The Tampa Bay Buccaneers entered the NFL in 1976. Since then, the Bucs have drafted 25 quarterbacks. And they’ve never signed any of them to a second contract.
Two years ago, when the Bucs were surging and Jameis Winston was generating fringe MVP chatter, it looked like that trend would end. Currently, it’s looking like there won’t be a second contract for Winston, after all.
Benched after a disastrous four-interception performance against the Bengals, Winston now has to process failure while still being ready to succeed if needed. As former Bucs coach Tony Dungy explained on Tuesday’s PFT Live, Winston needs to realize that 31 other teams are watching him now, and that he needs to conduct himself accordingly. That means becoming the best backup quarterback he can be, helping starter Ryan Fitzpatrick while being prepared at all times to play after any/every snap.
Considering the history of Bucs quarterbacks, Winston would be wise to take Dungy’s advice to heart. After all, three quarterbacks drafted by the Bucs — Doug Williams (first round in 1978), Steve Young (supplemental first round in 1984), and Trent Dilfer (first round in 1994) — went on to win Super Bowls with other teams.
Here’s another piece of advice that someone needs to give to Winston: Quit trying to do more than you’re physically able to do. One of the most important skills for any athlete is to realize the limits of athletic ability. Winston all too often tries to make plays he just isn’t capable of making, creating an ungainly, awkward moment that leaves him more frustrated than Michael Scott while playing basketball.
For now, Winston won’t be playing anything. When the chance to play arises again, and it will, he needs to display at all times an appreciation of the line that separates the things he can do from the things he can’t do, and to stay on the right side of that line.