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Jameis Winston’s early camp includes making practice ‘as hard for him as possible’

New offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich says he wants to force Winston to make quick decisions, and most importantly, learn from his mistakes.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians, quarterback Jameis Winston (3) and offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich talk during training camp at the AdventHealth Training Center on July 28, 2019 in Tampa, Florida. MONICA HERNDON | Times
Published Jul. 30

TAMPA — A training camp full of working against an aggressive 3-4 defense that disguises coverages so well should be as good a preparation as quarterback Jameis Winston can receive, right?

And through the first days of training camp, Winston has thrown his share of interceptions, but that's not reason for fans to throw their hands into the air in frustration, first-year offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich said Tuesday.

The new Bucs coaching staff’s plan with Winston is to put him in difficult situations early on, forcing him to make decisions on every play — and if he makes poor decisions — put them on tape so he can learn from it.

RELATED: Bucs rookie cornerback Jamel Dean continues to defy the odds

“In every play, I’m trying to make it as hard for him as possible,” Leftwich said of Winston. "I never want him to have reps where it’s easy things where he thinks he knows exactly where he’s going with the ball and he can make that throw.

"I'm always trying to put him in a position where he has to do something, where he has to see this before he's able to make the play," Leftwich added. "Constant pressure on the quarterback position every snap, trying to make sure they make the right decision every snap."

Bucs defensive coordinator Todd Bowles likens it to a “give and take” where both units are adjusting to players transitioning to a new offense and defense under coach Bruce Arians.

“Jameis is a very sharp quarterback,” Bowles said. "He gives us our share of problems as well, believe me. He understands things, he sees things that I’ve seen a lot of quarterbacks can’t do. But we try to get ready for the season. Our install is such that we work on different things every day or a difference disguise every day trying to make everything look the same.

“Jameis is fine,” Bowles added. “They get their share of touchdowns on us, and it’s a lot of ... back and fourth right now. They’re installing, and we’re installing, and we just need to continue to make each other better.”

Contact Eduardo A. Encina at eencina@tampabay.com. Follow @EddieInTheYard.

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