Monday, October 22, 2018
Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The trouble with Jameis’ finger-licking, finger-jabbing leadership

Can we get some grown-ups here?

Jameis Winstonís finger-licking bad pregame speech in New Orleans ó "Thatís a W. Letís eat one!" ó clearly left teammates baffled, judging by their reaction, or lack of it. Did they even know what he was saying? Did any of us?

Winston has run out of material or breath or both.

It might be too late to tell him to just shut up and play, seeing as heíll sit out the next couple of games because of his bad shoulder. But I donít think I can watch him forcing faux leadership. Granted, if the Bucs were 6-2, not 2-6, it wouldnít seem as silly.

The TV cameras were right there with Winston on the Superdome rug before he and the Bucs embarrassed themselves against the Saints. Jameis uttered pointless nonsense.

I donít doubt that he loves pumping guys up. And itís often sincere. His teammates genuinely like him.

But he is officially off the rails, like his team, like this season.

Frankly, Iím tired of TV showing his speeches. Exhausted, in fact.

Dirk Koetter needs to reel in his QB. These next couple of weeks are important. Winston could use them, not only to rest, but to reassess. Watch practice. Watch some game film. Watch some of your speeches ó and see if anyone is listening anymore.

The bigger problem Sunday was Winstonís in-game behavior. After he was pulled from the disaster because of his ailing shoulder, he stepped onto the edge of the field to confront Saints rookie cornerback Marshon Lattimore ó from behind. Lattimore pushed Winston before Lattimore was blind-sided by Mike Evans, who was suspended for one game Monday.

"I just let my emotions get the best of me," Evans said after the game. "Something I shouldnít have (done). It was very childish."

Jameis started it. I blame him.

He needs to keep his fingers out of his mouth and to himself.

He needs to act like a leader.

The Bucs looked like bratty children.

I recently wrote that Iíd take Winston over Panthers quarterback Cam Newton partly because Jameis was more mature. Iíll stand by that. But Winston didnít do himself any favors Sunday.

You can make all the speeches you want, but if you act like a clown, people will follow you in that direction, too, and act like clowns.

Iím tired of hearing about Jameis the Leader. And Iím tired of the narrative of Jameis the Competitor. Think Saints quarterback Drew Brees doesnít lead and compete?

Maybe we should blame HBOís Hard Knocks, which amounted to a Bucs Infomercial, heavy on Jameis glorification.

There is now no doubt that some Bucs inhaled the Hard Knocks fumes, along with all those preseason predictions of greatness. Some breathed in quite deeply.

I only know that Winston should ratchet down his talk and emotion and worry about his performance. Lead by example.

Winston is the franchise, and if he goes down, the franchise goes with him. Certainly, the head coach and general manager do. They go anyway.

This team is going nowhere if Winston canít keep it together. 2-6 is an excellent facsimile of nowhere in this, Winstonís third season.

Yes, his shoulder is a problem. And his team has no running game, is weak on both lines, canít pressure the quarterback and has a shaky secondary. But the immaturity of this team is a major problem, and the coaches donít seem capable of doing a thing about it. Winstonís erratic play and his renewed erratic behavior doesnít help.

Being a leader is about more than fourth-quarter comebacks, or winning and losing. Itís definitely more than mindless talk and licking your fingers.

Itís time for the grown-ups.

Lead the way, Jameis.

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

Comments
Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: Rick Stroud, Tom Jones break down Bucs-Browns

Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: Rick Stroud, Tom Jones break down Bucs-Browns

Rick Stroud and Times sports columnist Tom Jones break down the sloppy Bucs win over the Browns as Chandler Cantanzaro hits a 59-yard field goal in overtime to win it. This, after he missed a 40-yarder and an extra-point attempt earlier in the g...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Bucs defensive end Carl Nassib comes up big against former team

Bucs defensive end Carl Nassib comes up big against former team

TAMPA — Bucs defensive end Carl Nassib knew the Cleveland Browns better than most. Nassib spent his first two seasons with the Browns before he was cut and claimed by the Bucs.The Buccaneers have long admired Nassib. The team considered draftin...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Bucs defense comes up big on fourth down early and late

Bucs defense comes up big on fourth down early and late

The Bucs' biggest defensive stand came in the fourth quarter when, leading by a touchdown, they kept the Browns out of the end zone with three stops inside the 2-yard line.That included a gutsy fourth-and-goal from the one in which linebacker Lavonte...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Bucsí Chandler Catanzaro wasnít the only one redeemed by his kick

Bucsí Chandler Catanzaro wasnít the only one redeemed by his kick

TAMPA — As Chandler Catanzaro lined up for the winning kick in overtime, right tackle Demar Dotson was consulting with the biggest eye in the sky."I was praying that Chandler would go out there and redeem himself,'' Dotson said.Catanzaro, ...
Updated: 10 hours ago
Bucs-Browns: A by-the-numbers look at Tampa Bayís 26-23 overtime win

Bucs-Browns: A by-the-numbers look at Tampa Bayís 26-23 overtime win

TAMPA — Here's a by-the-numbers look at the Bucs' 26-23 overtime win against the Browns on Sunday:14Bucs' lead at the start of the fourth quarter.69Games, entering Sunday, in which the Bucs had a lead of at least 14 points at the start of the f...
Updated: 10 hours ago
Browns-Buccaneers: Beau Allenís special pregame moment with his mother

Browns-Buccaneers: Beau Allenís special pregame moment with his mother

TAMPA — As the Buccaneers' locker room buzzed about Chandler Catanzaro's game-winning field goal and the overtime victory, defensive tackle Beau Allen, still in his uniform, sat motionless. It was an emotional end to an emotional day."Just kind...
Published: 10/21/18
Welcome back, Jameis Winston. Seems like old times

Welcome back, Jameis Winston. Seems like old times

TAMPA — It's who he is.You don't get that by now, four seasons in?He could have won the game for his team. He could have lost the game for his team.It's who he is.Sunday, in his first home start since coming off suspension, Jameis Winston was a...
Published: 10/21/18
How the Bucsí Chandler Catanzaro kicked his way out of infamy and into history

How the Bucsí Chandler Catanzaro kicked his way out of infamy and into history

TAMPA — As much as Chandler Catanzaro could try to brush off a missed 40-yard field goal attempt that would have given the Bucs a regulation win Sunday, it wasn't that easy.Kickers rarely get noticed when they're splitting the uprights, the spo...
Published: 10/21/18
Bucs-Browns: Chandler Catanzaro converts second-chance kick to deliver Tampa Bay win

Bucs-Browns: Chandler Catanzaro converts second-chance kick to deliver Tampa Bay win

TAMPA — As much as Chandler Catanzaro could try to brush off a missed 40-yard field goal attempt that would have given the Bucs a regulation win over the Cleveland Browns on Sunday, it wasn't that easy.Kickers rarely get noticed when they're sp...
Published: 10/21/18
Bucs needed a win in the worst way and got it, in the worst way

Bucs needed a win in the worst way and got it, in the worst way

TAMPA — If Sunday's Bucs-Browns game had ended in a tie, the National Football League should have stepped in and declared that both teams be given a loss for that mess of a football game.It was the kind of game that burned eyes and turned stoma...
Published: 10/21/18