Around the NFL  

 

Winston says he needs to work on turnover problem

Print

Jameis Winston is taking his turnovers to heart.

"I'm learning about myself," he said Wednesday, via ESPN.com. "I'm adjusting to this game. I'm trying to get better at something every week. ... Every week, I'm trying to work on something and improve on something. For the rest of the season and from now on, I have to work on not turning the ball over."

Every game, all season

Through his first four games, Winston has a league-high seven interceptions to six touchdowns. The Buccaneers are 1-3 and, at the moment, Winston is not looking like a clearly superior choice to No. 2 pick Marcus Mariota (eight touchdowns, two picks). That is a very simplistic, but nonsensical way of looking at the situation.

Through his first four games, Winston has not exactly had the support he needs in the running game. He's been the recipient of some bad luck. He's also made some bad throws.

And while this sounds like an excuse, it's important to keep in mind that rookie quarterbacks rarely have the infrastructure in place to be successful right away. That's why they are highly-drafted rookie quarterbacks, and they can't all be Ben Roethlisberger, who benefitted greatly from a world-beating defense and strong running game.

In taking a look at his four picks on Sunday, it's clear Winston still has some work to do. On his fourth pick, he was trying to make a play and severely underestimating the athleticism of Panthers linebacker Thomas Davis. But on the other picks, we can take a step back and at least consider the fact that Winston shouldn't be apologizing just yet.

His first interception came against a very good pass rush and secondary after rushing attempts on first and second down, which gained zero and two yards, respectively. This puts a rookie quarterback in a third-and-long situation where he's going to have to get the ball off quickly and likely into some kind of trap coverage.

His second interception was on a tipped pass at the line on a well-timed jump by a defensive lineman -- this happens.

This third pick came after another zero-yard rush on first down and a pass on second down that was punched out of Brandon Myers' hands. Again, third-and-long, rookie QB and, this time, a cornerback blitz on top of it.

Winston does not go without fault here. The pass to Myers could have landed in a better spot, but when handicapping the race for Rookie of the Year, there needs to be some nuance. Winston is learning about himself and adjusting, which is great. But there are some things that are simply out of his control.

Print

Fan Discussion