The Buccaneers started their offseason conditioning program on Monday as head coach Dirk Koetter, wide receiver Mike Evans and quarterback Jameis Winston all met with the media. The team did not do much of anything physically due to NFL restrictions, but the team did get together for offseason plans and saw coaches address the the players. While players didn’t really hit the field, there was work away from the facility.
During his time at the podium, Koetter said he feels players getting building chemistry away from One Buc Place really isn’t that important. But for two of his offensive players, it is.
“We’ve been hanging out more. We’re pretty busy guys but we have found time to hang out and throw when we can,” Evans said about his offseason relationship with Winston. “I agree with Dirk, our chemistry was off last year, mostly on my end. I feel that it won’t be a problem this year.
“[Winston is] trying to find me everywhere I’m at. He wants to hang out, he wants to go throw all the time. He’s doing the right things, he’s a workaholic. I [have to] do a little more running than him but he’s working and wants to be the best. I do as well.”
Winston’s work ethic was never a question while at Florida State nor was it ever an issue during his rookie season. This offseason, Tampa Bay’s young quarterback has not made changes to his pattern and talked about his commitment to improving with Evans.
“Creating a steady relationship,” Winston said about what he has been doing to build the chemistry between he and Evans. “We depend on each other. There will be situations in the game where I’m going to have to look at Mike and say ‘Mike I need you on this play’ and he’s going to look at me and say ‘Jameis come my way, I got you.’ It’s just developing that relationship off the field and on the field that’s good.”
Winston would reveal what he has been working on improving along with Evans.
“I just [have to] give the guys chances to make plays on the ball. That is something that I have — me and Mike have — specifically worked on. We spent two days working on deep balls, of course he’s tired but he kept doing it. We actually had some of the Tampa Bay Storm guys come in and help him out. They saw him working his tail off and they were like ‘We aren’t going to let you burn him out’ and Mike was appreciative of that because I just kept on going.
“I don’t let him go by himself. We go out there, he runs a 50-yard route, I will sprint to the 50 yards down the field where ever he had caught the ball. When I work with the guys, I don’t let them be the only ones running because that’s the excuse a receiver or tight end would give, ‘Oh well you’re not out here running.’ I’m like ‘OK I’m going to show you. I will do the same running that you’re doing’ so they don’t have any excuses.”
For the Buccaneers offense to have any success under Koetter in Year 2, the proper steps have been taken by both Winston and Evans. The offense’s future will only go as successful as their young stars take them and it appears to be heading in the right direction so far.