Jameis Winston had a pretty good rookie season. He produced 28 touchdowns to just 15 interceptions, had a number of highlight plays, won the Bucs a few games, and showed that he has the talent and skill to play on an NFL level — never a sure thing for a rookie.
Winston also showed plenty of flaws, and Football Outsiders’ Cian Fahey is here to break those down. Fahey is a little ehm...controversial among Bucs fans, and a lot of other fanbases. He’s a harsh grader, but he puts in the film work and while I don’t always agree with him, he certainly provides useful insight in most of his breakdowns. It should be noted that while Fahey is certainly harsh on Winston’s play, he also noted that Winston has the skills to be a good quarterback, and even a great one if he fixes his issues.
Onto those issues: according to Fahey, Winston threw too many interceptions and interceptable passes, and that he was inaccurate. In fact, Fahey charted every starting quarterback in the NFL last year, and his charting had Winston as the single least accurate quarterback.
Too many of Winston's throws looked like the ones highlighted in the GIFs in this article. Whether it's a mechanical issue, an arm talent issue, a natural inability to throw with precision, or a combination of all three, it doesn't matter. Winston's inaccuracy is what's preventing him from being anything more than an average quarterback at this point. If he corrects his accuracy he can become an above-average starter, at which point he can start working on becoming a great quarterback over time.
Winston certainly had recurring accuracy issues last year, and that’s not because his receivers dropped a few too many passes. His mechanics broke down, especially under pressure. Both Winston and the Bucs know that, though, and they’ve been working to fix those issues, specifically his footwork.
In fact, all of the points of critique Fahey notes are things the Bucs and Winston are working hard on: his tendency to be too risky in his throws, to miss underneath defenders, and to just plain miss a few too many throws. When his footwork and mechanics are good, Winston is an incredibly accurate quarterback.
So while Fahey is mostly correct on his critique of Winston, I wouldn’t be too concerned about these issues in the long term. After all, he put up a solid rookie season with those problems — and they should get better as he continues to work on improving his game.