As excited as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are to have former Florida State Seminole Jameis Winston as their starting quarterback, that doesn’t mean there isn’t room for improvement. Speaking to NFL Network’s Charley Casserly, as was reported by Conor Orr of NFL.com, Bucs GM Jason Licht wants Winston to do just one thing before and during the season.
“One thing we love about Jameis is he trusts his arm, but at the same time we want to minimize mistakes,” Licht said on NFL Preseason HQ.
It’s hard to argue with Licht, as Winston’s touchdown-to-interception ratio his final season in Tallahassee was 25:18. In two years with the team, he threw 65 touchdowns to just 28 interceptions.
But of course, the NFL is a lot different than the college game, where every pass rusher will be capable of taking down a quarterback rather than most college men at that position, who may or may not still be learning the ropes. Moreover, in what Nick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times described as a “team blitz,” three of Winston’s first five passes were picked off. He’s a rookie and is thus going to have an adjustment period, but Licht and his staff obviously don’t want it to become a long term problem, especially since former Oregon quarterback and the man who was picked right after Winston, Marcus Mariota has yet to throw a single interception while in camp with the Tennessee Titans. On top of that, in three seasons with the Ducks, Mariota threw 105 touchdowns to just 14 picks.
Hopefully, Winston can right the ship before the start of the regular season, since Tampa Bay used its first overall pick to take him in hopes of improving upon a 2-14 season in 2014.
The Buccaneers open the season at home on September 13 against, oddly enough, Mariota and the Titans.
*Featured Photo (above) credit to USA TODAY Sports