Photos of quarterback Jameis Winston at Buccaneers Training Camp.
If Jameis Winston looked particularly sharp during Thursday's training camp practice at One Buccaneer Place, there may be a reason for that beyond just the simple day-to-day progress of a talented rookie. After installing major portions of the offensive playbook during the first four days of camp, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers used Thursday as a review day. The second time through, many of the concepts began to click.
Not everyone who attended Thursday's practice, which was open to the public and once again packed with onlookers, was as impressed with Winston's performance. Still, the general consensus was that the rookie quarterback was in a groove:
Bucs practice is winding down overall impression Jameis Winston had a solid day but his receivers and running backs had way too many drops
— Chip Carter (@ChipCarterFox13) August 6, 2015
In the middle ground between the naysayers and the obviously impressed witnesses was Winston himself. He spread the credit for a strong day around and seemed to pin his own strong day on the fact that it was something of a refresher course.
"It was a review day and everybody was clicking on all cylinders," said Winston. "It's always good to refresh your memory and go back to the things we already did."
Of course, it's worth pointing out that any given game day is going to be an extended review period of the plays and concepts learned during the week leading up to it. If Winston can absorb his teaching and regurgitate a performance like the one he gave on the practice field on Thursday, that will surely please the Buccaneers and their fans.
Wide receiver Kenny Bell, another member of the Bucs' 2015 draft class, has had an excellent first week of training camp, and he's been a particularly good target for Winston. He had another good day on Thursday, but he was also the perpetrator of one of those drops mentioned above. On the play, Bell ran a comeback route along the left sideline and he came out of his break to find Winston's hard pass almost in his chest already. Bell didn't react quickly enough to haul it in, but he appreciated Winston's pass and knows what he needs to do to make the connection next time.
"It was a great pass," said Bell. "He put it right on the money. Sometimes things just don't time up. That's an 18-yard route and I've got to come out of my break and snap my head around. But when Jameis gets some pressure, he's going to let go of it pretty quick and it's my job to get my head around."
That play aside, Bell agreed that Winston and the entire offense had one of their better days of camp on Thursday.
"I think we fired on all cylinders today," he said. "We had some drops and some M.E.'s [mental errors], but this is the whole process, it's camp. It's about executing and getting that much better every day. If we can execute and get better every single day, that's the goal. This is football – things are going to go wrong, people mess up, things don't look the same way, but when you've got guys hustling around and firing around it makes a big difference."