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Byron Leftwich: Jameis Winston is still Bucs’ best quarterback for 2020

The offensive coordinator believes the team’s fortunes will turn soon.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston (3) and offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich hug before a game vs. the New York Giants at Raymond James Stadium on Sept. 22. [MONICA HERNDON  |  Times]
Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston (3) and offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich hug before a game vs. the New York Giants at Raymond James Stadium on Sept. 22. [MONICA HERNDON | Times]
Published Oct. 31, 2019

TAMPA — Beleaguered Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston has 10 turnovers in the past two games, both losses, and his team is virtually out of the playoff hunt at 2-5 as they travel to Seattle for Sunday’s game against the Seahawks.

But offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich still believes Winston will be the Bucs’ best quarterback option for 2020.

“I feel that way,” Leftwich said. "I feel as though we’re just not doing enough to win football games.

Related: RELATED: Why can’t Jameis Winston be more like Russell Wilson?

“This league is so ― it’s four or five plays here or there that you’ve just got to really change and get out of our system just as a team, really. That comes to winning the football games. If you win some of the games that you lost, it’s all different, right? The narrative is all different. So we’ve got to understand that, try to fix those plays and hopefully when we have the opportunity in the future, that we make those plays to win football games.”

Winston earns about $20.1 million as the Bucs picked up his fifth-year option, but he is set to become a free agent in March. To maintain control of Winston, the Bucs would either have to sign him to a contract extension or apply the franchise tag of at least $25 million on their starting quarterback.

Statistically, Winston has taken a step back under coach Bruce Arians this season. He has posted career lows in completion percentage (58.2) and passer rating (82.1), and his interception percentage is 4.6

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