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Jameis Winston "clearly better" against Bengals, improved footwork and mechanics

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Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Jameis Winston had a very good second preseason game against the Cincinnati Bengals. Completing 8 of 13 passes for 90 yards and one sack, Winston consistently made the right read, had just one inaccurate pass and looked composed in the pocket and did well adjusting to the pass rush. In short: he looked like the quarterback they hoped to see.

One of the reasons why Winston looked good is that he's been working to improve his game not just mentally, but physically as well.

"I thought Winston was very good this week," Cosell told The Midday 180 on 104.5 The Zone in Nashville. "What I really like is they're clearly working with him and he's clearly accepting it because I think what you're seeing with him is he's decisive, he's willing to turn it loose,  he's willing to make tough throws. He's clearly worked on both his upper- and lower-body mechanics, his feet looked a little quicker, his delivery a little more compact. You know he's never gonna be Marcus Mariota because he's never going to be the same level of athlete in terms of twitch, but I thought Winston looked clearly better this week."

That was basically confirmed by Dirk Koetter and Jameis Winston today, as they both talked about working his footwork and mechanics. And that's good to see: in the NFL, work on mechanics tends to fall by the wayside as coaches focus on scheme instead. In fact, former Bucs QB coach John McNulty said in 2013 that he tries to "stay away from altering a guy's mechanics."

But that's the wrong decision to make, because consistent and efficient mechanics lead to consistent and efficient throws. Constantly working on mechanics is why Tom Brady is still playing on a high level today, why Drew Brees is as accurate as he is and why Aaron Rodgers is a much better quarterback now than he was in college.

It's also something Jameis Winston needs. His mechanics have always been fairly sloppy -- he has an elongated delivery and he takes long, somewhat off-balance steps in dropping back. So far that hasn't hurt him too much, but it sometimes hinders him when he's under pressure -- as happened on his only bad throw against the Bengals, when his mechanics caused him to be a little slow to react to a pass rusher.

Winston needs to tighten up his footwork and delivery, and it seems he's doing just that.