The more Jameis Winston of the Tampa Bay Bucs has thrown the football this season, the more doubts have resurfaced.
In four games this season, Winston has thrown eight interceptions. A year ago, he threw seven in his first four games.
“Oh yeah, it needs to be discussed,” Bucs coach Dirk Koetter said. “I have not talked to Jameis today, I’m sure I will here at some point, but it definitely needs to be discussed. And Jameis has always been fantastic about that in his time here, as far as after he sees the tape and Jameis is always hardest on himself, his own worst critic, and I’m sure he already knows that.
“Some of that depends on who your next opponent is and what kind of defense they play. Do we need to commit more guys to protection so he has a cleaner pocket? And at times yesterday we did have a clean pocket. Do we need to get more guys out into the route, so he does have check-downs available? And at times that is there. At that position, taking care of the football is No. 1 priority and, like I said, I thought we were past this and I was confident we were past this, but we’re struggling with it right now and we’ve got to fix it.”
Some of the reason for Winston’s turnovers has been over-reliance on him. With running back Doug Martin out, Charles Sims has struggled. Sunday, he carried it 15 times for only 28 yards.
“Enough been made of it and making excuses, there’s a fine line there,” Koetter said. “It is a true statement that we’re not running the ball efficiently enough. Our numbers, our balance was better in the first half yesterday, I think it was 21-20. But the efficiency wasn’t there, we still had too many one-yard runs. That’s not always on the running back, there’s different reasons for that. But when we’re not being productive in the run game, we’re having to rely too much on our pass game, I think there is something to that.”
Koetter said part of the problem is Winston’s competitive nature.
“I think the real trick is, Jameis is such a competitive guy and Jameis always tries to — it’s a positive trait that he has — he’s always trying to make a play when sometimes there’s no play to be made,” Koetter said. “Sometimes that’s throwing the ball when he doesn’t need to, sometimes that’s trying to keep a scramble alive too long and taking an unnecessary hit.”
The Bucs travel to Carolina this weekend for a Monday night game against the Panthers.