TAMPA – The Buccaneers are now 4-9 on the year and as such not only are they guaranteed of another losing season, they are guaranteed to finish last in the NFC South for the sixth time in the last seven years.
Were those numbers and facts somehow reversed, you wouldn’t be hearing about friction between quarterback Jameis Winston and coach Dirk Koetter. That’s Winston’s take on the matter anyway.
Winston on Sunday responded to a report claiming his relationship with Koetter has soured by saying the reports are nothing more than a predictable byproduct of a season gone sour.
“Listen, me and coach Koetter have a great relationship, first and foremost, and we have the same goal when we go out there on that football field and that’s to win the football game,’’ Winston said.
“So, it doesn’t matter what anybody else can possibly say. Obviously, a lot of stuff can come out when we’re not doing as expected, but that’s false. Coach Koetter coaches his tail off and he definitely supports me.
“It’s a distraction and a lot of distractions comes up when we don’t perform like we need to perform.’’
Koetter as you probably expected denied there’s any abnormal friction between him and his quarterback as well, saying that he didn’t hear about the report until after the game and that it came as “news to me.’’
“I think Jameis and I have had an extremely consistent relationship for the last three years and I don’t think anything’s different about it but that’s just my opinion,’’ Koetter said.
The report also alleged that Winston has grown frustrated with Koetter’s offense because it’s too predictable. Winston didn’t flat out deny that claim, but he did say he welcomes the opportunity to execute an attack that’s more or less predictable.
“Being predictable, that’s what makes you a good football team, when they know what you’re going to do and you still go out there and you beat ‘em,’’ Winston said. “Being predictable, I don’t get that.
“If you’re executing to the caliber that you’re supposed to execute, it doesn’t matter if they know you’re running power. If you run power and you execute power, you get it.
“It doesn’t matter if they know you’re throwing the ball to Mike Evans. If the quarterback and Mike Evans are on the same page, it doesn’t; matter. Being that predictable that’s non-existent in my world.
“I play the game with confidence and I play the game to dominate. And if a defense knows something is coming, I’m glad they know it’s coming. Now stop it. That’s football, it’s a man’s will against another man’s will.’’
And in the case of the Winston-Koetter relationship story, it’s one man’s word against another man’s word. Or maybe it’s the word of two men, the reporter and his source, against two other men, Koetter and Winston.
Either way, there is sure to be some tension between Koetter and Winston and as Winston said, it’s more than likely a result of the fact both are locked in a losing season.
Winston isn’t used top losing, not yet anyway, and we know he doesn’t like it so he’s probably quite frustrated with most everything right now, including the offense he’s running.
But how can Winston be any more frustrated with Koetter than Koetter is with Winston, who all but gave another game away on Sunday by turning the ball over three more times.
No, he wasn’t the only one who turned the ball over for the Bucs, but he led the way yet again, and so if friction really does exist between he and Koetter, that’s probably the source of it.
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.