Bucs Koetter: Don't base Winston's career on four games
Rookie Jameis Winston entered the league with a reputation of a quarterback prone to throwing interceptions and the Bucs rookie has done nothing to dispel that label after a 1-3 start this season.
Winston has thrown six touchdowns and seven interceptions, including four picks and a lost fumble in Sunday's 37-23 loss to the Carolina Panthers. For the second time at Raymond James Stadium, his first pass attempt resulted in a pick six.
But offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter says it's too early to paint Winston as a turnover machine.
"Playing in college is not playing in the NFL,'' Koetter said. "It's just different animals. Did we throw too many interceptions in this game? Yes. Can we base the whole rest of Jameis' career on that? No. It's bad.
"Unfortunately, when you have four interceptions, there's a lot of explaining to do. We had four interceptions, it's a fact. Two bad decisions, one tipped ball and one great play. That's what I wrote on my sheet.''
In the Bucs two road games, Winston has been much more careful with the football. He had no INTs in a 26-19 win over the Saints Sept. 20 and had only one pick in a 19-9 loss the following week at Houston.
"Turnovers change the game,'' Koetter said. "A fumbled snap, a pick six interception and we're down 10-0 just like that. The whole game changed. Unfortunately, that's happened two out of four games. In between that, Jameis played two pretty good games. He played pretty good against New Orleans and pretty decent at Houston. What can we learn from that? Our quarterback is playing inconsistent. Well, we have a rookie quarterback and he's playing inconsistent. What's the next news flash?''
Winston said he has to learn not to try and do too much with the football and let his teammates make plays.
"We've got some great players around me on this team that can make plays,'' Winston said. "I've just got to protect the football.
"It really is that simple. You've just got to take the simple play. Give it to your back and let him make a big. You can't put everything on yourself. Sometimes, they may good plays. Thomas Davis made a great play on that interception. There are only so many ways you can sum up an interception, but at the same the end of the day, you've got to limit those.'