Arians' message to Jameis: Don't try to be Superman

Print
  • By Grant Gordon NFL.com
More Columns >

Seven Buccaneers caught passes from Jameis Winston on Sunday as he threw for 400 yards. Unfortunately, four Panthers also caught passes from Winston as he tossed a career-high five interceptions.

Winston likewise fumbled twice, one of them recovered by a teammate, the other by a Panther as the former No. 1 overall pick produced six turnovers and also took seven sacks in a 37-26 loss.

While Winston and the Bucs are likely in a hurry to get away from London following the game, the sentiment is a little late to the party, according to head coach Bruce Arians. When asked what he told Winston following the quarterback's second-quarter fumble, which was his second in as many plays but the only one lost, Arians shared the simple message he relayed to his quarterback.

"Throw the damn ball away," said Arians, donning a ball cap rather than his trademark Kangol hat, a grumpy scowl accompanying his words. "You avoided one, you might've avoided two. You ain't throwing it anywhere -- to a receiver. Throw it away."

Back in the States, Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield threw three interceptions in a loss to the Seahawks on Sunday to bring his season total to a league-high 11 and surpass Winston's 10. Still, those 10 picks are the most through six games for Winston, who had picks on his first and final throws of the day, in a career often criticized for his propensity of turning the ball over.

While the interceptions were abundant, Arians was plenty worried about Winston holding on too long, taking sacks and putting the ball on the ground.

"I see the preparation. I see what he's trying to do," Arians said. "The fumbles, we have to get rid of those. We have to start throwing balls away and we don't need to take those sacks. You don't take those hits, either. The interceptions, I have to go back and look at the film."

Attempting with all his might to extend plays, Winston's ill-fated heroics saw the Panthers defense offer up kryptonite seemingly more often that not.

"He has a habit of trying to be Superman and that's been a problem in the past," Arians said. "The fumbles haven't occurred this year 'til today. But again, trying to make something out of nothing. It's just a matter of knowing when to quit on a play."

Tampa Bay sits at 2-4, in the midst of a nomadic swing in which it's been away from Raymond James Stadium since Week 3 and will not return until Week 10. Questions and concerns abound. A bye week awaits and Arians has stressed he's sticking with Winston in the past, but just as the coach cautioned knowing when to quit on a play, the fervor will build as to when the Bucs must finally quit on the prospects of Winston being their franchise QB.

Print