The useless hype surrounding training camp interceptions

We have seen several publications create a stir surrounding the amount of interceptions thrown by Buccaneers’ rookie quarterback Jameis Winston in two practices. Five picks to be exact. 

It’s fuel for those who prey on the negativity surrounding Winston. Any wrong or error committed on or off the field will be sensationalized. But we have seen that countless times already.

Several pundits have chimed in with their take on Winston’s interceptions and all seem to agree that there is no reason for concern. Former NFL general manager Charley Casserly is no different as he says there is a bigger picture than just numbers in practice after seeing the team live from One Buc Place on Tuesday.

TBC Photo

Winston goes deep to Mike Evans during Sunday’s practice.(TBC Photo)

“This is a teaching camp, so it’s hard to judge improvement because you’re watching grass grow every day. You have to come back after a couple weeks and, all of the sudden, nobody cut the lawn and it looks better. And that’s what you’re going to see here,” Casserly said via PewterReport.com. “So for me, I look for parts and I saw parts here today. I don’t get hung up on stats in practice… In other words, did the receiver run the right route? If the ball is over here, did the receiver make the right cut? I think you have to look at the big picture.”

And the big picture is what several are missing.

Head coach Lovie Smith revealed that the defense is giving several different looks to their rookie signal caller so he can learn NFL defenses. That is a piece of the puzzle many fail to acknowledge. Instead, they view it as an attempt to diffuse the situation or excuse the errant throws.

Why aren’t Winston’s beautiful touch passes into the end zone to his receivers talked about?

There has also been lots of attention surrounding Tennessee Titans rookie quarterback Marcus Mariota and the lack of interceptions he has thrown in training camp thus far — which is none. The attention given to the subject has been quite comical as many are buying into it as a legitimate statistic to base an analysis off of, believing the hype that comes with it.

Last season, many raved about former Buccaneers quarterback Josh McCown’s ability to protect the football during training camp. The 2014 season came and went and, well, we know how well the McCown acquisition turned out.

There are no wins and losses in training camp. There is no statistical value to what anyone does. There is only practice tape and classroom time that matters most. And that’s where Winston is excelling at the moment.

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