Dirk Koetter Taking Training Wheels off Winston

Tampa Bay Buccaneers' Head Coach Dirk Koetter was cautious with Jameis Winston as a rookie after his experiences in Jacksonville, but things might be changing.

Quarterback Jameis Winston is entering his second year as the starter for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers after a solid rookie campaign where he threw for over 4,000 yards and accounted for 28 total touchdowns. First-year Head Coach Dirk Koetter, after serving last year as offensive coordinator, wants to give Winston more responsibility when it comes to running the offense in 2016. According to Pro Football Talk, Koetter says the team will run more no huddle this season, and Winston will have more freedom to change plays at the line of scrimmage.

But Koetter knows now how important it is to not throw everything at a young quarterback all at once. Koetter served as the offensive coordinator in Jacksonville from 2007-2011, and he saw firsthand the danger that comes with putting too much on a quarterback too quickly with Blaine Gabbert. In talking about what happened with Gabbert, Koetter told PFT, "I think when we had Blaine Gabbert in his first year—and I’m not criticizing anybody—but there’s an example where Blaine maybe got forced into situations a little bit too early."

The Bucs' coaching staff believes that Winston can handle the extra pressure and raves about his willingness to study and his communication skills.

As for Koetter, he enters his first season as an NFL head coach hoping to learn from his previous mistakes.


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