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Rick Stroud, Greg Auman and Matt Baker

Bucs offense embracing the scramble with Winston



Bucs QB Jameis Winston piled up 259 passing yards and two touchdowns in the first half as Tampa Bay pulled away to a 27-3 lead on the Browns, and some of the biggest throws were extended plays where he stayed alive until a target came open.

Bucs coach Dirk Koetter understands there can be risks with improvisation, but his offense's first touchdown came after Winston rolled to his right, ducked left and found Charles Sims in the end zone.

"If you just look at that game, Jameis moved around a lot," Koetter said. "(Offensive coordinator) Todd Monken tells the offense all the time that our No. 1 pass play, when you think about it and you have all the concepts, is scramble."

Another off-script pass saw Winston had plenty of time in the pocket and find Vincent Jackson down the left sideline for a 31-yard gain.

"Jameis had all day to throw. That was probably the best pass protection of the night," Koetter said. "He was back there forever."

EIGHT IS ENOUGH: After eight sacks Friday night, the Bucs lead the NFL with 4.3 sacks per game in the season -- entering Saturday's late games, there were 27 NFL teams that didn't have eight sacks total in the preseason.

"I mean, we sacked them one out of every five times," Koetter said. "That's a ridiculous ratio. That's not going to happen very often. If it does, we're probably going to win."

Five of the Bucs' eight sacks were set up by the defense forcing the Browns into third downs requiring 10 yards or longer, obvious passing downs where the Bucs can slide an end inside and use quicker pass-rushers like Jacquies Smith (two sacks), Howard Jones (one) and rookie Noah Spence (one).

SPECIAL INDEED: With Adam Humphries' 73-yard punt return for a touchdown, Bernard Reedy's 43-yard punt return, Roberto Aguayo going 6-for-6 on kicks and putting all seven kickoffs in the end zone for touchbacks, Koetter was very pleased with the Bucs' special-teams play Friday.

"I know I said how bad they were at Philly. They were spectacular last night. They were special," he said.

[Last modified: Saturday, August 27, 2016 6:10pm]


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