Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston was credited with two turnovers in Sunday’s 27-7 loss, bringing his total for the season to 10 and leaving head coach Dirk Koetter with a heightened level of concern about the path the quarterback is on four games into the season.
“Very,” Koetter said, via the Tampa Bay Times. “I’m very concerned. He’s not regressing, but we’ve got to take care of the football. I mean, we’ve got to take care of the football. We can’t turn it over three times in a half. We just can’t do that.”
Winston was 17-of-35 for 179 yards and threw a pair of passes that were intercepted by Broncos cornerback Aqib Talib. After the game, Talib said the Broncos defense “knew we would have 5-to-6 opportunities today” to get interceptions because of how many chances that Winston takes trying to fit the ball into tight areas. Fellow corner Chris Harris had a similar take on facing the Bucs offense.
“We just knew he was going to force the ball to No. 13. We knew he was going to force the ball all day to Mike Evans and we would have the chance to come out with a couple of picks,” Harris said, via JoeBucsFan.com. “It was something that we was expecting. We played a great defense and he threw it exactly where we wanted him to throw it to. He just has to be smarter with the football. Versus a team like us, you can’t come out throwing picks like that. You can’t do that. They got to run the ball. They got to help him out.”
The Bucs talked last week about finding more balance in their offense, but they were still heavily slanted toward the pass on Sunday and the results weren’t good against a talented defense waiting for everything that came their way. Winston showed an ability to improve on the go last year when he turned the ball over eight times in the first four weeks and then giving it away nine times over the remaining 12 games.
A similar turnaround is needed this season if the Buccaneers offense is going to be a help and not a hindrance to the team’s chances of winning.