What I learned about the Buccaneers from my visit to Training Camp.
Jameis Winston is a rookie and it will time for him to become an elite QB.
You cannot expect a rookie QB to play like he has been in the league for 5 years. With Jameis Winston being the topic of almost every single sports report, NFL defenses will try especially hard to make his life on the field extremely difficult. Rookie second-rounder Donovan Smith will have his work cut out for him on an offensive line that has its fair share of troubles. He’ll be sharing that line with another rookie, Ali Marpet.
Winston has looked less than comfortable during practice, but in his defense, they are throwing the kitchen sink at him to prepare him for the season. He has had some awkward practices thus far: throwing 3 INT in his first 7 passes. I know people are tired of hearing about this incident; only in a perfect universe could a rookie QB come into practice and overcome a talented Tampa Bay Buccaneer defense on the first try.
What do I think about the Tampa Bay Buccaneers team now?
The DE’s are getting better.
George Johnson and Jacquies Smith are definitely stepping up to the plate, looking impressive on the first-team defense at practice. Jaquies Smith who came into the league in 2012 as a undrafted free agent has already played for three different NFL teams and in the CFL. Smith will retain the starting DE position, there is hardly any room for doubt on that. Gerald McCoy, who is arguably the best DT in football, looks amazing as per usual. McCoy cannot play on that line by himself, so we’ll see how that goes.
Jameis Winston has to calm down and not get antsy behind that O-line.
With the best receiving duo in the NFC it would be difficult to argue the level of talent Jameis has in Mike Evans and Vincent Jackson. Tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins could end up being a huge target for Winston and make for some big gains down the field.
How will the Buccaneers achieve success this year?
It could be Jameis Winston. But if the offensive line is not decent, Jameis will not have a prayer against any of the NFL’s defensive schemes. Last year the offensive line gave up 48 sacks, shared by QBs Mike Glennon and Josh McCown. One could even make the argument that one of the major reasons for the Tampa’s 2-14 record would be the offensive line alone. To correct this issue the Buccaneers snagged Ali Marpet, 61st over all, and he has looked very good in practice. Another addition is Donovan Smith, selected 34th overall, and has stepped up to the mark, impressing the coaches and will be a starter for the season. In the addition of these two Power-House rookies are a support group of veteran lineman. Demar Dotson, who had a fairly decent 2014 season, can play opposite sides of the offensive line if it is necessary. Evan Dietrich-Smith and Logan Mankins are two well known offensive lineman that more than excel in their positions.
What I walked away with from training camp other than a belly full of hot dogs and a gaggle of autographs is…
Rookie Quarterback…Doug Martin in amazing shape…rookies on the offensive line…young defense… Although the team is very talented, we are still missing a few minor, key ingredients, but overall the team is much improved and I see more than 4 wins this season.