Jameis Winston’s rookie year was not much to write home about. Sure, he threw for over 4,000 yards and had 22 touchdown passes, with a five TD performance against the Philadelphia Eagles. On the flip side, he coughed up 15 interceptions — including one on the very first pass of his pro career — and ended up with a won-loss record of 6-10. His early performance in the recent scrimmage against Philadelphia may have also caused concern among the Bucs faithful. Tampa Bay went three and out in its first drive. On its next drive, Fletcher Cox grabbed the ball from Winston and almost took it into the end zone for a score.
The third drive of the exhibition went much better for Winston and company. He took the Buccaneers 79 yards down field with a no-huddle offense, and connected with Russell Shepard for a 26-yard TD.
Tampa Bay quarterbacks coach Mike Bajakian said he is starting to see Winston’s focus and off-season conditioning pay off. The former Florida State star dropped 20 pounds since January and has put in more time to improving his conditioning and footwork. With a full NFL season under his belt, Bajakian said Winston is much more comfortable running the Bucs offense and is developing better chemistry with his receivers. Whereas last year it was all about learning the playbook, this year Winston is putting more effort into maintaining the tempo of the offense and reading the other team’s defense. One of the big helps with this has been Tampa Bay defensive coordinator Mike Smith, who has been throwing numerous schemes at Winston to see how he deals with them.
Tampa Bay is pinning its hopes on Winston to turn around the franchise’s fortunes. Your text to link… Since winning Super Bowl XXXVII in the 2002 season, the Bucs have been to the post-season only twice, in 2005 and 2007, and lost both times in the wildcard playoffs. Their last winning season came in 2010, when they went 10-6.