Good news for Bucs: Winston is ‘very coachable’

by Gary Shelton on August 19, 2017 · 0 comments

in general

Koetter's team played well against Jacksonville../CARMEN MANDATO

Koetter's team played well against Jacksonville../CARMEN MANDATO

Saturday, 3 a.m.

A day later, and Jameis Winston still wasn't perfect. Just very good.

Winston played well in a 12-8 victory over Jacksonville almost all of the time. But a wild interception thrown while he was being tackled is a play that will drive his coaches crazy.

Still, coach Dirk Koetter tried his best Friday to put it in perspective.

"I think Jameis threw 29 passes,” Koetter said. “He made 27 pretty good decisions, one not-so-good and one terrible decision. You’re always chasing

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Winston made only one terrible decision./CARMEN MANDATO

Winston made only one terrible decision./CARMEN MANDATO

perfection at that position and he had a good night. He had a couple of balls dropped that would’ve gotten his numbers higher.

"He moved the team. As a team – it’s not all just Jameis – we still need to finish better in the red zone. That’s been a pretty consistent issue here that we need to get solved. I think Jameis -- they were taking deep drops, they were playing zone defense – I think he had five check-downs in the first half, so that’s a good sign. We’ve been preaching patience to him and he started off that way.”

Koetter said that Winston is doing a good job taking what the defense gives him.

"Yeah, he did last night,” Koetter said. “He had one ball that we thought he forced in the second quarter — that was the other bad decision that he made – it was over on our side. Yeah, the one he tried to throw over to Godwin on our sideline.”

In all, Winston has been more accurate this camp.

"The percentages would say that,” Koetter said. “The numbers we keep in practice are up about that same percent — about 10 percent higher than he was in training camp last year. There’s a big enough body of throws in there that if you were a stat guy, you could probably say that.”

Given the bad pass he threw, Koetter said that Winston is indeed coachable.

"Jameis is extremely coachable,” Koetter said. “Jameis wants to be great so he knows he is going to hear about it. He owns it. That’s one of our things that is on our expectation list.

"In the heat of the moment when those plays are going on, Jameis feels like he can save the day, that he can turn it into a big play — and he does that sometimes. Then there are times like last night when he makes it worse. That’s just a hard lesson to learn because he has done it successfully before. But, he never takes it personally. Jameis is as coachable a guy as I’ve ever been around.”

After viewing the tape:

Koetter praised running back Peyton Barber: “That was one thing that's great about preseason. There's some things you don't like about preseason, but one of [the good ones] is, those two running backs that you just mentioned, they needed to get some drives like that where you can just give them the ball a few times. And I thought Peyton did an outstanding job and that's how he's looked at practice, his quickness and his power. As I've said many times, he's one of the most improved guys on our team from where he started a year ago to where he is now.”

Koetter praised the depth of the offensive line: "I think we have pretty good depth, first through third-team, at the inside spots," he said. "We obviously don't have quite the depth at tackle that we do at guard and center. We played overall more physical and we opened more holes than we did against Cincinnati. Our type of offense always does better when we can run the ball and then play-action off that and we were able to do that last night. When we can get Doug (Martin) a chance to get started, I think Doug showed that the things that we've been seeing in practice, his quickness, is there and that always starts with the offensive line.”

Koetter said it was “premature” to talk about Martin after his three-game suspension: “We're talking about a starting job after three weeks of the season. That's impossible to say for any player because we don't have a crystal ball as to what's going to happen. I've always thought Doug was a starting running back in the NFL, but Doug has a three-game suspension coming up, so we're going to be playing the first three games without him and we'll see what happens after that.”

Koetter thought Ali Marpet had a nice debut at center: "At the point of attack he did a really nice job and we're very happy with him. He saw the defense, he made the calls. He did what we asked him to do. He had a couple minor mistakes that were just inexperience things at that position on some things that we tried to do on third down, but easily fixable. We feel good about that."

On his plans for Saturday night's third preseason game against Cleveland: “Typically, the third preseason game is when your starters are going to play the most, so you’re still building your stamina — you’re still building your conditioning. If you’re a starting player – an offensive lineman for example – they’re going to play 64 plays on September 10. I think our startling line played 44 plays last night and because we did control the ball in the first half, you could see that those guys – it was hot, it was humid – and those guys got winded. Well, it’s going to be hot and humid whether we played here September 10, or in Miami, it’s going to be hot.”

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