Day-1 of Tampa Bay Buccaneers Training Camp is in the books, and the story on and off the field was about quarterback Jameis Winston.
On the field, the Bucs fourth-year quarterback took snaps with the second team as the coaching staff decided to let Ryan Fitzpatrick spend most of the time with the starters as the veteran back up will start the first three games of the season with Winston on suspension.
The practice had a less than training camp feel to it as it took place inside the team’s new indoor practice facility with thunder storms in the area, but the team made the most of their time on the field in one of their last unpadded practices before the hitting finally begins.
Mike Evans had a couple impressive grabs including one against Ryan Smith who was all over Evans in coverage and may have even got his hands on the football. On the flip side, Ronald Jones continues to look uncomfortable catching the football, and could be seen dropping balls during drills. It’s hard to imagine how he’ll do better catching the ball when guys are actually looking to hit him. There are guys who are just better performers in games than in practice, so let’s hope Jones is one of them, at least when it comes to catching the ball.
Off the field the story was also Winston who answered questions for the first time since being hit with a three-game suspension by the NFL. While Winston spoke of having to earn his fans trust back, and about being disappointed in himself, he seemed to miss the mark by repeatedly bringing up the good he’s done in the community since the incident that caused him to be suspended. While those things are not untrue, Winston needs to let others come to his defense and speak only with contrition if he wants to win back the fans who he’s lost or remain on the fence.
As excited as you imagine he’d be about it, head coach Dirk Koetter answered questions about his quarterback as well, but refused to get into much, almost claiming complete ignorance about the situation. As you can imagine, Koetter like his starting quarterback are ready to move on to football. Hopefully that can be the case moving forward.
Day-2 of Bucs training Friday at 8:45 with the first practice open to the public coming Sunday morning.