Jameis Winston is a good quarterback. That’s not news to anyone who’s paid attention to his play, of course, but it’s always good to see national analyst confirm that. Today, it’s NFL Films producer Greg Cosell’s turn to talk about the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ quarterback, and he had many good things to say about Winston over at Yahoo! Sports.
Winston handled it all well and showed he understands many of the important nuances of playing quarterback. He has an innate feel for playing quarterback from the pocket. He has a natural sense of anticipation and throws the ball in rhythm. Something that really stood out was that he had a good feel for reading coverage, and holding and moving safeties with his eyes.
Cosell picked out two touchdown throws to Cameron Brate as great examples of Winston moving safeties with his eyes, and talked extensively about Winston’s advanced understanding of his offense, as well as Dirk Koetter’s work in designing plays.
Of course, all of that praise aside, Winston is still just a second-year quarterback. That means he has things to work on, and Cosell hits the familiar notes there: footwork, footwork, footwork.
Winston isn’t a finished product obviously, even though there were great signs from him as a rookie. Winston has put in a lot of work on his footwork, which wasn’t good last year. He’s an odd combination – he’s deceptively good when he’s outside of the pocket and throwing on the move, but he wasn’t every good with his movement inside the pocket. He lost weight this offseason and the Buccaneers coaches have worked a lot on his footwork.
Winston has explicitly talked about improving his in-the-pocket movement before, suggesting that he had a tendency to overreact to pressure and move just a little too much. Subtle adjustments are often best — see Tom Brady and his perpetual shoulder move to shrug off an edge rusher. And the inconsistent footwork also affected his accuracy: Winston is very accurate when his footwork is on point, but can miss easily when it breaks down.
Hopefully, we’ll get to see some of the new and improved Jameis Winston tonight, when the Bucs take the field for the first time this year. They play the Philadelphia Eagles at 7:00 p.m. ET. We’ve got you covered!