As the 2020 NFL offseason gets underway, there is still so much unknown about the Jameis Winston situation. Will the Buccaneers use the franchise tag, propose a deal, or risk free agency? Winston’s league leading 5,109 passing yards along with 33 touchdowns are his career high, but his 30 interceptions raise cause for concern.
Carson Palmer, who previously played under Bruce Arians, was on The Rich Eisen Show last week to discuss Jameis Winston’s future.
“You need Year 1 to go back and watch the film and see yourself doing it wrong and the receivers seeing themselves doing it wrong and then Year 2, really things start to click. That chemistry starts to develop and that trust and that confidence in the offense starts to develop. If Jameis is back in Tampa, I would expect Year 2 to be a massive year for him.”
This is good news for Winston supporters. If anyone understands the unique situation with Jameis Winston, it’s Carson Palmer. His MVP performance helped the Arizona Cardinals reach the NFC Championship game under Arians in 2015
This was easily Palmer’s best statistical year with Arians, and it raises the question: How have past quarterbacks fared under Bruce Arians in year two? We are going to take a deep into this question, to see if history can help predict the future.
Drafted first overall by the Cleveland Browns in 1999. His career was plagued by poor play, injuries, and a shaky offensive line. To this day, Tim Couch is still considered one of the biggest busts in NFL history.
After two years, Bruce Arians was hired as the offensive coordinator in 2001. With his first year in the system, Couch threw for 17 touchdowns and 21 interceptions.
In his second season, Couch improved, albeit only slightly. His passer rating increased from 73.1 to 76.8 and he dropped his interception total from 21 to 17. Still, his performance in 2002 was uninspiring at best, and in the next season, Couch would play in his final season.
After his promotion from the wide receivers coach to the offensive coordinator in 2007, Bruce Arians took Ben Roethlisberger’s game to the next level. In the same year, Roethlisberger earned himself a pro-bowl birth after throwing for 32 touchdowns and 11 interceptions.
But this offensive explosion took place in his first season under Arians, Roethlisberger’s production in year two would drop off significantly. His touchdown total dropped by 15 and his interceptions increased by six. It’s safe to say that his second season in Arians’ system was not a success personally, but the Pittsburgh Steeler’s still finished with a 12-4 record.
After an up and down career in Cincinnati and Oakland, Carson Palmer’s career was revitalized under Bruce Arians in Arizona. Unlike the previous two quarterbacks, Arians was the head coach, rather than offensive coordinator. This means that the scheme was truly his to implement.
When Palmer was signed to the Arizona Cardinals in 2014, many fans scratched their heads at the move. Palmer looked like an aging veteran in Oakland with little left in the tank. His first year in Arizona was uninspiring, with 24 touchdowns and 22 interceptions. In year two, Palmer only started six games due to injury, but still managed to throw 11 touchdowns and 3 interceptions
In year three under Bruce Arians , Palmer was elevated into the MVP conversation with 35 touchdowns, 11 interceptions, and a trip to the NFC Championship game. Carson Palmer’s revitalized career in his third year of the system is where many Buccaneers point in order to predict Winston’s future, but will it turn into reality?
So what does this all mean for Jameis Winston in his second year with Bruce Arians? Examining history only muddies the waters further. Tim Couch was a failed prospect, Roethlisberger was already a successful quarterback, and Palmer had his career revitalized.
At this point, we know who Winston is as a quarterback. A gunslinger who will throw an amazing touchdown on one play and an interception in the next. After year five, it’s not a question of changing Winston, but rather capping his mistakes with a good supporting cast.
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