Jameis Winston and the Bucs’ fans insecurity complex

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Opinion Editorial 

When it comes to franchise quarterback Jameis Winston, clearly no one is on the fence. The Bucs are a few key players away from contending or people feel there’s no growth in his mechanics. There’s no debating the former product of FSU is a feast or famine-type of player. Winston’s setting record numbers at his young age. As his passing yards and scoring increase, so does his turnovers. So why are Bucs fans so divided on him?

 

Why Bucs Fans Are Loyal Beyond a Fault

Two words: Tony Dungy. Many Buc fans see greatness and don’t want to let go until elements surrounding him improve. To this day, most still solely credit Dungy for the Bucs’ Super Bowl XXXVII title than Jon Gruden, the head coach who actually won. Dungy eventually won one with the Indianapolis Colts…four years later.

The numbers Winston gets and never seen the likes of his numbers in the past. Afraid to lose the QB to another franchise, fans are all too familiar from the castoffs who become successful elsewhere. Trent Dilfer, Steve Young, and Doug Williams became Super Bowl champions once they left the Bucs. While no one will ever make an argument of Dilfer’s “abilities,” it is premature to forsee Young’s talents in San Francisco come to fruition. Williams made his way back to the NFL after he left the Bucs to win a championship with the Redskins.

Winston – The Same Excuses Every Year

At the end of every season with Winston under center, fans rationalize the team is a few key players away from contending. “All the team needs is a better offensive line and defense and the Bucs can contend.” It starts to sound like a broken record after a while. When the infrastructure changes annually from personnel and coaching around the QB, shouldn’t there be different results? If Winston’s producing similar numbers regardless of personnel changes and coaching, what is he learning?

Bucs fans constantly squabble about whether Winston resume his duties while debating his worthiness to start. Clearly Winston belongs in the league, but his viability to start for the team is a constant item of contention. If someone on the team needs constant defending for his play, at what point does it become undefendable?

Re-evaluating the QB Position

After five years, the team and Winston’s fans are using the same excuses. Has the thought occurred that maybe Winston isn’t the “type” of QB the team needs right now. Winston is prone to mistakes and the Bucs aren’t a team that easily overcomes them. A perennial playoff contender like the Steelers, Patriots and Packers are more viable candidates for his services.

While it’s expected the Bucs retain Winston’s services for the 2020 season, the team should target RPO QBs who can extend the plays. If Winston is the ideal QB for Arians’ system, then he should keep his position. If a Russell Wilson/Lamar Jackson-type player can extend plays to sustain drives, improve clock management, and time of possession, perhaps that alone can improve the offensive line and defense.

It doesn’t take rocket science to see how important time of possession is to the longevity of a defense and control of the game. The worst defenses are often the most gassed. The Bucs NEED another starting QB next season to challenge the status quo.

Photo credit: buccaneers.com

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