Thursday, September 20, 2018
Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The job riding on Jameis Winston’s performance

Jameis Winston didn’t offer a pep talk for his teammates before Sunday’s game at Green Bay. That or TV didn’t show it.

A good call either way.

Winston is back at work.

But can he save Dirk Koetter’s job?

It is a perfectly reasonable question at this losing season lurches to its conclusion. Koetter’s future rests in Jameis Winston’s hands — yes, the same hands that turned that fumble Sunday it into a Lambeau Leap.

The Glazers are in mysterious mode. The Bucs owners are big believers that it’s how you finish. See Morris, Raheem, or Schiano, Gregory, or Smith, Lovie.

How Winston finishes matters. It might be the difference between Koetter getting a third season in Tampa Bay or hopping in interview lines with a losing record at last count.

Make Jameis better. That’s why the Glazers hired Koetter. He was the quarterback whisperer in Lovie Smith’s final season, and he was so good at it he made Smith expendable. Koetter was the guy to get the most of Winston, tender-loving care, tough love, all that. It was a Belichick-Brady sort of arrangement.

Now it’s Belichick or bust. Koetter is a 13-15 head coach with a quarterback who can’t decide whether he is lost or found. The off-field stuff has not helped Winston. Could it save Koetter? Could Winston’s injury’s save Koetter? Could Koetter bring in another QB, through free agency or the draft — real competition for Winston and start all over?

With who?

Jon Gruden?

Isn’t Jim Harbaugh in town Thursday for the Outback Bowl contract signing?

Koetter showed patience as Winston returned Sunday. There was some good and there was some bad. Winston seemed to be settling in when … he lost that fumble that was returned for a Lambeau Leap.

Koetter looked like he could have re-eaten his breakfast. It’s enough to make a guy phone Tennessee about the opening.

But Koetter was there for his quarterback, during and after the game.

No matter. Winston might be a puzzle Koetter can’t solve.

It’s up to the Glazers whether Koetter gets to reconstruct Winston or not.

Is Jameis better than he was before last season?

I don’t think he is.

He needs a few wins.

Careful, Jameis.

That job you’re holding in your hands might not be your own.

Contact Martin Fennelly at [email protected] or (813) 731-8029

Comments
Jameis Winston’s Uber ride will never be forgotten, and shouldn’t

Jameis Winston’s Uber ride will never be forgotten, and shouldn’t

Just when you thought it was fun to be a Bucs fan again. Just when you were blissfully under the spell of FitzMagic. Just when the Bucs were becoming the cool kids in the NFL with the latest greatest show on turf.Just as the good times have arrived, ...
Updated: 9 hours ago
Buccaneers-Eagles All-22: Why Ryan Fitzpatrick and Fitzmagic could be real

Buccaneers-Eagles All-22: Why Ryan Fitzpatrick and Fitzmagic could be real

It’s just a mirage.At any moment now, Ryan Fitzpatrick will come crashing back to Earth. He’ll go back to being the Fitzpatrick of 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017. Quarterbacks don’t t...
Updated: 10 hours ago
Bucs’ Ryan Fitzpatrick is NFC’s Offensive Player of the Week. Again.

Bucs’ Ryan Fitzpatrick is NFC’s Offensive Player of the Week. Again.

It's Ryan Fitzpatrick's world, and the NFL is just living in it.For the second straight week, the Bucs quarterback was named the NFC's Offensive Player of the Week.Fitzpatrick becomes the first Bucs player to ever to win that award in back-to-back we...
Published: 09/19/18
Derrick Brooks among Hall of Famers backing away from letter demanding benefits

Derrick Brooks among Hall of Famers backing away from letter demanding benefits

Add Bucs linebacker Derrick Brooks to the list of players who have publicly disavowed specific demands and threats in a letter published Tuesday listing 21 NFL greats demanding health insurance and pension for all members.The letter threatens a boyco...
Published: 09/19/18
Bucs’ Jameis Winston sued by Arizona Uber driver in alleged groping incident

Bucs’ Jameis Winston sued by Arizona Uber driver in alleged groping incident

  TAMPA — Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston was sued Tuesday by the Arizona Uber driver who has accused him of sexual assault by groping her in March 2016. The woman — identified only as Kate P. in the federal court papers — is seek...
Published: 09/18/18
Updated: 09/19/18
Bucs announce social justice initiative

Bucs announce social justice initiative

TAMPA — Bucs receiver DeSean Jackson stepped out of his cleats and walked in the shoes of a Tampa police officer during a simulation training session Tuesday that was eye-opening."I was a police officer doing a regular (traffic) stop and I got ...
Published: 09/18/18
Lightning’s Alex Killion on his FitzMagic look: ‘None of us’ has his flair

Lightning’s Alex Killion on his FitzMagic look: ‘None of us’ has his flair

TAMPA — How big is FitzMagic? It has hit the Lightning, too.Proving that Harvard guys stick together, Lightning forward Alex Killorn showed support for fellow Harvard grad Ryan Fitzpatrick by, sort of, dressing up the way Fitzpatrick did follow...
Published: 09/18/18
Dolphins’ Minkah Fitzpatrick files trademark application for ‘FitzMagic’

Dolphins’ Minkah Fitzpatrick files trademark application for ‘FitzMagic’

Enjoy "FitzMagic" while you can.Not because Ryan Fitzpatrick's days as the Bucs starting quarterback might be numbered once Jameis Winston returns from his three-game suspension.Rather, because Dolphins defensive back Minkah Fitzpatrick might soon ha...
Published: 09/18/18
Say hello to Major Ryan Fitzpatrick, Bucs QB and Civil War pen pal

Say hello to Major Ryan Fitzpatrick, Bucs QB and Civil War pen pal

You’ve probably heard about the #FitzMagic phenomenon by now, but are you following Major Ryan Fitzpatrick’s dispatches from the front lines of the NFL circa 1862? Months before the Tampa Bay Buccaneers backup-turned-temporary (but also ...
Published: 09/18/18
What do the Lightning’s Alex Killorn and Jimmy Fallon have in common?

What do the Lightning’s Alex Killorn and Jimmy Fallon have in common?

What do Lightning forward Alex Killorn and late-night talk show host Jimmy Fallon have in common?Both have become smitten with FitzMagic.Killorn wore black sunglasses, a No. 14 jersey and a chain around his neck today while addressing the media in ho...
Published: 09/18/18