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Buccaneers want Jameis Winston to throw less

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Jameis Winston has been boom or bust in 2016. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers would like to mitigate those swings by utilizing the running game.

"In the last two games, we've thrown too much," coach Dirk Koetter said Wednesday, via the Tampa Bay Times. "We've got to quit getting behind by two scores, and we need to run the ball better."

It sounds great for Koetter to preach balance, but it will be tough in practice. With Doug Martin (hamstring) out another week or two, Tampa doesn't have the backfield to pound the ball with productivity.

Charles Sims improved his toughness, but he isn't a consistent between-the-tackles runner. In his first career start on Sunday, Sims had 13 carries for 55 yards -- just his sixth career game with double-digit carries. Sims is one of the best pass-catching backs; not a pile mover like Martin. Jacquizz Rodgers is not the answer either.

With Martin out and the Bucs getting behind early, Winston has thrown more than 50 times each of the past two weeks. In a perfect display of his up-and-down nature, the second-year quarterback leads the NFL in turnovers (8), while being tied for the lead in touchdown passes (8; Drew Brees).

"As far as Jameis handling volume, heck, I'm sure he'd throw every time, if he could," Koetter said. "But for our team to be successful, we can't be throwing in the 50s and we can't be running in the 20s."

Balance is key the next two weeks versus the Denver Broncos and Carolina Panthers, respectively. Both defenses can create and destroy one-dimensional offenses.

Sunday against a stingy Broncos secondary, Tampa needs success on the ground. Will Koetter and Winston persist in the plan for balance if Sims is repeatedly stuffed for no gain?

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