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“Expect a quantum leap” from Jameis Winston

The Bucs quarterback is ready to take the next step.

NFL: Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Jacksonville Jaguars Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

Jameis Winston looked a little inconsistent against the Jacksonville Jaguars: very sharp at the start, a pair of boneheaded throws at the end of the second half, and a lack of red zone efficiency. Overall, though, Winston played well and it looks like he’s ready to take the next big step.

That’s exactly what Sports Illustrated’s Andy Benoit thinks, too, in his big Bucs season preview.

This may not be the year Jameis Winston becomes a top 10 quarterback, but expect a quantum leap. The Buccaneers understand exactly what Winston is: a smart (potentially brilliant) gunslinger who has a somewhat methodical release. He doesn’t fit the quick-strike passing game that defines so many of today’s offenses; he’s suited for the slower developing plays that stem from deeper five-and seven-step dropbacks. Head coach Dirk Koetter’s shrewd downfield concepts play to this. Something else about Winston: for a more methodical passer, he’s surprisingly mobile. He was one of the NFL’s most proficient out-of-pocket passers last season, and defenses that play man-to-man with two safeties back against the Bucs often rush only three and spy him.

A quantum leap from someone who was more or less the 15th best quarterback should put him comfortably in the top ten, though. The difference between 10 and 15 isn’t that big, after all.

Other than that this is a pretty good description of Winston: a gunslinger who likes to push the ball down the field, works well when forced outside the pocket and doesn’t do great on really quick passing games. Plus, interceptions, which Benoit addresses a little later.