Winston needs time to take over No. 1 QB

by Gary Shelton on July 21, 2016 · 0 comments

in general, NFL, Tampa Bay Bucs

Eventually, Winston will be the best quarterback who played for Tampa Bay.

Eventually, Winston will be the best quarterback who played for Tampa Bay.

Thursday, 5:45 a.m.

When he is an old man, and his footwork is not so precise, he will gather up his grandchildren and tell them his stories.

There will be laughter in his voice, because even then, Jameis Winston will find most of his days simply delightful. His eyes will twinkle when he talks of the competition, of the way he kept finding himself to the end zones of his day.

Soon enough, the question will come, because don't they all? The kid on his knee will look up and shrug.

“Granddad,” he will say. “How long did it take you to become the Bucs' best-ever quarterback.”

Winston will grin. “Well,” he'll say, “there is this thing called a coin. And as soon as I called 'Heads,' I was there.”

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Winston needs to imprvve his win today.

In memory, it probably won't take a lot longer than that. This is a franchise that hasn't had a lot of great quarterbacks, and it won't take long for Winston to maneuver his way to the top. You know, and I know, that he is likely to get there in short order. This isn't like becoming the best-ever quarterback of the Packers or the 49ers or the Colts.

Ah, but these things take time.

And no, Winston isn't quite the No. 1 quarterback that the Bucs have had. Yet.

He has won six games, after all. His quarterback rating needs improvement. He needs more comebacks, more moments.

No. 1? For now, the Bucs' top quarterback ever is probably Doug Williams, who went into the Ring of Honor last year. (Winston isn't quite there yet.) Williams won 33 games (and lost 33) as a starter. More than half of his wins (17) were because of fourth-quarter comebacks.

No. 2? The spot belongs to Brad Johnson. No, history will not remember him as one of the great quarterbacks of his day. But the Bucs have six playoff victories in their history, and he has half of them. He's also the Bucs' only quarterback with 15 or more wins and a winning record (26-23). Oh, yeah. And he won a Super Bowl.

No. 3? Yeah, I go with Winston here. Admittedly, a lot of that is potential, and we've seen unrealized potential (hi, Josh Freeman) before. But Winston was awfully impressive last year, simply willing his team into the end zone at times. If the Bucs get a better defense, then Winston should start to show people there is more there than potential.

No. 4? Vinny Testaverde lost 48 games as the Bucs' quarterback. If his longevity proves anything, however, it's the team had bigger problems. How about Ray Perkins' dalliance with Chris Chandler, who never did win a start for the Bucs. That just compounded things.

No. 5? Trent Dilfer won more games (38) than any other Bucs' quarterback. Of course, he had a better defense than any other Bucs' quarterback, too. The problem was, Dilfer was good enough as a caretaker quarterback, but when he played for Tony Dungy, he wouldn't accept being a caretaker.

No. 6? There has never been a harder quarterback to decide upon. When he was good (2010), he could throw 25 touchdowns and six picks. You don't do that by a fluke. But when he was bad Josh, sleepy Josh, tardy Josh, he would be a fate worse than firing for a coach (such as Greg Schiano). He had some good moments, but not enough to justify putting up with him.

No. 7? Jeff Garcia was the typical journeyman wuarterback. He was good enough to keep the Bucs competitive, but not good enough to take them anywhere. Twenty-five touchdown passes in 24 starts isn't great.

No. 8? Shaun King, like Dilfer, benefited from playing with a good team. He was 14-8, but he never was able to bring enough offense to the field.

No. 9? Craig Erickson won 11 games for the Bucs before being eased out by Dilfer. A tough kid who was liked by his teammates, but not talented enough.

No. 10? Brian Griese won 12 games in parts of three seasons under Gruden. There was something about Griese that Gruden liked seeing more than Chris Simms.

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