Jameis Winston must show progress on Monday night


With eight days in between the Buccaneers first and second preseason games, the team has a lot of time to think about how to improve on their first performance of the year. Jameis Winston, in particular, should be eager to show everyone that he’s better than how he looked last Saturday night.

It was just the rookie’s first preseason game, but Winston didn’t exactly look like an all-star going 9-19 for 131 yards and an INT. He did find the end zone on a 7-yard run right before his night ended at halftime, though.

Since the game Winston has said he is glad to have finally felt a real pass rush and I’m sure knowing what NFL game speed is really like will help him going forward. Winston didn’t necessarily look uncomfortable Saturday night, but his play sure looked like that of a rookie.

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What was impressive was that Winston made some big plays on 3rd down. Early in the game he completed a 40-yard pass to Vincent Jackson on 3rd & 14, then his first TD of the preseason came on a scramble on 3rd & goal.

Being able to make plays on 3rd down is very impressive, but to really get drives started and moving Winston needs to be consistent on 1st and 2nd down as well.

Early in the game Dirk Koetter was letting Doug Martin run a lot. Winston didn’t even attempt his first pass until the Bucs fifth play from scrimmage.

Hopefully on Monday night Koetter mixes it up a little bit and let s Winston throw early and often. Winston will have a lot more success if the defense is being kept on its toes and can’t predict exactly when the Bucs are going to run or pass.

There’s no doubt that when Winston has the opportunity to throw the football he’s going to be aggressive. Obviously turnovers can’t be tolerated in the regular season, but during the preseason I think its fine for Winston to test his limits and figure out what throws he can and can’t make right now.

Even though its preseason, there’s still something exciting about Monday Night Football. I think Winston and the Bucs will be more than ready to play, especially since the team only has one prime time game during the regular season which comes on a Thursday night in December.

Next: 4 impressive moments from Bucs' Week 1 preseason game