Bucs, Winston plowed through headset outage in Philly
Jameis Winston's five touchdown performance in Sunday's 45-17 win over the Philadelphia Eagles was historic on its own merit. He tied an NFL record for the most TDs in a game by a rookie held by the Lions' Matthew Stafford. But what made it even more impressive was the Bucs' headsets went out for much of the first two series and Winston navigated a couple of those drives without direct communication from offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter.
"They were in an out for most of the first couple series for both offense and defense," Koetter said of the coaches' headsets. "They were going in and out and the backup quarterbacks, Ryan (Griffin) and Mike (Glennon) they were screaming at me, 'We can't hear you! We can't hear you!' Jameis would say, 'I can't hear you.' When the coach to quarterback system works, it's the greatest invention in the world. When it doesn't work, it's heart attack time. We have a wrist band we can use. But that play clock is running fast and it's just so much better when it works the way it's supposed to."
The Bucs eventually got the problem fixed, but Winston was so well versed in the opening 15 plays or so that he handled the offense without a hitch. He checked to a pass play on the first possession and connected TE Cameron Brate for 16 yards. On the second possesion, he led the Bucs on a 75-yard touchdown drive in five plays, capped by a 4-yard TD to Mike Evans.
"He did a really nice job in this game. That's just a testament to knowing what the openers are," Koetter said. "He knew based on the personnel we had in the game, we only had one run and one pass in that set of plays for the openers. Leave it to the quarterback to pick the pass over the run play. It worked out good."
Koetter said Winston should garner plenty of confidence from the five TD performance.
"I think it shows him he belongs in the NFL," Koetter said. "I think Jameis, he likes to say he's nobody yet, but he's going to be somebody at some point. He's going to be somebody. Jameis continues to improve. At the same point, that was one day in the life of a rookie quarterback. Now we know where the high end is. Unfortunately, we also saw the bottom end of it a couple times this season. Let's hope we don't see that version anymore. But Jameis continues to improve."