Bucs QB Coach on Jameis Winston: 'I Feel Like I Failed Him'
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have shiny new quarterback in Tom Brady, but what about Jameis Winston?
You know, the team's all-time leading passer who is still waiting to find his next landing spot in free agency after the team allowed his rookie contract to expire after a fifth-year option?
That's right, the same 26-year-old who led the NFL with 5,109 passing yards in 2019, becoming just the eighth player in league history to throw for more than 5,000 yards in a season. The same guy who helped send two wide receivers to the Pro Bowl, and finished second in touchdown passes with 33, trailing only league MVP Lamar Jackson.
That guy is still looking for a job.
Why didn't it work out in Tampa Bay? Bucs quarterback coach Clyde Christensen knows it's because of the turnovers, but he still takes it personally that Winston couldn't improve enough in that area to return for 2020 and beyond.
Speaking on the Pat McAfee Show, Christensen lauded Winston's insatiable work ethic:
He works. It was a shock to me. He is humble, he works every bit as hard as Peyton (Manning) and Andrew (Luck) did. I mean he works. This guy overworks, probably over-trains is one of his problems. But I think it’s going to click. Hopefully, he lands exactly in the right place. I trust God he’ll get to the right place.
Christensen said he feels responsible for Winston's lack of improvement, but he still sees big things ahead for his former quarterback:
I loved Jameis Winston. I loved working with Jameis Winston. I really believe he’s going to get the right chance at the right place. Maybe like Ryan Tannehill. He may take a step backward, who knows what the scenario will be? But he will rise to the top. I think he’s a starting, upper-echelon quarterback in this NFL and I do think he’s going to get these interceptions under control a little bit.
In some ways, I feel like I failed him. As a coach, you take that personal. Whatever, I didn’t get it done. I didn’t help this kid. This kid is better than 30 interceptions and we didn’t get it done and that I have to live with. But I do think he’s a great kid and he’s going to some great things.
Bucs head coach Bruce Arians admitted earlier in the offseason that Winston was the team's third option at quarterback for the 2020 season, after Brady and Teddy Bridgewater, who ended up signing a three-year deal with the division-rival Carolina Panthers.
Wherever he lands this season, Winston will be out to prove he's still capable of being an elite quarterback in the NFL. If he can finally limit the turnovers that have plagued him throughout his career, he just might do it.
Check out McAfee's full interview with Christensen: