Winston still has plenty of targets

by Gary Shelton on December 13, 2019

in general

Watson had a big game for the Bucs./JEFFREY S. KING

Thursday, 3 a.m.

Breshad Perriman? Likely.

Justin Watson? Probably.

Ishmael Hyman? Who knows?

The Tampa Bay Bucs are reaching deep into their wide reciever position this week. Part of that is the recent injury to Mike Evans, and part of it is the resulting attention that Chris Godwin will get. And part of it is that Jameis Winston has sought out other targets as a result.

Content beyond this point is for members only.

Already a member? To view the rest of this column, sign in using the handy "Sign In" button located in the upper right corner of the blog (it's at the far right of the navigation bar under Gary's photo)!

Not a member? It's easy to subscribe so you can view the rest of this column and all other premium content on

“It’s kind of what I’ve been saying all year," said offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich on Thursday. "We trust these guys. We see these guys play these plays all the time, so when it doesn’t happen one week, you [still] know that it’s there. Like I tell you guys, the ball might not go that way because Mike [Evans] may have had 196-yard day. Chris may have one of those big days that [he’s] had throughout the year. When you have those type of days from a single guy, it’s hard to really spread it around because you’re not throwing for six or seven hundred yards in a game. Now the ball naturally spreads itself around. I always tell you guys this: we want it to happen organically. We want to go through our progressions and get the ball in the right spot and Jameis (Winston) did a good job of that.”

Winston, too, is iffy with a fracture in his thumb. He threw a tennis ball much of Thursday

“Well he knows what he’s doing," Leftwich said. "It’s nothing new. He knows everything that he’s doing. Like you said, he’s a fifth-year guy, so he’s been through this situation before. Just about every quarterback at some point gets to this position at some point, where you can’t get the guy onto the practice field until Friday. Nothing different. We’re just making sure he’s doing everything that he needs to do to try to prepare, to make sure it’s as normal as possible. That’s all you can really do and he’s doing a heck of a job of that.”

The Bucs could get to 7-7 with a win over the Lions.

“Well, we know how difficult it is to win in this league, right?" Leftwich sad. "Everybody wants you to win every week in every city that a NFL team in is, right? Everybody, media, everybody wants their team to win that week. Everybody is trying to win football games every Sunday. Everybody is doing everything they can to win football games every Sunday and when it doesn’t happen it’s difficult for everybody. All we can do is keep coaching, keep getting better. I like where we’re at as a team. We wish we would of got some of those that we let get away early in the year, but that’s part of growth. That’s a part of growth as a team. That’s a part of growth as this building learns to grow and win together. We understand all that as coaches. We’ve been through it. As a player I’ve been through it, as a coach I’ve been through situations, so all you can continue to do is keep coaching these guys. I love the way approach it. The way they approach it, the way they attack the game of football is what you want from your players as a coach. So as long as we can continuously get that from these guys, which I don’t doubt at all, we’ll get better in all the situational football like we’ve been getting. Hopefully we can just keep rolling with this thing and see how it goes.”

The Bucs' secondary has played better the last three weeks.

“Work ethic," was the explanation of defensive coordinator Todd Bowles. "I would say is number one with the way they absorb information and get better. They take it and they study it on their own – they want to be better and they want to be great. Those are the two things I’ve noticed right now.”

Bowles praised the leadership of Lavonte David.

“Whether they go right or don’t go right, he is our vocal leader," Bowles said. "He is one of them – he speaks up all the time. It’s not just when things aren’t going right. He speaks up when they’re going right. He comes to play every time, he holds everyone accountable and like I said, he is one of our leaders.”

Bowles said the Lions will bring an underappreciated offense.

“I think they have an underrated running game," Bowles said. "I think [Bo] Scarbrough has come in and [given] them a jolt. I think they got behind a little bit here and there, but the quarterback (David Blough), I think, is very bright. He sees the whole field, he can move a bit like [Gardner] Minshew. He moves around in the pocket very well. They have obviously a great receiver in [Kenny] Golladay and they’ve got the other receivers. It’s unfortunate [Marvin Jones] went down, but [Danny] Amendola has been doing it for a long time. Logan Thomas has been playing very well at tight end with Jesse James and their o-line is solid. They play across the board. Obviously, they’ll bring up a player and probably they’ve got three more on the practice squad that we’ve got to be ready for. We understand if they bring them up, we’ve got to understand what they do.”

The Bucs and Lions play at 1 p.m. in Detroit Sunday.

Previous post:

Next post: