By Brielle Minnefield
In his rookie season with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Jameis Winston has not been playing at the elite level that was expected of him when he was drafted number two overall in the 2015 NFL Draft. The starting quarterback and the Bucs are 2-4 this season, and signs are slow to show on whether or not they will improve this season.
Jameis Winston was one of the most talked about and highly praised quarterbacks in college football. He played two successful seasons with Florida State University, and helped the football program become one of the best in the country. He became the youngest player ever to win the Heisman Trophy, he led FSU to a national championship over the Auburn Tigers, and he has received a multitude of other awards and accolades in his young career. In the 2015 NFL Draft, Winston was in the first round and became the first pick for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers; he was second round pick overall after Marcus Mariotta of the Tennessee Titans. The media, sports analysts, spectators, and football fans (specifically Buccaneer fans) predicted and assumed that Jameis Winston would put Tampa Bay on the map as far as football. However, this season has proven otherwise.Embed from Getty Images
There is no doubt that Jameis Winston has the skill set and potential to be one of the greatest quarterbacks to ever compete in the NFL, but he has not proven himself to his coaches, teammates, or fans – yet. Winston has made 181 pass attempts in the last six games and has only completed 107 of those passes. He ranks 26th out of the 32 quarterbacks in the league for completion percentage at 59%. He accounts for 1,471 passing yards and nine touchdowns total in all six games this season.
Winston has a bad habit of committing turnovers, not applying pressure to the defense, and not thinking quickly while on his feet. Not sure if the Buccaneers star is overwhelmed or feeling the pressure of playing “big boy” football, but his lack of leadership is definitely showing in every game the Buccaneers have played in thus far. Even in the games they have won against the Saints and the Jaguars, they still weren’t at their best. The defense is weak, the offensive line is small, and the receivers and running backs are not proving that they are quality players. The potential is there, the skills are there, the team is there, but no one is showing up to play. The Buccaneers red zone offense is subpar, they aren’t effective on offensive third downs, and when they get into the passing game they apply pressure but then they lose it.Embed from Getty Images
It is evident that Winston is trying to adjust to the change of pace from college football to the speed of the NFL. In previous interviews he has mentioned that he’s learning himself, “I’m adjusting to this game. Every week, I’m trying to work on something and improve on something.” He is remaining hopeful and optimistic this season, as he should. Be that as it may, the Buccaneers cannot seem to make it over the hump. Football is a team sport that requires a team effort. So in order for Tampa Bay to get wins they must execute on offense and monopolize on defense, but Jameis Winston must lead his team. Actions reflect leadership, and to get the ball rolling for this organization Winston must start getting comfortable in taking the lead.