Thursday, January 18, 2018
Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Jameis Winston and his body of work

TAMPA — Jameis Winston is building his body, and by extension, his career. His future success on the gridiron begins with pumping iron.

That has not always been the mind-set of the Bucs quarterback. His epiphany came in January after arriving at the Pro Bowl for practice and noticing how different the bodies of Falcons WR Julio Jones and QB Russell Wilson looked from his own.

"When Jameis got back from the Pro Bowl, that was the first thing he told me, just how impressed he was with Russell Wilson and Julio Jones, how they looked physically," new Bucs coach Dirk Koetter said. "He said to me, 'I need to change my body.' I didn't say anything to him about that."

So Winston and his agents mulled over a list of trainers and chose Tim Grover of Attack Athletics, who used to put Michael Jordan through torturous workouts. That program has continued with trainers at One Buc Place along with a better nutritional program. Winston said he still weighs 235 pounds, but the 22-year-old's physique appears much leaner at his core.

"I looked out my window last week (at One Buc Place), 7:30 in the morning, barely getting light, and there's Jameis out there pulling a parachute running sprints," Koetter said.

UNLUCKY OR ENIGMA? TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins is an enormous talent, but injuries have hindered him from becoming a consistent performer. He has played in only 16 games since being drafted in the second round out of Washington in 2014.

"His talent flashes every time he's on the field," Koetter said. "This guy has got huge ability. … A coach told me a long time ago the best ability was availability. Austin has had a string of legit injuries, and no one works harder at rehab than him. He's passionate about football. He wants to be great. But until we can get a look at him consistently, all we've seen is those flashes. It's hard to think of anything good in that Tennessee game last year (a season-opening 42-14 loss) but … Austin had (110) yards receiving."

It took more than two months for Seferian-Jenkins to return from a shoulder injury last season, and when he did, he wasn't the same player. "When you watch film, you can tell when something is not right because your body will naturally try to protect it," Kotter said. "He should hit or be hit on that shoulder. He tried to come back and was not playing at full capacity. It was frustrating for everyone, but trust me, nobody was more frustrated than him."

Nobody benefitted more from ASJ's absence than former Harvard TE Cameron Brate, who had 23 catches for 288 yards and three TDs after being cut to start the season. "You never know how or why certain guys are going to connect at a certain rate, but Jameis and Cam connected," Koetter said. "They had a good feel for each other in the red zone and a good feel on seam routes, and Cam made the most of his opportunity. He's an ascending player."

QUOTABLE: Koetter on why the club never has had a discussion with CB Brent Grimes about the social media habits of his wife, Miko, who has been known to throw a little shade at the Dolphins and QB Ryan Tannehill: "Wives don't coach, and wives don't play. I'm not that concerned about it. I think we're strong enough as a team and an organization to handle distractions, and I don't know that there will be a distraction."

BUCS BITS: Koetter said he will emphasize to the team that more games are lost by mistakes than won in the NFL. … The Bucs want to find a way to protect DE Jacquies Smith from being physically worn down against the run. Smith, 26, has 13½ sacks in 27 career games. He is recovering from minor shoulder surgery and won't be ready by OTAs. … Smart for the team to sign former Jaguars P Bryan Anger, who has a career net average of 41.5 yards.

Comments
DeSean Jackson says Jameis Winston needs to stop trying to “impress the world,” and play his game

DeSean Jackson says Jameis Winston needs to stop trying to “impress the world,” and play his game

Receiver DeSean Jackson stopped short of saying he regretted his decision to sign a three-year, $33.5-million contract as a free agent with the Bucs last March. But he certainly is disappointed in his lack of chemistry with quarterback Jameis Winston...
Published: 01/17/18
Bucs LB Kwon Alexander headed to Pro Bowl

Bucs LB Kwon Alexander headed to Pro Bowl

Kwon Alexander is headed to the Pro Bowl.The third-year Bucs linebacker, who led the NFL in solo tackles a year ago, was announced Tuesday as an injury replacement for Seattle's Bobby Wagner.Alexander, 23, won't have to go far, as the game is back in...
Published: 01/16/18

Shrine Game journal: Homecoming for Utah OL Salesi Uhatafe; Quinton Flowers works on snaps

ST. PETERSBURG — Salesi Uhatafe is back in his hometown, and though he moved to Texas when he was still a baby, it’s very much a homecoming as the former Utah offensive lineman plays in Saturday’s East-West Shrine Game at Tropicana Field."I’ll probab...
Published: 01/15/18
Iowa State’s two-way star Joel Lanning practicing at linebacker for East-West Shrine Game

Iowa State’s two-way star Joel Lanning practicing at linebacker for East-West Shrine Game

ST. PETERSBURG — Joel Lanning has the unique distinction of being listed as an "LB/QB" on the West roster for Saturday’s East-West Shrine Game at Tropicana Field.And while the former Iowa State star spent the entire practice at middle linebacker Mond...
Published: 01/15/18
Bucs GM Jason Licht ‘cringed’ at expectations, optimistic about future

Bucs GM Jason Licht ‘cringed’ at expectations, optimistic about future

TAMPA — It was a brutal year. That’s how general manager Jason Licht views the Bucs’ 2017 season.Start with Hard Knocks and the surrounding expectations, some he embraced and others he "cringed at." They all went unfulfilled, mostly due to injuries, ...
Published: 01/15/18

NFL playoffs schedule

AFCCONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIP• Jaguars at Patriots, 3 p.m. Sunday, CBSNFCCONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIP•Vikings at Eagles, 6:40 p.m. Sunday, FoxSuper Bowl LIIJaguars or Patriots vs. Vikings or Eagles, 6:30 p.m. Feb. 4, U.S. Bank Stadium, Minneapolis TV: NBC...
Published: 01/15/18
Jason Licht addresses what went wrong for the Bucs in 2017 and how they plan to fix it

Jason Licht addresses what went wrong for the Bucs in 2017 and how they plan to fix it

It was a "brutal year." That's how general manager Jason Licht views the Bucs 2017 season.Expectations, many of them he said he "cringed at," nonetheless went unfulfilled due to injuries, particularly the right shoulder sprain suffered by quarterback...
Published: 01/15/18
Bucs search for a backup quarterback becomes paramount amid NFL’s probe into Winston

Bucs search for a backup quarterback becomes paramount amid NFL’s probe into Winston

With the NFL investigating allegations against Jameis Winston that potentially could result in a suspension, the Bucs will need to address the backup quarterback position again this off-season."That's another position I always want to do whatever we ...
Published: 01/15/18
Rick and Tom podcast: Who says you need a franchise QB in the playoffs?

Rick and Tom podcast: Who says you need a franchise QB in the playoffs?

The NFL’s final four teams are set, and the starting quarterbacks are Tom Brady, Blake Bortles, Case Keenum and Nick Foles. In their latest podcast, Rick Stroud and Tom Jones break down this past weekend’s games, including the Vikings’ miraculous fin...
Published: 01/15/18
Vikings stun Saints with 61-yard touchdown on last play

Vikings stun Saints with 61-yard touchdown on last play

MINNEAPOLIS — This doesn’t happen, not in the NFL, not in the playoffs, not when what is on the line are such things as legacies and franchise curses and — oh, my. All of it.The Vikings were dead, just as they have always been in the playoffs. Their ...
Published: 01/14/18