Jameis Winston is heading into his ever important third year in the NFL and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers need him to step up in order to accomplish the goals set before them.
Frankly, Tampa will go as Winston goes. He’s an extremely talented and athletic quarterback and he’s shown flashes of greatness in the past, but he also has to get better with the football. He needs to cut down his interceptions and turnovers, but he also needs to take a step up in order to lead the Buccaneers to the playoffs in 2017.
The pressure is on for Winston and that pressure that won’t get any lighter now that we know what his head coach, Dirk Koetter, thinks of him.
In a one-on-one meeting captured by HBO’s Hardknocks, Koetter and Winston had an honest conversation about where Winston is at and just how important he is to the team.
“You are a guy that’s able to win a game, but we don’t need you to lose a game for us. You’re the only guy that can really lose a game for us because no one else touches the ball enough — so there’s a fine line there,” Koetter said.
“You’re a great competitor but we’ gotta get some patience in there. Now, we need you to be a great quarterback.”
And for what it’s worth, Tampa Bay’s head coach does see greatness in Winston. In fact, he can see so much greatness in Winston that he brought up two of the best quarterbacks in the game: Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers. Specifically, Koetter thinks Winston’s potential for play lies a bit more in what Rodgers, a former Super Bowl MVP, and two-time league MVP, does for the Packers.
“You play a different style of quarterback than Tom Brady. You play a closer style to Aaron Rodgers. Both great quarterbacks. Both guys will be in the Hall of Fame,” Koetter said. “Now it’s time, even though they’ve got years on you, you’ve got to play like that. Because, shoot, that’s just the way this league is. They don’t care of your 23 or 39. To get the respect you want and to go where our team wants more than anything.”
No pressure, right?
In 12 seasons in the league, all with the Green Bay Packers, Rodgers has thrown for 36,827 yards and 297 touchdowns compared to 72 interceptions. He’s a six-time Pro Bowler, a two-time All-Pro, a Super Bowl champ and a two-time NFL MVP.
In his first two seasons in the NFL, Winston has thrown for 8,132 yards and 50 touchdowns, but he’s also thrown 33 interceptions. He did make the Pro Bowl in his rookie season.