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Bucs hope virtual reality can help Jameis Winston grow as quarterback

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It would probably be better if the Tampa Bay Bucs had more than a virtual offensive line, but you have to start somewhere.

The Bucs announced a deal with EON Sports VR to use its Sidekiq software, saying it would use the virtual reality program to assist in the development of quarterback Jameis Winston “as a supplement to on-field work.”

It’s unclear just how much help can come from imaginary pass rushes and coverages, but at this point, why not try everything? The Bucs drafted two offensive linemen for Winston, and they have a new offensive coordinator in Dirk Koetter and a new quarterback coach in Mike Bajakian.

“We are excited to be coming in on the front end of this new wave of technology that is designed to supplement the on-field and classroom work that our quarterbacks are already doing,” Buccaneers General Manager Jason Licht said. “Obviously, there is no real substitute for being on the field when it comes to getting our players ready for game action. However, this virtual reality technology allows us to enhance the learning experience for our quarterbacks without requiring them to put in additional time on the practice fields.”

Would such a program have helped Vinny Testaverde? Trent Dilfer? Josh Freeman? From the looks of it, those guys spent too much time playing video games as it was.

But why not try? If Winston doesn’t succeed, no one is going to blame virtual reality.

Just harsh reality.

Gary Shelton is one of the most recognized and honored sportswriters in the history of the state. He has won the APSE's national columnist of the year twice and finished in the top 10 eight times. He was named the Florida Sportswriter of the Year six times. Gary joined SaintPetersBlog in the spring, helping to bring a sports presence to the website. Over his time in sports writing, Gary has covered 29 Super Bowls, 10 Olympics, Final Fours, Masters, Wimbledons and college national championships. He was there when the Bucs won a Super Bowl, when the Lightning won a Stanley Cup and when the Rays went to a World Series. He has seen Florida, FSU and Miami all win national championships, and he covered Bear Bryant, Bobby Bowden and Don Shula along the way. He and his wife Janet have four children: Eric, Kevin, K.C. and Tori. To contact, visit

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