After the first day of OTAs, it’s safe to say that quarterback Jameis Winston is liking what he’s seeing the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ backfield.
Yes, OTAs have arrived. One step closer to football season. For the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, it’s another step closer to redemption for a severely disappointing 2017 season given the expectations the team had heading into the year.
As players report to OTAs, there starts the bonding and the chemistry that has become so vital to success in the NFL. The rookies are getting to work with the veterans, free agent additions are starting to gel with their new teammates, and the coaching staff is getting to implement changes and improvements over failed schemes from last season.
For quarterback Jameis Winston, it’s an opportunity to see what kind of help he’s finally getting out of the backfield. Peyton Barber stepped up big at the end of last season and will play a bigger role this season. The Buccaneers also spent a second round pick on USC running back Ronald Jones, which has Bucs fans and Winston excited;
"“I like that he’s a great kid. He has a great perspective on everything and he works hard. Anybody that comes in here willing to work, willing to apply themselves and get better, they’re definitely received. That’s what he’s coming here and doing and he’s going to bring that electric side to our offense. Watching some clips on him just to see how explosive he is out of the backfield is very impressive, so I can’t wait to see him break some long touchdown runs for us.”"
Jones’ explosiveness was a big reason the Bucs drafted him as they look for more of those type of plays out of their running backs this season. Winston getting a true threat in the backfield will (hopefully) help open up the passing game with Mike Evans, second year receiver Chris Godwin, and deep threat DeSean Jackson.
With little to no threat out of the running back spot for most of the season, you would think that the deep pass to DJax may connect a little more often than last season coming off play-action – as Winston tends to be his most dangerous when faking the handoff.
More to come from this week’s OTAs, so keep it locked in here for all the updates.