Gary Barlow may not have been thinking about Jameis Winston when the song-writer penned Take That’s 1994 chart topper but it sums up Winston’s Buccaneer career. To continue the Take That theme, the Bucs must be close to running out of Patience with Famous Jameis. The 2015 overall 1st round pick is in his fifth and final year of his rookie deal. The jury is still undecided on whether or not the former Heisman winner is worth a mega-bucs(!) contract.
Story So Far
Ever since James Winston was drafted by the Bucs, the former FSU man has divided opinion in Tampa. On his third Head Coach and third Offensive Co-ordinator in just over four years, Winston hasn’t had an easy time of it in Florida. A chronic running game, an average O-Line at best, and, in most cases, a porous Defense. A combination of these factors have resulted in the Offense having to chasing games. With the Bucs playing catch-up, the Quarterback is immediately under pressure to perform. Winston has been labelled a Turnover Machine ever since is rookie season. An eye watering 61 interceptions in 57 games is a stat which cannot be ignored. It may well be the 61st interception of his career which could well define his time in Tampa Bay.
On the Tampa 21 yard line, down six points against the 49ers with just two minutes remaining in the game. The stage was set for Winston to showcase his talents. Bucs legend Ronde Barber was the co-commentator on Fox Sports. Moments before Tampa’s possession, the former Cornerback was setting the scene perfectly. Cometh the hour, cometh the Quarterback. Now was the time for the seemingly more mature Quarterback to drag Tampa to a vital season opening win.
Unfortunately, the poor decision making which has blighted number 3’s time with the Bucs came back to haunt him. An awful screen pass nowhere near a Bucs player and straight into the welcoming arms of the opposition. Seconds later, the Niners waltzed into the end zone to put this game to bed. Game, Set and Match to the away team who couldn’t win on the road in 2018. The Bucs season and Winston’s future both in the balance after week one!
The Rest of Sunday’s Performance
It’s not as if his performance prior to this moment of madness was exemplary either. A total of three interceptions were served up, two of which were returned for touchdowns. In fairness, two out of those three were not really on the Quarterback; one tipped well thrown pass and one poorly ran route contributed to two turnovers. Although, Winston luckily avoided two further interceptions which could have been taken back to the house. Throw in a botched snap and a miss on a wide open receiver on a 4th an Goal in the fourth quarter then it was a day to forget for the former FSU signal caller.
Quick Chance for Redemption
Fortunately for Winston, a Thursday Night Divisional match-up in Carolina offers a quick opportunity to quieten the masses. The chance to make amends for his opening day display. However, expect the rumblings to get louder if another below par performance is produced. This time in front of a national television audience.
Running Out of Time
I’ve been a Winston fan ever since he entered the NFL. I will always support him whilst he wears the Pewter and Red. The issue is that rookie performances from the 5th year vet are virtually impossible is to defend.
Frustratingly, Jameis has periodically proved that he can be the Quarterback which this franchise has been waiting decades for. However, time is running out for the 25 year old to prove that when his current deal expires at the end of the season that he should be taken Back for Good.
Image copyright: Buccaneers.com