TAMPA — Rookie QB Jameis Winston came to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers with a reputation for being able to make every throw necessary — and when scouts said every throw, they meant every throw.
Winston proved during his college career he’s just as adept throwing the deep ball and the riskier quickout along the sideline as he is dumping the ball off to his backs behind the line of scrimmage.
It’s only been a couple of weeks, but already Winston has proved to his new teammates, and in particular WR Vincent Jackson, that he’s capable of doing precisely what the scouts said he could.
“Yeah, he’s very dynamic,’’ Jackson said last week following a voluntary offseason workout at One Buc Place. “He can put touch on it when he needs to, but he can also sling it when he needs to.
“We’ve seen both — where he knows he has to put his foot in the ground and fire it through a tight window and when he has to (throw) it deep and soft and put it away from the defender.
“He’s just a very sound quarterback, and he’s only going to continue to get better because you see his competitiveness. He doesn’t want to miss a throw. He comes out here each and every day and he works on his craft.”
Fun times for Jackson
With former Jaguars and Falcons coordinator Dirk Koetter now in charge of the Bucs’ offense, Jackson is learning a new scheme for the third time in as many years.
That’s no easy task, not even for an 11-year veteran and three-time Pro Bowler like Jackson. But Koetter’s offense is one Jackson thinks he’s going to enjoy playing in once he learns its nuances.
“Dirk is having some fun moving me around and playing me in multiple places, and it’s been fun for me, too,’’ Jackson said. “It’s fun to play inside (in the slot) and outside, to be able stretch the field and cross the field.
“That’s what’s good about this system. We’re going to put the ball all over the place. The (running) backs, the tight ends, everybody’s going to be involved and that should make it fun for all of us.’’
Helping me, helping you
It might not be long after his playing days are over that CB Alterraun Verner turns to coaching. After all, he does a lot of coaching on the field now, and not just defensive backs.
Verner, a six-year veteran out of UCLA, tries not to step on his coaches’ toes, but can’t help interjecting an opinion here and there if he sees a player on either side of the ball displaying a technique that needs tweaking.
“If a receiver runs a route on me and I didn’t think it was convincing, I’ll go and tell him, ‘Hey, you’ve got to sell it more,’ or something like that,’’ Verner said. “And I’d hope they’d do the same to me if they see something I’m doing (wrong). That way we all get better out here.”
Offseason workouts are not in pads, so they are not conducive to evaluating offensive and defensive linemen other than to determine their ability to carry out an assignment.
The same cannot be said of skill players such as running back. Many of their abilities can be judged in spring workouts, and Bucs head coach Lovie Smith says likes what he’s seen of his running back corps so far.
“We have one-on-one drills with the linebackers,” Smith said. “And anytime they’re running the ball, catching the ball in the open field, having to make plays, you can see (what) the running backs (have), and we’ve seen that from ours,’’ Smith said.
“Mike James, Bobby Rainey, Doug Martin, Charles Sims — we like all those guys. There’s a reason they’re on our roster, and we’ll need the entire group before the season is over.’’