Jameis Winston says he has to stop throwing interceptions or the Bucs will be grounded

Jameis  Winston has 25 turnovers in 17 career games on the road. [WILL VRAGOVIC | Times]
Jameis Winston has 25 turnovers in 17 career games on the road. [WILL VRAGOVIC | Times]
Published Sept. 28, 2017

Jameis Winston says he has to do a better job of protecting the football or the Bucs will take it out of his hands.

Winston was intercepted three more times in a 34-17 loss to the Minnesota Vikings Sunday. Winston has 25 turnovers in 17 career games on the road. The Bucs host the New York Giants Sunday and Winston knows he has only one main job to do.

"Protect the football,'' Winstson said. "That's the main thing. I talk about it all the time. If you look at last week's game, that's what it came down to. It came down to turnovers.

Winston underthrew wide open receiver DeSean Jackson in the second quarter and a touchdown would've cut the Vikings lead to 14-10. Instead they used the turnover to drive 92 yards for a touchdown.

He was intercepted twice in the second half while trying to mount a comeback. Winston passed for 328 yards and two touchdowns to go with the three picks.

"It's a consistent reminder that Jameis, you cannot stop getting better,'' Winston said. "You've got to continue to improve. You look at the game we did have, we were 70 percent completion…and we lost. That hurt. You have an effective day in the air and you lose because of three turnovers. They were all results of me. So it's something that sticks in the back of my mind and in practice I might throw a pick and get mad and frustrated. But it's that constant motivation like, "hey, you've got to get better every day.' It's a marathon, not a sprint. Obviously, I've got to get better quickly or there's going to be some consequences I might hate. But like I said, for this teams' sake, I got to do a better job of giving us a chance.''

What consequences is Winston referring to?

"Consequences would be us running the ball 30 times a game,'' Winston said. "I like throwing the football. I don't want us to make decisions – obviously, if it will help our team handing the ball off 30 times a game. But again, that's a luxury we have. We have the diversity of being able to run and throw the football. If I turn the football over – I was talking with my Pops and he said, "Man, if you turn the ball over, they're going to run the football. You're not going to be able to throw the football.' Like I said, for the team's sake, I have to be able to be trusted. And when the quarterback is trusted, a lot of things go smooth.''

A year ago, during one of Winston's turnover-fests, running back Jacquizz Rodgers ran the football for 10 straight plays to start the at Carolina and finished with 30 carries for 101 yards. The Bucs beat the Panthers 17-14.

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