Bruce Arians not considering benching Jameis Winston

Print
  • By Adam Maya NFL.com
More Columns >

There isn't a quarterback controversy in Tampa. Jameis Winston will remain the Buccaneers' starter, for touchdown or turnover.

No quarterback has committed more of the latter (87) or thrown more interceptions (68) since Winston entered the league in 2015. After a five-pick fiasco Sunday, Buccaneers coach Bruce Arians said the performance didn't alter his perception of his QB. He wasn't being facetious, either.

"No. I look at the reasons why. What happened?" Arians said, per ESPN. "If it happens again, yeah, it'll concern the hell out of me."

You have to wonder what exactly Arians means by "it." Sure, no team had ever picked off Winston five times before, but his 10 interceptions are second in the NFL. Sunday marked the eighth time in his four-plus years that he threw at least three picks, something he did in the season opener as well. Arians attributed part of the blame to an offensive line that surrendered seven sacks to the Panthers on Sunday.

"I think when you get hit -- I don't care if you're Tom Brady -- when you get hit early in games, it's different," Arians said. "And we got him hit early in the game, excluding the first play. We got him hit too much early in the game."

Arians then reminded that it's still early in the game for him and Winston. The noted quarterback whisperer is only six games into his return from retirement. The 2-4 Bucs will have some spare time to identify their issues during this week's bye. Before the loss in London, Winston had thrown just two interceptions over the previous four games.

"I think just him playing better, the guys around him playing better, coaching better -- the whole thing," Arians said. "I think as we continue to grow together, I think it will get better and these games will be one in a million and not one every five."

It's also important to note Bucs backup Ryan Griffin has yet to appear in a game despite being in the league since 2013 and spending the past five seasons in Tampa. Health permitting, it doesn't appear that will change anytime soon.

Print