFL scouts, Mayock liked Winston’s pure throwing talent, saying it was suited for the NFL. Mayock also thought Winston’s size, accuracy and confidence all projected to that of a young Ben Roethlisberger, a prototype pocket passer.
There was just one problem. The sloppiness of how Winston handled his life and how it was creeping into his play on the field. The multiple incidents at Florida State, including a rape allegation, made Mayock and others wonder aloud. It wasn’t a question of guilt because that was difficult to sort through.
The question was more philosophical: If Winston was willing to be so cavalier and borderline criminal in the way that he handled life at the college level, what was he going to become when he got to the pros? In fact, Winston was often just as sloppy on the field at Florida State as he was away from it. His touchdown-to-interception ratio went from 40-to-10 as a freshman to 25-18 as a sophomore.
That’s when Mayock came to a damning conclusion about Winston’s future as a pro.
“If he’s going to handle his life that way now, he’s going to let you down later,” Mayock said. “If he’s going to be sloppy in life, he’s going to be sloppy with the ball and with the team.”
Five years later, that’s still the case and the game Sunday against Arizona was further proof. While Winston led a game-winning drive in the 30-27 victory, his heroics were partly a creation of his own mistakes. Specifically, two interceptions that simply make you wonder what Winston is doing?
On both a deep out to the wide side of the field on the third play of the game and on a throw over the middle in the second half, Winston made two terrible stare downs on his receivers that led to picks on Tampa Bay’s side of the field. These plays were so obvious that the defensive backs on the plays basically got to the ball faster than the receivers.
If Winston were a rookie or second-year player, these would be excusable. If he made one of these plays every now and then, that would be human. Instead, this is his fifth season and he made two in one game, part of a string of four games in which he has thrown nine picks.
The bottom line is that Winston is sloppy. It’s the case more than ever. While Winston has, for the most part, cleaned up his life off the field, there are still moments on the field that are confounding. Moments that should be disappearing, not showing themselves on a regular basis.
And yes, folks in Tampa should be celebrating today after an exciting victory over Arizona on Sunday. But that spasm of joy can’t ignore an overwhelming reality: Winston is still the same player he has always been, a combination of tantalizing talent and insufferable mistakes. At a time when Buccaneers management needs to decide what it wants to do with Winston long-term, he continues to make mistakes.
That means, barring some make-good, incentive-laden contract, it’s time for the Bucs to move on.
While Winston is not completely to blame for the team’s 3-6 record – the Bucs have allowed 27 points or more in eight of nine games – he is also not solving the problems. That’s both his and the team’s problems.
He leads the league in turnovers this season with 18 and leads the league in giveaways over the past five years. He has 14 interceptions and four lost fumbles (among 10 fumbles total) through nine games. He has the highest interception percentage of his career at 3.9. He’s on pace to break his career-high of 18 interceptions in 2016 and possibly, his career-high for fumbles of 15 in 2017.
Parse that however you want. There is no positive spin.
Yes, Winston is playing for his third head coach in Bruce Arians. But Arians is the guy who came to Tampa with the “quarterback whisperer” reputation. The thing is that it should go without saying – be it a whisper or a scream – turnovers are bad. This is not advanced football theory.
So when Winston lobs an out pass to the far side of the field without even looking off the receiver or driving through the ball with his legs, you just have to shake your head. When, later in the game, he stares down a receiver and throws into double coverage when one of the two defenders is the uber-talented Budda Baker, that’s not an enlightened play.
Budda. Enlightened. See what I did there.
Yeah, the play on words is obvious. Just as it’s obvious Winston isn’t improving.
Sure, he’s trying. The pained look on Winston’s face every time he throws a pick and then looks at the pictures of the play shows his earnest desire to get better.
The point is that desire doesn’t mean anything anymore. You can try all you like. At this point, it’s about results. And the results are still the same.
Bucs coach Arians again non-committal Tuesday on QB Winston
It’s become increasingly apparent, that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are ready to move on from potential free agent quarterback Jameis Winston. And Tuesday at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis, coach Bruce Arians gave the latest example that he and the Buccaneers front office will look at the other options available first.
Arians spoke at a podium on numerous subjects, but the most prominent is what Tampa Bay will do in the coming days with Winston?
— Charlie Clifford (@cliffWISH8) February 25, 2020
Arians was asked directly about potential for a franchise tag for his starter a year ago and what the Bucs might proceed to do? But, he refused to endorse that option on the former number one overall pick Winston. And, the Bucs coach maintained that the team will possibly us the franchise tag for defensive end Shaq Barrett.
Further, Arians gave a pointed specific answer on Winston’s poor play last December as the team finished 7-9 and that has the team looking at other options,
Arians on Winston and why it’s still uncertain: “December wasn’t what I wanted to see.”
— Greg Auman (@gregauman) February 25, 2020
Arians has consistently refused back Winston since the off-season began. This included at an NFL coaching seminar earlier this month in Tampa. He said to the media at that time:
“Really nothing has changed,” Arians said. “What’s Door No. 2? You know? Can we make the one we have better? All those things you go through right now.”
“You’re just sitting there waiting to see is there someone available? … Is he a better option?
The Buccaneers faltered in the middle of the season to drop to 3-7 and then, Winston and Co. blew its final two games to finish 7 – 9 with Winston throwing a career-high 30 interceptions.
After their final loss at home to Atlanta in overtime, where Winston threw the game losing “pick six,” Arians was candid after the final game by saying about Winston’s play that it would have to be evaluated pass by pass and game by game in the off-season. Further, he told the media then, that there “was some great and some terrible…. and you have to decide, if the great outweighs the terrible.”
While Winston did throw for a career-high 5000 + yards in 2019, his interceptions and total turnovers continued to be his downfall throughout the season. The Buccaneers finished 1 – 6 in games against teams with winning records and Winston had 17 total turnovers in those seven games. He finished with the 30 picks that included 10 of them in the Bucs final four games.
Tampa Bay obviously will have the opportunity to go after a free agent quarterback or two, as there is much speculation about the likes of Tom Brady with the Patriots. Plus, Philip Rivers will not be re-signed by the Chargers and is available come March. And, now that Drew Brees has announced he wants to play at least one more year for the Saints, their backup Teddy Bridgewater will be in demand on the market.
The Bucs are also continuing the evaluating the QB class for the Draft the next few days in Indy, which could have some interesting names still available in the second and third rounds and beyond.
Bucs confirmed Monday they will have new uniforms in 2020
On Monday, the Bucs confirmed what they have been hinting at, they will have new uniforms in 2020. But the real question is: what does “new” mean in this instance?
We heard you!
New uniforms coming April 2020. pic.twitter.com/e7qNUsNWZb
— Tampa Bay Buccaneers (@Buccaneers) February 24, 2020
The Bucs also released a statement through their website confirming that April will be the unveiling of the new uniforms, as well as, potential new color scheme, logo, etc. and had these comments from co – owner, Ed Glazer:
“We have heard the feedback from our fans loud and clear and have been working with the NFL and our league partners at Nike to usher in a new look as we enter this next decade of Buccaneers football. We look forward to revealing more details in the near future about our official unveiling event which will take place later this spring.”
As we wrote earlier this month, the Buccaneers have been hinting at trying to enhance their uniforms and there is some belief there will be more orange, the original color of the franchise. There is also educated speculation that the team may go back to a white helmet, which will enable them to have “throwback uniform games” that they’ve not been able to have for the last seven seasons.
This is because under league concussion protocol, players must have the same helmet all season and the Bucs primary one has been pewter in color since their chance in colors and logo in 1997,
The Bucs last altered their uniforms in 2014 by brightening the color red and slightly changing the logo and making it bigger on their pewter helmet. Teammates Ryan Jensen and Mike Evans are shown in the current color scheme, etc. above.
NFL teams have to submit changes in their colors and logos a year in advance. So obviously, this has been in the works for the Glazer family that owns the team for some time.
It should be noted that the Buccaneers NFC South Rivals, the Atlanta Falcons, have already made mention that they are changing their uniforms and color scheme. And, it’s believed that they will go back in 2020 to their original base color of red including possibly red helmets and potentially, primarily gray pants that they wore for over twenty years.
The Falcons have had black helmets for the better part of 30 years going back to Jerry Glanville changing the color scheme to primarily black jerseys in his days at the Falcons coach in the early 1990s.
Back to the Bucs. There is no other team in the NFL that has orange as their primary jersey color. The Bengals Broncos and Browns have occasionally worn orange “alternate jerseys” but not full time.
So, if the Glazers are again embracing a change to mostly orange jerseys, it will be unique. The video Monday showed a red jersey on a sewing machine, which could be a clue or could be misdirection of what the team actually intends to unveil in April.