Jameis Winston focused on putting Bucs in ‘chill mode’ when pressure rises
The Bucs have reached the point in training camp where they’re practicing for specific game situations. It was a lesson in patience for the young quarterback, something Koetter has emphasized to him throughout camp.
“Patience as a form of controlling everything,” Winston said. “I always have to be calm, cool and collected. Everything can be going fast for others, but everything has to be slowed down for me.
“When I step in the huddle, I have to slow everything down no matter what happened the last play, no matter if we scored a touchdown, no matter if we had a turnover. I have to be the person that brings everybody together, be patient, calm and just put us [in] chill mode.”
By all accounts, he passed the test.
“I thought he did a really good job of that today,” Koetter said. “It was kind of funky, we start off in two-minute. So in essence, we start off like we’re in the fourth quarter and we need a field goal to win and we got to seven-on-seven. That was the first quarter.”
Koetter said it’s about “slow and steady progress.”
Although he admits the defense has had an edge so far in camp, Koetter has been pleased with the strides his third-year quarterback has made.
The remarks about the defense haven’t fazed Winston.
“It’s not really about that,” he said. “What’s more important is that we’re getting our work day in and day out and we are making plays.”
Defensive backs have been getting their hands on more passes this year, and balls have been tipped going over the middle. This has created a more competitive environment than the team has encountered in the past two years.
But for Koetter, Winston’s progress is about more than just the eye test.
“We actually have people that chart everything that Jameis does every day and they give us a report,” Koetter said. “I know his completion percentage, his third-down percentage, his explosive percentage. How many times he throws a pass and it’s dropped, precision percentage on his accuracy.”
Winston uses his own grading system. He asks himself, “‘[Did] I [get] better? Am I behind? Am I processing information that I need to process?'”
With the first preseason game just eight days away, the focus remains getting faster at everything, from identifying coverages to the actual execution of a play.
“Every time I watch film, I take a tally, ‘OK, did you get better today?'” Winston said. “There [are] 31 other quarterbacks doing the same thing. Thirty-one other quarterbacks going through practice and meeting rooms. What am I doing to make myself better than those other 31?”
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