There were several times in 2015 where quarterback Jameis Winston was unable to hit a target downfield. It’s not an easy task but it is one that Winston has acknowledged he has to improve on.
Despite the struggles, head coach Dirk Koetter said his offense was tied for most explosive plays in the league with 139 last season. He would still like that number to improve and he talked about the process of completing that challenge speaking to the media at the NFL owners meetings.
“We have depths and landmarks that we are trying to hit on the field based on the route concept,” Koetter said. “The way the rules are written right now, the offensive players down the field have an advantage. How many balls down the sideline that you see that are either out of bounds or five yards overthrown? So our term for that is give them a chance. If we’re going to go through all that trouble to call it, to protect it, to get back there, all it gets down to is we [have to] hit this spot and give [wide receiver] Mike Evans a chance. That’s the easy part — it’s what we tell Jameis.”
Working on that part of the game will undoubtedly be a focus this offseason for the Buccaneers. Winston may have already started that process as he recently revealed his workouts are well underway. He isn’t the only one that needs to contribute to that phase of the game, though, as Koetter adds that improving execution will be a total team effort because there were moments where protection created problems for the young gun slinger.
While overall expectations for the team are not very high due to coaching and scheme changes, many are anticipating an improved offense under Koetter in Year 2. We’ll see if that transpires.