On Saturday night, Jameis Winston had his first game as professional quarterback and it was not a pretty sight. The rookie quarterback really struggled throughout the entire game and simply did not have a promising debut. His statline was 9 for 19 for 131 yards and one interception. He also took two sacks and had one rushing touchdown.
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After such promising news out of camp, this performance was a massive disappointment for Jameis Winston. Despite being surrounded by two very talented wide receivers and a young and somewhat promising tight end, Winston seemed unable to put anything together. Accuracy seemed to be a big issue for him, but that isn’t anything new for the first overall pick. In last years college season he totaled 18 interception which is a very large amount, especially for No.1 pick.
His pocket presence was terrible aswell as he seemed unable to handle any pressure coming his way and didn’t step into throws leading to a lot of poor throws that often lacked zip. Some of his throws reminded more of Tim Tebow than a starting NFL quarterback as he overthrew some of his targets by a foot or more. His highlight was his running touchdown, where he improvised nicely and made a nice play on the ground, which is something he is not used to doing. His interception on the other hand was simply terrible as he stared down Mike Evans and without even looking at the safety let go of the ball, which ended up sailing right into Antone Exum‘s hands.
Aug 15, 2015; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston (3) throws during the first quarter in a preseason NFL football game against the Minnesota Vikings at TCF Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports
I really don’t think the “flashes” of potential that many seem to be talking about were there. He made a few good throws, but most quarterbacks are able to make some good throws once in a while. All in all this performance was absolutely terrible, especially if you watched Teddy Bridgewater‘s brilliant play on the side. In comparison to Mariota’s debut, I believe Winston’s was a lot worse.
Despite him playing a terrible game, we must take into consideration that it was only one game and not only that, but his first game. He has a pro-ready arm and that was one thing he was able to show off last night, but it will be up to the coaching staff to really work on his accuracy and also pocket presence. A better offensive line would also be a big help for him. Winston isn’t a guy to let one bad outing keep him down, but it did really show that there is a lot of work to do and all these great things that are being heard from training camp must be seen in relativity.
It is way to early to even think about calling Winston a bust, but his play must really improve otherwise the “bust” label will be coming soon. There is a lot of pressure on him as the No.1 pick and a lot of comparisons will be made between him and Marcus Mariota, but Winston has been in high pressure situations often enough.
It was evident that there is still a lot to be done in Tampa Bay and one shouldn’t forget that the Preseason is the Preseason and it doesn’t count. I eagerly await the first game of Bucs season in which Winston and Mariota will face off and one of two top picks will get their first win in the NFL.
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