Offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter praised the rookie quarterback, citing Jameis Winston's recall and football intelligence during the draft process as reasons he impressed the organization.
Koetter added that coming from a pro-style system at Florida State has prepared Winston to play right away.
"Florida State was probably installing more stuff per day than we do," Koetter said, via ESPN.com. "I've known about (FSU coach) Jimbo Fisher and his style of offense for a long time. They truly do run an NFL-style system. They ask a lot of their guys mentally. Jameis is as well-prepared as most any guy could be right now."
Winston is a shoo-in to start immediately, so opportunity is plentiful. He has two established weapons to throw to in receivers Mike Evans and Vincent Jackson, and TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins is expected to make strides in his second season. The situation from a skill position standpoint is very good, though the offensive line isn't. The Bucs did add two offensive linemen in the 2nd round, so there should be improvement up front. Rookie QBs are generally poor fantasy bets, but Winston should be a committee/streaming option in 12-team leagues.
With Dirk Koetter running the offense in 2015, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers finally will be able to unleash their pace plan.
"A guy that just, you know, he loves, loves fast tempo, loves to get the ball up field," offensive tackle Demar Dotson said of Koetter, via JoeBucsFan.com. "He loves to go a lot of no-huddle. That's going to be something that's more different than what we're used to. So it's going to be a lot of up-tempo stuff. You know, so that's something he loves doing. It's got its ups and downs, but I'm looking forward to being a part of it."
Last season with the Atlanta Falcons, Koetter ran the sixth-fastest offense in the NFL, per Football Outsiders' pace stats.
While both Koetter and Smith want to play fast in 2015, their ability to perform with pace will be dictated by how quickly Jameis Winston picks up the system.
If the team is successful in running an up-tempo offense, it should further boost Winston's fantasy value as a rookie. Mike Evans, Vincent Jackson and Austin Seferian-Jenkins would also benefit, along with whoever is running the ball in Tampa. But it's one thing to want to play fast and another to successfully do so.
Johnny Manziel is fresh out of a 10-week stay in a rehab facility. McCown is a stable veteran with a career completion percentage near 60. This wasn't difficult.
"We just look back to when he was in Chicago, when he had a pretty good supporting cast around him, and he was able to be more than functional. He had a very successful year," Pettine said on WKRK-FM, via the Beacon Journal. "When you build the team right, it minimizes the importance of the quarterback."
The problem here is that while in Chicago, McCown was throwing to Brandon Marshall, Alshon Jeffery and Martellus Bennett and now he'll be targeting Dwayne Bowe, Brian Hartline and Rob Housler. That's a serious downgrade at all three positions. McCown didn't play particularly well with Vincent Jackson and Mike Evans in 2014, there's no reason to believe that he's going to make a passing game go with Bowe, Hartline and Housler.
Bears beat writer Michael C. Wright was asked how the team intends to cover the Lions' receivers:
Wright: To me, that's one of the most significant concerns for the Bears entering this game. As you already know, rookie cornerback Kyle Fuller's availability for this game is uncertain with him suffering a knee injury in the win over Tampa Bay. Fuller had been playing with a broken hand and a hip pointer prior to his latest setback. Fuller's injury didn't appear to be significant initially. But if Fuller can't go, the Bears would likely go with undrafted rookie Al Louis-Jean, who possesses similar size to Tillman (6-foot-1, 187 pounds). But would you want to put an undrafted rookie on Johnson? Tim Jennings (5-foot-8) would likely struggle matching up with Johnson. So Chicago would be in a tough spot if Fuller isn't able to play. If the Bears are forced to go with Louis-Jean, more than likely, the corners would probably stay on their respective sides with the defense giving the corner to Johnson's side safety help over the top, along with extra help underneath whether that's from a linebacker or the nickel.
Friday, November 7, 2014, 6:15pm
Buccaneers WR Vincent Jackson (knee, questionable) took full practice reps on Friday after being limited earlier in the week and is questionable for Week 10. Jackson has a knee injury, which is a different ailment than the one he was dealing with last week (rib). Given the full participation on Friday, we have him penciled in our lineups, but owners should be aware that he may not be able to count on him playing through his questionable tag. The Buccaneers play early on Sunday.
Thursday, November 6, 2014, 6:28pm
Buccaneers WR Vincent Jackson (knee) returned to limited practice reps Thursday after missing Wednesday practice. Jackson is expected to continue to play through the injury.
Wednesday, November 5, 2014, 6:08pm
Buccaneers WR Vincent Jackson (knee) did not practice Wednesday. Jackson was previously missing practice due to a rib injury, so the knee injury (if the IR is correct) is new. We’ll monitor his participation this week.
Friday, October 31, 2014, 5:43pm
Buccaneers WR Vincent Jackson (rib, probable) took full practice reps on Friday after being limited earlier in the week and is probable for Week 9. Jackson continues to nurse the rib injury but will be fine for a solid matchup against the Browns. He has been outplayed by rookie Mike Evans thus far, but should eventually get it going.
Thursday, October 30, 2014, 6:15pm
Buccaneers WR Vincent Jackson (rib) took limited practice reps again Thursday. Jackson continues to nurse the rib injury but should be fine for a solid matchup against the Browns.
If there's one subject that has been met with nothing but positive commentary this week, following the Buccaneers' overtime loss to Minnesota, it's the ever-improving play of Mike Evans, the seventh overall pick in this year's draft. By the raw numbers, Evans has been consistent all season catching at least four passes in each game he's played and usually falling somewhere between 50 and 80 yards per week. But everyone from his quarterback to his coordinator to himself believes that Evans is riding an upward trajectory towards potential stardom.
After Evans caught four passes for 78 yards (and had one other big play erased by a holding penalty back at the line), Head Coach Lovie Smith said in his day-after-game press conference that the Bucs' offense needs to get the ball in Evans' hands more often.
Wednesday, October 29, 2014, 6:48pm
Buccaneers WR Vincent Jackson (rib) took limited practice reps Wednesday. Jackson continues to nurse the rib injury but should be fine for a solid matchup against the Browns.
Friday, October 24, 2014, 6:26pm
Buccaneers WR Vincent Jackson (rib, questionable) took limited practice reps all week and is questionable for Week 8. Jackson is still dealing with a rib injury, though he should be able to play through it against the Vikings. Tampa plays early on Sunday. If V-Jax happens to sit, Mike Evans and Louis Murphy would both get a bump against a so-so Minnesota pass defense.
Thursday, October 23, 2014, 6:04pm
Buccaneers WR Vincent Jackson (rib) took limited practice reps again Thursday. Jackson is still dealing with a rib injury, though he should be able to play through it against the Vikings.
Buccaneers beat writer Pat Yasinskas: Coach Lovie Smith has been coy about his plans. My best guess is Mike Glennon will get at least one more start because Josh McCown returned to practice only this week and was out for more than a month. I think Glennon has played well enough to be the full-time starter, but I'm not sure Smith sees it that way. McCown was Smith's hand-picked quarterback and the two have history together from their Chicago days. Smith's history has shown he prefers to go with veterans. Back in Chicago, he once benched Kyle Orton, who was playing well, as soon as Rex Grossman got healthy. It wouldn't surprise me if Smith goes back to McCown.
Wednesday, October 22, 2014, 6:13pm
Buccaneers WR Vincent Jackson (rib) took limited practice reps Wednesday. Jackson is still dealing with a rib injury, though he should be able to play through it against the Vikings.
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