Taking a look at the Buccaneers quarterback situation now versus back in 1992.
The quest for a franchise quarterback is like searching for the holy grail. When you find it, there is nothing better. Ask New York Jets or Cleveland Browns fans about how hard the search is. Buccaneers fans need to remember how lucky they are. Many teams around the league, including the ones previously mentioned, would kill to have a guy like Jameis Winston leading their team.
But it wasn’t always like this in the land of the Bucs. Not at all. The Bucs spent most of the time in their creamsicle colored uniforms looking for that franchise quarterback. In the beginning, ownership thought Steve Spurrier could be the guy. Later on, Steve Young came through the doors, and it didn’t help to see him succeed with the 49ers. Even Super Bowl champion Brad Johnson was here just briefly, and had a modest career at best. It wasn’t always wine, roses, and touchdown passes in Tampa Bay.
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The offseason is always a good time to look back. During the time when players aren’t on the field, it can be fun to look back and make comparisons to history. We often do it here at this website, such as talking about the five best receivers in team history.
Recently, Elliot Harrison of NFL.com took an interesting look back 25 years to 1992. Specifically, he looked at each team’s current quarterback and compared them to the starter back in 1992 in order to determine who was better.
Definitely take a look at the whole article. For the Bucs, does anyone remember who the quarterback was that year? That’s right my friends, it was this guy…
Vinny Testaverde, he of Heisman Trophy winning fame. He was a Florida boy, out of “The U”, who was supposed to turn things around for the Bucs. So, who would you take, Testaverde or Winston? Let’s see what Harrison said, as if we don’t already know:
"This might not be fair, but I am going with the young buck — er, Buc — here. Sure, Winston has only played two seasons. But he’s been so much more productive and effective than Testaverde was in Tampa. I am considering Testaverde’s long career across three decades; after all, he played until he was 44 and threw for over 46,000 yards. The issue is that Winston has already been asked to carry Tampa, something Testaverde was rarely capable of doing. Save for a portion of his time with the Ravens and the halcyon days of 1998 with the Jets, Vinny was never the focal point of his team. Can you say that about Winston, who has handled the responsibility of being the offensive engine? This is as much a vote for Winston’s potential as it is reflective of his ability to win the first 10 yards of the sprint.ADVANTAGE: Jameis Winston"
To the surprise of exactly nobody, the choice was Jameis Winston. It was an easy decision. During his days in Tampa, Testaverde never threw for more touchdowns than interceptions. The best completion percentage he put up was 57.5%. That number isn’t bad for the era, but he was nowhere near consistent.
That’s not to say that Winston has been perfect. Far from it. But he is getting better every year, and he has done some things with a football that Testaverde couldn’t do on his best days, even outside of Tampa. The battle isn’t close.
So show some Jameis love in the comments? What is your favorite part of this guy’s game? Sound off and siege the day!