Thursday, 5 a.m.
Jameis Winston would like to start faster.
In fact, he'd like to leave skid marks.
So far, he hasn't. He fumbled early against the Eagles and missed his first six passes against the Jags.
This time, he wants to hit the field in a hurry.
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“Every rep matters, so it’s something that we want to do,” Winston said. “We know that if we do start off fast or we start playing with a tempo, we play better.
“I’m getting better every single day and I do because it starts with me. I’ve got to get it going — similar to that Jacksonville two-minute [drill] during practice. We started off fast and practice ended up really good. I’m supposed to be the leader of this team, so I’ve got to start fast. It starts with me.”
In some ways, it starts with a disintegrating offensive line. Koetter wouldn't guess how long guard Ali Marpet might be in his walking boot. Free agent J.R. Sweezy is injured.
Winston said it doesn't matter what the play call is.
I think it’s just overall getting completions,” Winston said. “Completions lead to ball movement and ball movement leads to first downs, first downs lead to touchdowns, so it doesn’t really matter which play we are running, it’s just execution.”
Winston said the key to the Bucs' offense was easy.
“Execution,” he said. “You can’t have setbacks, you can’t turn the ball over. In our first two games I had a turnover in that second drive that we had against Jacksonville (Jaguars) and I had a turnover in the first drive against the (Philadelphia) Eagles. You can’t have turnovers — like I said that’s on me, that’s why I said it’s on me, so I have to own that and bounce back and start fast.”
“It isn’t a secret formula you’ve got to just execute in everything, mentally, physically, every aspect of the game because if you don’t do good you’re going to try to find something to nitpick and say, ‘Oh you didn’t do this.’ So you’ve got to get better at every aspect of the game. Building on your positives, eliminating the negatives.”
Bucs' coach Dirk Koetter was looking forward to playing a home game.
“It’ll be exciting to play in front of the home crowd, that’s for sure,” Koetter said. “And with the new stadium, with the scoreboard and all that, I know the players are excited to see it. That part will be good. Typically [in] preseason games, the crowd’s not much of a factor, home or away, but we’re definitely excited to be home for the next two games.”
Linebacker Lavonte David said he was looking forward to extended play.
“During this process (of) preseason, you’re just trying to see where you’re at,” David said. Conditioning-wise, and also mentally going through a football game because that opening week, you’re playing against at least 65 plays plus. So being able to come out here and play a full first half and then probably play some of the third quarter, it should give you a good feeling for how a regular season game’s going to be.”