Jameis Winston began the second half of Sunday’s game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Indianapolis Colts on the sideline, but he apparently was not benched for struggling to protect the football once again.
The Bucs announced early in the second half that Winston was questionable to return with an injury to his throwing hand. Veteran backup Ryan Griffin took his place.
There was speculation that Winston was benched by head coach Bruce Arians, which would not have been shocking. Winston threw two interceptions in the first half, one of which the Colts returned for a touchdown. That brought his total to a whopping 22 interceptions on the season.
Tampa Bay already lost wide receiver Mike Evans earlier in the game when he came up lame on a long touchdown catch. Depending upon how serious both injuries are, the Bucs could be shorthanded going forward.
Jameis Winston has thrown so many interceptions during his NFL career that it is fair to wonder if he is seeing the field correctly, and we don’t mean that in the sense of reading a defense. Winston has had some issues with his vision in the past, which is why it was noteworthy that he was seen squinting during Sunday’s game against the Seattle Seahawks.
Winston watched as Seahawks kicker Jason Meyers tried to give Seattle a win with a 40-yard field goal attempt at the end of regulation, and the quarterback was shown squinting.
When you see you still have a chance pic.twitter.com/hbhuGboRPI
— Bryan Fischer (@BryanDFischer) November 4, 2019
Of course, squinting can just be a habit and doesn’t always mean a person is having trouble seeing. However, we know from Winston’s days at Florida State that he needs contact lenses but never used to like wearing them when he played. That led to times when it looked like he was having trouble seeing plays that were being relayed from the sideline. Bucs fans have noticed him giving the same look during games this season.
Winston already has 12 picks in eight games this year, and he’s constantly making poor decisions and throwing into double coverage. Head coach Bruce Arians recently defended him over the turnovers, and it would be hard to believe he wouldn’t have corrected his vision by now if it was truly an issue. But if Winston’s vision is less than 20-20 during games, he might want to address that.
If the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are able to go into Carolina and come away with a win over the Panthers on Thursday night, they would be accomplishing a very rare feat. To be frank, Jameis Winston probably does not even remember what it feels like to win a game on the road.
Winston enters Thursday’s game having lost 12 straight road starts. His last win on the road came in San Diego, which no longer has an NFL team.
Quick thread here: As Bucs play at Carolina tonight, Jameis Winston is hoping to end a long personal road losing streak. He's lost 12 straight road starts. Bucs are 0-14 in last 14 road games he's played in. It's been so long his last road win was literally in San Diego, 12/4/16.
— Greg Auman (@gregauman) September 12, 2019
While the stat is alarming, it is somewhat deceiving. You could make the case that Winston has played poorly over the past few seasons and needs to do a better job of protecting the football, but his performance on the road hasn’t been much different from at home. Tampa’s defense, however, is another story.
Bucs defense? Huge difference between home and road since start of 2016:
Home: 19.6 points per game allowed
Away: 32.1 points per game allowed
Difference is nearly two touchdowns a game
— Greg Auman (@gregauman) September 12, 2019
Winton has 17 multi-interception games since 2015, which is the most in the NFL during that span. Bucs head coach Bruce Arians said Thursday that his team needs to stop turning the ball over, and another ugly Winston stat highlights just how important that is.
#Bucs HC Bruce Arians states the obvious when he says team must stop turning ball over. Jameis Winston’s 17 multi INT games since 2015 are the most in the NFL…The Bucs are 3-14 when Winston throws more than one interception.
— Ed Werder (@WerderEdESPN) September 12, 2019
Arians has experience working with some of the best quarterbacks in NFL history, and he would not have taken the Bucs job if he didn’t think he could help Winston straighten out his NFL career. The veteran coach was highly critical of some other areas of his team during the preseason, and he can’t like what he saw in Week 1. If Winston could somehow avoid interceptions, it would go a long way toward getting Tampa’s offense turned around.
Kwon Alexander got a chance to face his former team on Sunday when his San Francisco 49ers took on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but the veteran did not make it through the first quarter because of an ill-advised play.
Jameis Winston ran for a first down early in the game and went into a slide, but Alexander hit him anyway. Not only did the hit appear late, but Alexander clearly led with his helmet and made helmet-to-helmet contact with Winston. He was penalized 15 yards and ejected.
Kwon Alexander ejected. pic.twitter.com/4zAXos77fj
— Melissa Jacobs (@thefootballgirl) September 8, 2019
The NFL has made an effort to crack down on plays like that, and players are now subject to an immediate ejection for a first offense the same way they are at the collegiate level. Alexander may have been playing with a little added motivation as a former Buc, but that play is going to result in an ejection every time.
Week 1 featured multiple ejections across the NFL, with Jacksonville Jaguars linebacker Myles Jack also getting tossed from an earlier game for throwing a swing at an opponent. Jack basically had to be dragged off the field after he was forced to leave.
Alexander, a fourth-round pick in 2014, spent the first four years of his career in Tampa before signing a four-year, $54 million deal with the 49ers this past offseason.
Training camps across the NFL are well underway and the battles are beginning to play out. There are many reasons to pay attention to what happens on the practice field. There can be significant injuries, players who are surprising, others who don’t look sharp, and those who are putting their stamp on a job. There are also comeback stories and players to watch for a whole host of reasons.
Here are ten players whose training camp performance bears watching closely.
Andrew Luck, QB, Colts
After missing all of the 2017 season with a shoulder injury, Andrew Luck returned in 2018 and put on a show. He bounced back with 39 touchdown passes and a career-best 430 completions and 67.3 completion percentage while leading the Colts to a 10-6 record and playoff appearance. Everything looked good for 2019, but now Luck is dealing with a calf injury that has kept him out of minicamp and the start of training camp. The Colts better hope Luck is healthy in time for Week 1. If not, it would be Jacoby Brissett time.
Jameis Winston has made a number of questionable decisions off the field dating back to his days as a star quarterback at Florida State. While the latest is not going to cause an uproar, it probably had Tampa Bay Buccaneers officials shaking their heads.
Winston took part in Bucs legend Derrick Brooks’ charity golf tournament this week, and he decided to volunteer for a stunt that involved allowing someone to drive a golf ball off the top of his head. Granted, the guy swinging the club was from a group called MachoMan Trick Shots, but it was probably enough to make Bruce Arians hold his breath.
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A little fun with @jaboowins3 at the #derrickbrooks55 golf event! Thank you Derrick for having me, and thank you Jameis for having the confidence in me to pull this off!! Also shout out to my boy @warrensapp showin’ off that newfound golf swing dropping bombs off the tee!!!💪🏻 • • • #tampabaybucs #nfl #helmethair #sportscentertop10 #golfgods #golfballed #golfstarz #machomanentertainment #scratchtv #golfobsession #barstoolsports #pxg #callawaygolf #royaltysports #pgatour #foxsports #nbcsports #skysports #trickshots #longdrive #golfkings #floridastateseminoles #ncaa #noles #bucs #football #celebrity #donttrythisathome
A post shared by Trevor Consavage (@machomantrickshots) on
The guy has probably practiced that shot thousands of times, but accidents happen. Again, letting someone tee up a golf ball on your head is nothing compared to some of the headaches Winston has created for the Bucs. That said, if he had asked them how they felt about him letting a guy use him as a tee box, we can probably guess what they would have said.
H/T Joe Bucs Fan
Bruce Arians is entering his first season as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ head coach, and getting the most out of Jameis Winston will be his greatest task. He already recognizes that.
Arians was interviewed by ESPN’s Trey Wingo during the network’s coverage of the draft on Saturday and was asked what he wants and needs from Winston.
“Just more consistency,” Arians said. “Quit throwing it to the other team, and make better decisions. Athletic ability is there, the arm is there. Hopefully with the defensive (draft) picks, we won’t be playing from 20 behind.”
Winston, the No. 1 overall pick in 2015, has thrown 58 interceptions in 56 games — way too high of a mark for an NFL QB. This is a continuation of what he showed in college when he threw for 25 touchdowns and 18 interceptions in 2014 at Florida State before leaving for the draft.
If anyone can get the most out of Winston, it’s Arians. He got some great seasons out of Carson Palmer in Arizona and even brought the most out of Drew Stanton.