Ask Gary: Will inaccuracy plague Winston?

by Gary Shelton on September 24, 2016 · 0 comments

in College Sports in Florida, Florida State University, general, NFL, Tampa Bay Bucs, Tampa Bay Lightning

(Each week, the readers take over and play Ask Gary. They send in a question, or a couple, on Thursday night or Friday morning and we all talk about the world of sports.  Think of it as a radio show where you don't have to be on hold. Join us and ask a question, make a comment or be funny. Send the questions to

Saturday, 6 a.m.

Are you concerned about Jameis Winston's accuracy problems? This is not a knee-jerk reaction to last week's fiasco but this issue has dogged him throughout his football career, including this year's training camp​. Have you seen him improve over the past year or could this be a flaw that prevents him from ever reaching elite status?

Barry McDowell

I think any analytical fan would be concerned. Don't you? Winston had problems with accuracy his last year at FSU, and he's had issues in games in each of his two years with the Bucs.

But that has happened a lot with young quarterbacks. If you remember, Peyton Manning had a terrible time with interceptions his first couple of  years. He got better with  time, and experience, and faster receivers, and better blocking. I'm not blaming all of Winston's problems on these things, but they contribute.

That said, if you break down last week's interceptions, only one was really a terrible throw. On the first one, Patrick Peterson simply beat Mike Evans to the ball. One was tipped, which a quarterback can't control. And one was an end of the game desperation heave.

Still, you can't say that about all of Winston's interceptions, can you? It's something he's going to have to work on. I don't know if Winston will

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ever be the surgeon that, say, Drew Brees is. But it would help if he has a good offense around him, too.

How capable is Charles Sims of taking over rushing duties for Doug Martin? And can Jacquizz Rodgers contribute?

Nick Houllis

I think you're going from an A-minus player to a C-plus. That's probably true a lot of times when a Pro Bowl starter goes down. I think Sims can have some good runs, and even some good games. But I think of him more as a third-down receiver out of the backfield than a player who is going to continually move the chains. I'm willing to be proven wrong.

Maybe I'm nuts, but I actually think Rodgers might be a better bet as a scrimmage running back. I liked him in Atlanta and, in a brief appearance, he did okay last week.

Either way, I think it's going to be hard for the Bucs to run the ball against the Rams front four. I think Mike Evans might go off in this game, and it's time Vincent Jackson made a huge play or two.

Do you still believe Kevin Cash's job is secure as manager of the Tampa Bay Rays?

Howard Powders

I do. I know that in most cities, a manager who finished last in his division should be a little concerned. But this isn't most cities. I don't think the Rays want to start paying two managers a year (a current and an ex).

Kevin is like a lot of his players. He had an up and down season. The decision the other night to pitch to Gary Sanchez was strange, in my eyes. But his two-year record is better than Joe Madden's first two. I think the Rays still hope that Cash will grow as a manager.

Then, there is this: Much of a manager's job in modern-day baseball is to control the clubhouse. I think he's done that.

Could someone in the front office think differently? Sure they could. But if I had to lay odds, I'd say it's 89 percent than Cash is back.

In the two years that the Rays won their division - 2008 and 2010 - they averaged over 22,000 per game.  This year the Cleveland Indians are going to win their division, and they are averaging just 19,422 per game.  How come there is no talk of the Indians leaving Cleveland, or have I missed it?

Scott Myers

A couple of things, Scott. First of all, Cleveland has just renovated Progressive Field, which used to draw fans all the time.

Secondly, it isn't the Rays who have talked about leaving Tampa Bay. Just St. Petersburg. Stu Sternberg has been consistent in saying he wants to build it here, perhaps because his lease has provisions against flirting with other cities.

The Rays, these days, are consistently last in the league in attendance, and the fans have never been plentiful. So national critics talk about moving the team to Montreal and other places.

There is this, too. The Rays have never been a great draw. Remember, after all the years of talking about how the area loved baseball, it didn't sell out its second-ever game.

The Indians drew more than three million fans a year from 1996-2001. In that time, they had 455 straight sellouts. So it isn't as if the market has never supported baseball. It just isn't supporting it now, or for the last several years.

You're talking about a couple of empty ballparks. Because Cleveland has a better stadium (voted best in the league in 2008), and it's playing better, it's easy to make the argument that Tampa Bay's fans are doing pretty well when compared with Cleveland. It should be easier to go see a winner than a last place team. But you can't argue that either have great attendance.

How do you think the FSU-USF game will play out?

Jim Willson

Jim, I've thought about this all week. USF has some legitimate talent in Marlon Mack, Quinton Flowers and Rodney Adams. They have a puncher's chance.

But, pretty much, this game is going to be the five-star recruits of FSU against the three-star recruits of USF. Hey, sometimes the three-star teams win. But USF will have to start fast and keep FSU off-balance, and they have to make sure that Dalvin Cook's struggles continue.

I'll say this. I think USF has a better shot than Appalachian State did of beating Michigan (2007) or Louisiana Monroe did of beating Alabama (2007) or Georgia Southern did of beating Florida (2013). And the little guys won all of those games.

I think FSU has more good athletes than USF. Certainly more pro prospects. And it's hard to see FSU losing two in a row. Still, I wouldn't tell Willie Taggart not to have his team show up.

What is your take on Vincent Jackson's start? Does he seemed less engaged to you?

Jim Willson

My take is that it is slow enough for concern. I wouldn't suggest that Jackson is less engaged. It's hard to look engaged when you've touched the ball six times in two games. But he certainly hasn't had the impact he once did. For goodness sakes, Adam Humphries has been a much better receiver than Jackson.

I wrote about it this week. Here are the possibilities: He's not completely healthy from last year's knee injury. He's too old. He and Winston lack chemistry. He's loafing.

I hate to suggest he's loafing. And I don't buy the chemistry stuff. There are only so many routes. If a receiver isn't open, what the heck does that have to do with chemistry.

That leaves us with injury and with age. And a lot of receivers are done by 33. But Jerry Rice played until he was 42.

The Bucs desperately need a receiver who can motor, someone who can bring the threat that Joey Galloway used to . Galloway was a one-trick pony, but yeah, it was a pretty good trick.

Rate the locker rooms of the Rays. Bucs and Lightning. Best attitudes, camaraderie, etc. Do you think that there are any cancers in any of them?

Jim Willson

Generally speaking, I think the locker rooms are pretty good. But I'm going to make an admission here. These days, players always have someplace to hide when the media is allowed in the locker room. In the Rays clubhouse, you may see a spirited card game every now and then, but there are places to eat and to hang out for players that isn't in front of the cameras.

The Bucs have the least amount of time with the media inside, and players have even designated one day of the week in which they talk. It isn't like the old days when you could sidle up to a player and talk about life. There is too much media and too little time.

I'd say the Lightning has the best clubhouse. Know why? Because they're winning most of the time. There is nothing in the world that is better for a team than winning.  Oh, there are still situations with contracts and playing time, but even when Jonathan Drouin did his walkaway last year, the other players supported him.

There have been a few players over the years that I thought were bad for the locker rooms. Pat Burrell. Keyshawn Johnson. Austin Seferian-Jenkins wasn't so much a cancer as a guy who just didn't get it.

But again, it's a workplace. When Josh Freeman was playing well (and he did for a little while), his teammates loved him. When he started goofing off, he lost them, because a player who isn't playing well is affecting everyone's pay.

Looking at what the Patriots have done this year and taking into account his career record it has to be asked, is there anyone in the same class as Bill Belichick as an NFL coach?

Larry Beller

If there is, he better do some extra homework to catch up.

Belichick is one of those rare coaches who could get hit by a bus tomorrow and he's in the Hall of Fame. You wonder just how many stars he would have to lose for someone else in the league to have a chance.

I covered Don Shula. I covered Bobby Bowden. I covered Bear Bryant. I'd rank Belichick up there with any of them. His assistant coaches go elsewhere and do nothing. His backup quarterbacks go elsewhere and do nothing. His general manager went to Kansas City and did nothing.

The guy really is amazing. Not the most fun guy I've been around, but amazing.


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