Can Winston satisfy the observers in Year Three?

by Gary Shelton on August 3, 2017 · 3 comments

in general, NFL, Tampa Bay Bucs

Winston has a lot of people to satisfy in year three./CARMEN MANDATO

Winston has a lot of people to satisfy in year three./CARMEN MANDATO

Thursday, 4 a.m.

On every play, every eye watches every move.

His fans. His teammates. His coaches. The media. The concession workers. All of them. Jameis Winston moves, and eyes go with him. He is a tennis ball. When the ball is in the hands of Winston, you cannot look elsewhere.

You cannot talk about the Bucs without bringing up his name. You cannot write too much. You cannot say too much. You look at No. 3, and you see the future.

Just that.

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Koetter charts every move that Winston makes./CARMEN MANDATO

Koetter charts every move that Winston makes./CARMEN MANDATO

“We actually have people that chart everything that Jameis does every day and they give us a report,” Bucs' coach Dirk Koetter said Wednesday. “I know his completion percentage, his third-down percentage, his explosive percentage. How many times he throws a pass and it’s dropped, the precision percentage on his accuracy. So, those things are all measurable and I think there is a place for those. Personally, I have a tendency to go with my eye test. How I see it, to be honest with you.”

There is little wonder why Winston gets so much attention. He is the grand hope around here, and it's hard to see the Bucs' succeeding if Winston does not. Everything is analyzed. Everything is dissected. His perceived strengths (leadership) and his perceived weaknesses are an open discussion.

Mike Evans takes a break in training./CARMEN MANDATO

Mike Evans takes a break in training./CARMEN MANDATO

And so, on an overcast Wednesday day morning, Winston went through his paces with the rest of his teammates. Have you ever seen a star performer in a play? How every eye is locked on him, even when he is just standing to the side. It is that way with Winston, too.

And, yeah, Winston is paying attention to his own performance, too.

He wants to see improvement.

“If I got better” Winston said. “Am I behind? Am I processing information that I need to process? Every time I watch film, I take a tally, ‘Okay, did you get better today?’ There’s 31 other quarterbacks doing the same thing. 31 other quarterbacks going through practice and meeting rooms. What am I doing to make myself better than those other 31?”

In the history of the league, a lot of quarterbacks have blossomed in their third seasons. The Bucs want that of Winston this year, too. He has 8,000 yards in two years, a staggering total, but fans want more wins, better accuracy, more big plays.

If Winston is going to blossom into a star, the blooming should start soon.

“Patience is a form of controlling everything. People use the term ‘game manager’ and that’s really what it is.” Winston said. “I always have to be calm, cool and

Kwon Alexander has emerged as the defensive leader./CARMEN MANDATO

Kwon Alexander has emerged as the defensive leader./CARMEN MANDATO

collected. Everything can be going fast for others, but everything has to be slowed down for me. When I step in the huddle, I have to slow everything down no matter what happened the last play, no matter if we scored a touchdown, no matter if we had a turnover. I have to be the person that brings everybody together, be patient, calm and just put us on chill mode.”

Throughout the drills, Winston has had an opportunity to learn more about his craft. He seems more aware of his situation.

“Well, he’s been good about it in real games,” Koetter said. “But I think in practice — for all players even though everything is scripted, there’s chains – players have a tendency to say, ‘practice a play, practice a play, next play, next play, next play.’ Instead, Jameis really can’t practice that way. For him to be as great as we want him to be and as great he wants to be, he’s got to understand exactly where we are at in the game.”

Already, the practice fields are known as Winston Acres. The end zones are his yard. The cheerleaders are his backup singers. He has accomplished a great many things in two seasons.

Now, it's time for more.

We'll be watching.

Rodgers finds some daylight for the Bucs./CARMEN MANDATO

Rodgers finds some daylight for the Bucs./CARMEN MANDATO

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Bill MYERS August 3, 2017 at 9:27 am

The Bucs have waited a long time for a true franchise quarterback. I am sure I am not the only fan that hopes Winston can make the Bucs a dynasty team!

Reply

Gary Shelton August 3, 2017 at 10:04 am

Lets start with being a playoff team.

Reply

Bill MYERS August 4, 2017 at 8:37 am

Right!

Reply

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