Jameis Winston set a record in 2019 but it’s not one he will want to be remembered.
The 26-year-old became the first quarterback in NFL history to throw for 30 touchdowns and 30 interceptions in a single season.
The stat led Jameis Winston to become the butt of many a joke and he is now a free agent without a team as of yet.
His 2019 season is at risk of overshadowing his obvious talent if he is unable to find a new team and learn from his mistakes.
And now, in a recent interview, one of his best receivers Chris Godwin has tried to take some of the blame off Winston.
Godwin, who had a breakout year last season, told the Boardroom that Winston should not be held responsible for at least half of the interceptions he threw.
He said: “There have been times where receivers either ran the wrong route.
“I’ve been guilty of running a wrong route or not being in a spot where he thought I was going to be, and you get intercepted and you get a turnover.
“It’s not just him. I think people who are really entrenched in football understand that – that the quarterback gets a lot more of the blame than he deserves.
“Sometimes he gets a lot more credit than he deserves, too. But that’s just the nature for the position.”
In his own frank way, Godwin has hit the nail on the head.
Jameis Winston led the NFL with 5,109 passing yards last season and he did throw 33 touchdowns – league leader Lamar Jackson only threw 36.
The former first overall draft pick is undoubtedly talented and if he is throwing 30 interceptions, there is more wrong with that team than its quarterback’s ability to read a defence.
It should have been obvious from as early as week 6 when Jameis Winston threw a career-high five interceptions that something needed to be done.
Of course, as is Jameis Winston’s style, the game also saw him become the first quarterback in Tampa Bay history to throw for 100 touchdowns.
But instead of celebrating, Winston was probably kicking himself.
Coaching staff should have taken a forensic look at what was going wrong and if receivers were running the wrong routes, they should have identified that and let the world know – loudly.
Because while the NFL media and fans alike all slammed Winston, his confidence will have plummeted and more than likely made the situation worse.
The Bucs coaching staff clearly did not nurture him the way a talented young quarterback deserves to be nurtured so he can grow into an elite play-caller.
Now don’t get me wrong – I’m not saying the Tampa Bay Buccaneers should have hung on to him and god knows they’ve more than upgraded by snagging Tom Brady.
Maybe he just didn’t gel with the coaching staff or the Buccaneers system, maybe he hasn’t developed the discipline to learn from his mistakes.
But that doesn’t mean he should be left out in the cold and held solely responsible for the high interception tally.
It is a team sport and Godwin would not possibly have had the break year he enjoyed without Winston’s ability.
Godwin caught nine touchdown passes from Jameis Winston and wracked up 1,333 yards with an average of 15.5 yards per pass Winston threw his way.
What’s more the Bucs were the third highest scoring offence last season showing Winston knows how to make a play when he’s not too busy throwing interceptions.
Jameis Winston is a talented quarterback
While head coach Bruce Arians described Winston as trending backward in 2019, the stats are quite the opposite.
The only stat that has declined is the interception tally which, granted, is a critical one. Take that away though and he looks like Peyton Manning.
Winston hit his career high with number of attempts and completions with 626 and 380 respectively – both stats which led the league.
He also had the highest total yards of his career and his highest average yardage per throw and we’ve already covered his league-leading 5,109 passing yards.
That’s not exactly trending backwards and is an incredible talent too ignore.
Let’s hope he can find another opportunity to flex his ability so that history can maybe remember him a little more kindly.
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