You’ve got to love good film breakdowns. Here’s a pretty good one of four of Jameis Winston’s best throws of his rookie season, by YouTube analyst BlackHoleAnalysis.
The first throw he breaks down is one of my favorite passes of last year: it’s well-read, it’s a very difficult throw that a lot of quarterbacks don’t dare make, and those that do dare to make it will miss it — and Vincent Jackson does a terrific job of coming down with the ball and getting his feet down. It’s just a perfect red zone play, and one of the few we saw last year — the Bucs had real issues finishing drives for touchdowns.
Another thing that stands out in these plays is both the way he reads defenses, and the way he manipulates safeties. This is something that Josh Freeman never seemed to master, and it’s a very difficult skill: a lot of quarterbacks never really get to that level. But Winston came into the NFL with some rudimentary skills in that department, and he managed to put them to use at the NFL level.
Winston deserves a lot of credit for these plays, but so does Dirk Koetter for designing them. While Koetter wasn’t perfect last year — his gameplan against the New Orleans Saints at the end of the year looked like a complete disaster — he did a good job of giving Jameis Winston fairly easy, defined throws that fit his skillset. Koetter knows what his quarterback can and can’t do, and he does a good job of marrying his plays to Winston’s strengths.
As long as Winston continues to develop the skills he’s already displayed, and Koetter continues to play to his strengths, the Bucs should be just fine on offense.