Winston accepts blame for his interceptions

by Gary Shelton on November 21, 2019

in general

Winston has to overcome his turnovers./TIM WIRT

Thursday, 4 a.m.

Bucs' coach Bruce Arians says that not all of Jameis Winston's interceptios are his fault.

Certainly, there is enough blame to go around.

Winston, who leads the NFL with 18 interceptions, has thrown picks of receivers hands', and when he's been hit, and when receivers have run bad patterns. He's also thrown the ball up for grabs. It's been an embarrassment of turnovers, and it's led the Bucs to a 3-7 start.

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“One, I thank coach for always having my back," Winston said. "But, as a team collectively, we know we all have to get better. We know that we’re all in this together, so the better we can eliminate all turnovers period – whether they’re coming from me, whether it’s anybody else – it’s always my fault. It has to be – I’m the quarterback. If we just can eliminate them period, there won’t be anyone to point fingers to.”

The Bucs' offense is predicated on Winston making tight throws, with little running game, to succeed.

“Well, that’s how we’ve got to play," Winston said. "I think we’ve got good people up front and I think we’ve got deep threats outside. That goes into the whole rhythm of the offense – knowing guys are down deep and being able to check the ball to RoJo (Ronald Jones) and he gets 20 out of a check down. Guys are going out and you’ve got Peyton [Barber] trickling out of the backfield. I think it all works together, with just those guys going out, me making a quick decision getting it to them – it’s getting in a rhythm and then you’ll see easier throws. But, I’ve got some easy throws in there.”

The Bucs struggled against the Saints in both matchups this season.

“When it comes down to winning and losing a football game, you don’t know which play is going to be the play to determine the outcome of that game," Winston said. "We can talk about, ‘Where is this, or where is this,’ but we’ve still got opportunities to make certain plays that will make you not want to ask that question because we win the game. If we are winning games, you don’t ask that question. But if we miss those small plays – when we miss a run that could’ve went for 20 yards for them to have to put an extra man in the box – certain things like that kind of mess with the rhythm and the ebb and flow of the game to allow a defense to get the upper hand.” 

When teams limit Mike Evans and Chris Godwin, the Bucs have to find other weapons.

“It’s the epitome of complementary football," Winston said. "You think about Breshad Perriman in the Seattle game and how he stepped up in a big way – he got a few catches and even a touchdown. Scotty [Miller] has been climbing his way up every single week, so he is continuing to get better. I was really excited to get Cam Brate involved. We have so many weapons and it’s unfortunate that we can’t get them all the ball, especially on the same play – one of them has to get the ball [and] the others not. It’s good from a confidence standpoint because when you’ve got the receivers that are out there saying, ‘Oh, I might not be getting the ball,’ [it’s detrimental to the team]. But when you’ve got receivers out there saying, ‘Hey, I’m about to run my route as fast as I can because I don’t know if I’m going to get the ball, but if I am going to get the ball, I am going to be ready,’ it’s a good problem to have.”

Tight ends O.J. Howard had a difficult day against New Orleans.

“I texted him after that game – O.J. celebrated his birthday the day after that game – I just said, ‘Hey, the devil tried to shoot you so many different distractions but look how God has been to us throughout any time in our life. There is so much good that God has done for us. We’ve got to ignore the little distractions that the devil tried to send you.’ He knows what he’s capable of. I’ve got the utmost confidence in him. I know the coaches have got a lot of confidence in him, so we don’t want to make a little thing into a big thing.

“O.J. is a ‘Bama Boy’ and I know he’s got confidence in his self, just because it should be in his blood. I know his parents. I don’t know how he was raised, but I know he has a great background and I know O.J. has a will to always persevere. Like I said, everyone makes mistakes. We all do that. We, as a team, have to collectively limit the mistakes. If we – all of us, as one – can do that, we will win games.”

The Bucs play in Atlanta against the Falcons at 1 p.m. on Sunfsy.

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