Buccaneers: Next three months will set the course for 2020

Jameis Winston, Bruce Arians, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Jameis Winston, Bruce Arians, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) /

Although the Buccaneers took major steps forward since the hire of Bruce Arians, many  unanswered questions about the team are casting a shadow on 2020.

The halls in the Buccaneer’s training facility are much more quiet this time of year. Nothing like the early days of the NFC South, for sure. Players nowadays are home with families, weary and recovering from a long 16-week season. It’s the time of year where local media scrap for sound bites and bait-y titles to keep business flowing as usual. Its no different for Tampa Bay this year and head coach Bruce Arians’ last press conference, after a deflating loss to the Atlanta Falcons, did the media no favors.

The big question for the Buccaneers’ offseason has been who will be taking snaps from center Ryan Jensen Week 1 for the 2020 regular season. So far, no good. When asked if the team could win with another quarterback, Arians response would be the cliffhanger the media so desperately wanted to avoid.

"“With another quarterback?” …..“Oh yeah. If we can win with this one, we can definitely win with another one, too.” (Via Tampa Bay Times)"

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Now, the sound bite can be easily misconstrued considering Arians mentioned right after that any quarterback could play well behind the Buc’s stifling defense, but the first sentence is what stole the headline. Many believe that the quote is possibly the writing on the wall for Jameis, who became just the eighth quarterback in NFL history to throw for 5,000 yards. And something tells me the coach/quarterback chemistry may be less than desirable, too.

Jameis tends to do all that is needed throughout  the week in order to be prepared for Sundays, but it seems that whenever he’s playing between those white lines, the blinders go on and Winston dubs himself as the “game hero”. Not at all likeable to a coach like Bruce, and that’s where the front office stands as of now as well.Is the talent worth it when the talent costs you games?

So, what exactly is the true end game? And how does Tampa Bay proceed if Winston indeed isn’t brought back next year? These questions and many more will be answered once the Buccaneers make an official decision on Winston. Still, no word yet.

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The speculations from the media span from Arians purposely stating that in order to bring Winston back at a team friendly price to the Buccaneers having their sights at potentially signing free agent, Tom Brady. Let the guessing game ensue. One thing we know for sure is that no one truly knows what the front office is up to in what will end up being one of the most important offseasons ever for the franchise. The Buccaneers put the league on notice this season as a week in and week out competitive team, so improvement is to be expected in year two of the Arians regime. What’s the message for the decision makers this offseason? Don’t mess this up, and however it plays out, it will all start and end with a decision on Jameis in the coming weeks. You won’t want to miss this.