Bucs’ Winston sharp except for one near gaffe

by Gary Shelton on August 18, 2017 · 2 comments

in general

Winston was very good, except for one play./JEFFREY S. KING

Winston was very good, except for one play./JEFFREY S. KING

Friday, 4 a.m.

Often, when you stand to cheer him , you end up grabbing your head in frustration.

For fans of the Tampa Bay Bucs, such is the plight of the almost-excellent quarterback. Against Jacksonville, he was good ... mostly. He looked like a man who had arrived ... nearly.

Just not quite.

There is something about Jameis Winston that makes it difficult to completely embrace him. He will be having a great game, one of those "I'm-on-fire" games,

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Martin averaged six yards per carry. /JEFFREY KING

Martin averaged six yards per carry. /JEFFREY KING

and you could see him taking over the world. And then, like the flipping of a light switch, he has a brain cramp and throws that world to an opposing player.

It was that way Thursday night, when the Bucs' main players dominated those of the Jacksonville Jaguars in a game that finished 12-8. Winston was electric, hitting 21 of 29 passes for 196 yards in one half of play.

Evans is off to a great start for Bucs./JEFFREY S. KING

Evans is off to a great start for Bucs./JEFFREY S. KING

But there also was an ill-advised decision late in that half that left fans rolling their eyes – and coach Doug Koetter screaming his lungs out. Winston was trying to scramble and was hit, then tried to throw the ball anyway as he was tackled. It was intercepted, and you could hear Bucs' nation groan.

Referees ruled that Winston was down before throwing, a technicality that didn't stop Koetter from telling Winston that he has to make better decisions.

"Not what we want," Koetter said. "Elite quarterbacks don't make that play.

"Other than one play, he was extremely sharp. But we have extremely high standards for him as he does for himself. He did the things that quarterbacks like him are supposed to do except for one play."

Barber led the Bucs in rushing./jEFFREY S. KING

Barber led the Bucs in rushing./jEFFREY S. KING

Mostly, it was a fine night for Winston. In two weeks, he has completed 30 of 42 passes for 295 yards in less than three quarters of play. Still, there are times – particularly when the play breaks down – that Winston still seems to force the issue.

"Coach is going to be running that play three times. "You can't do it, you can't do it, you can't do it.' I'm beating myself up more than coach will. I'm disappointed in myself. But that play didn't even count. I can't do that."

Five observations on the Bucs' win.

1. Here we go again: The Bucs got fed up with Roberto Aguayo after he missed an extra point and a field goal. Thursday night, Nick Folk did the same. Folk did kick two field goals, but it's a suggestion that the placekicking might not be right yet.

2. The Bucs' No. 1 defense was excellent in its half of football, especially against the run. The Jags moved the ball better once its' third teamers got into the game, but when the No. 1s played each other, the Bucs dominated.

3. The running backs had a better night. Doug Martin averaged six yards per carry. Both Peyton Barber and Jeremy McNichols played well.

4. For two weeks, it has been Mike Evans' world. In roughly three quarters of play, he has nine catches for 115 yards.

5. Adam Humphries isn't going anywhere. Everyone keeps thinking he might be the odd man out as DeSean Jackson and Chris Godwin join the wide receivers, but Humphries catches everything. He had five receptions for 41 yards.

David had two tackles for loss, four solo tackles./JEFFREY S. KING.

David had two tackles for loss, four solo tackles./JEFFREY S. KING.

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Bill MYERS August 18, 2017 at 8:37 am

Preseason games don’t count but a win is always nice.

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Gary Shelton August 18, 2017 at 4:59 pm

Even better is good play. I’ve never cared about the final score of preseason games; they cane influenced by nobodies. But the play of the team in such categories as pass rush, secondary play, kicking, offensive line, quarterback, etc. matters.

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