Jameis Winston struggles against feisty Browns D

We've seen a smattering of positive signs from Buccaneers rookie quarterback Jameis Winston this preseason, but few of those came during Saturday night's 31-7 preseason loss to the Cleveland Browns.

The first-round passer generated just 21 yards through the air over his first four drives and unfurled a killer interception on Tampa's third series. Winston was lucky that more of his nine incompletions weren't snatched away by the Browns' defense.

Cleveland's aggressive front controlled Tampa's offensive line, with defensive end Desmond Bryant chalking up two sacks in the first quarter alone while owning Bucs rookie guard Ali Marpet. Bryant and his teammates allowed just 3.5 yards per play during Winston's time on the field, holding the rookie to 6-of-15 passing for 90 yards. The former Heisman winner absorbed four sacks and a whopping seven hits during a rough outing.

Winston wasn't helped by Tampa's ground game, which showed zero signs of life before Doug Martin rumbled in for a 19-yard touchdown gallop in the second quarter to chip away at Cleveland's early 17-0 lead.

Winston showed more athleticism and made a rash of solid throws before halftime, hitting Vincent Jackson for 26 yards and Louis Murphy for 22 as the Browns began stripping starters out of the lineup.

It's no surprise to see Winston struggle in August, but the biggest concern for Tampa was Cleveland's ability to successfully apply pressure in the pocket, something Winston is likely to deal with all season behind suspect protection.

We've seen moments of promise from the No. 1 overall pick, but Winston will go through the same ups and downs that any rookie not named Andrew Luck encounters in their first NFL season.

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