On Thursday, Tampa Bay Buccaneers offensive coordinator Todd Monken had some very insightful words pertaining to what he thinks may be holding Jameis back. Here is some of what Coach touched upon during his press conference after practice:
“The thing is what I’ve seen, irrespective of the physical stuff on the field, let’s not try so hard,” Monken said Thursday, via Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times. “He’s got natural leadership qualities. A toughness about him. Guys want to follow him. It’s OK to fail. He’s human. It’s OK to be hurt. It’s OK to have that side of you. Let’s just go. You don’t have to try so hard. Guys will follow you. Just be yourself.”
Coach is right. He’s viewed as the leader of this organization, already, and as the leader of this football team. The sideline stuff, which I have been optimistically forgetful of, is a small example of that. Eating the W for instance. His competitiveness is undeniable, but this organization isn’t looking for the most competitive quarterback, they’re looking for the best option. If he can, somehow, channel that emotion into a calm, cool, and collective while at quarterback, there’s no doubt, in my mind, the he can continue progressing.
Jameis had his highest completion percentage last year, granted it was a shorter season for him, but he was banged up a lot. After signing the 5th year option for $20.9 million, Jameis is entering into the final year of his rookie contact so, you can bet he will be putting a ton of work to make this year one of his best and ultimately earning himself a huge pay out next season.
Fans, however, don’t see his preparation as the issue, they see him too often getting rattled, mentally. It could have been the defensive schemes used by the opponents, our offensive line, poor execution of route’s, or even lack of effort. But, there were often, too many times it appeared as if the game was moving a little too fast for him. There were improvement last year. His pre-snap reads and communicating them to his offense has gotten better. Whether or not his team adjusted, or he was correct in his assessment, we won’t know, but if he can keep it together, protect the football, and continue improving on his completion percentage, there’s no reason to think he isn’t gearing up for his best season yet.