Winston Must Go

In nearly every type of job where performance is measurable, e.g., sales, attorney, negotiator, politician, waiter or actor, nearly everybody would be fired who fails three straight times. If you add social transgressions to those performance failures, they are usually thrown out with yesterday’s newspapers or twitter comments.

In sports, somebody of nearly equal ability will replace the loser. The Bucs quarterback, Jameis Winston, has a career won-loss record of 18-27 through his first three years and has yet to lead his team into the playoffs, despite a more than respectable supporting cast. A review of his passing statistics reveals the major portion of his passing yardage has come in the second half of losing games where opponents have played prevent defenses trading off passing gains against the winding down of the clock.

Add the need of his school to pay nearly a million dollars to settle a rape accusation, and his admission of guilt to groping a female Uber driver, plus other juvenile transgressions, including theft and screaming obscenities in a crowded dining hall, the owners of the Bucs should have already shown him the door.

How many chances do you give somebody to redeem himself? The NFL has gotten itself into a situation where viewership has dwindled, attendance at games has lessened, and fans, especially women, are leaving in droves. Sure, some reaction has been negative due to the concussion issue, but ever since Ray Rice did his horrible thing in that elevator, owners’ eyes have looked everywhere but at the real problem. Bullies.

Winston is gone for three games for groping the Uber driver, Ryan Fitzpatrick will replace him and probably do just as well, if his past performances are any indication. The guy the Bucs should have taken three years ago when they picked Winston, Marcus Mariota, will probably lead the Tennessee Titans back into the playoffs with far less talent around him than the Bucs have put together for Winston. The single most important measurement of a quarterback is getting his team into the post season. Mariota has done it and Winston hasn’t.

And it isn’t as if Bucs management didn’t see it coming. In the Rose Bowl following their senior seasons, Mariota’s Oregon team clobbered Florida State and Winston, 59-20, sending a very embarrassing message to the ACC and putting Oregon into the final four in that initial college playoff scenario. So bad was it for Winston that after throwing a backward pass (fumble) that was recovered and run in for a touchdown by Oregon, his own coach, Jimbo Fisher, tired of hearing his excuses, had to tell him to shut up and go sit on the bench.

In spite of that imbroglio, the Bucs drafted him ahead of Mariota. In the opening NFL game of 2015, fate would have the Tennessee Titans visiting the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Winston versus Mariota. The Titans blasted the Bucs, 42-14, Mariota completing 13 of 15 passes for four touchdowns.

Therefore, the first two times these quarterbacks met, Mariota won by a combined score of 101-34.

Winston will sit out the first three games this year while Mariota prepares the Titans for a second run at the playoffs.

The Bucs should have drafted another quarterback two months ago. Better yet, three years ago.

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4 responses to “Winston Must Go

  1. Coach…

    There’s really no sense in looking back, only looking forward.

    We’ve got him so now what are we going to do with him or more importantly what is he going to do with himself?

    The Bucs just extended his contract so he’s got essentially two more years to prove himself.

    By no means am I defending his behavior but for the time being, he’s our quarterback and he’s got those two years to prove that he can lead us to where we need to be. That includes on and off the field..

    I imagine the Bucs are keeping him on a pretty tight leash. I can’t see too many more screwups coming from the Winston camp keeping him on this team.

    All we can do is hope for the best. The team’s vested in him. If nothing good comes, I’d fully expect them to part ways which means we once again start from scratch at the most important position in football.

  2. Elite athletes live in a bubble that we fashion for them when they are in early adolescence. The professional athlete who believes that the rules don´t apply arrives at that believe because from the age of thirteen or fourteen the rules have not applied. The problem lies not solely with the athletes themselves but with the willingness of our institutions, beginning with education, law and the media, to tolerate behavior in athletes that they do not tolerate in ordinary citizens. The compulsions are too powerful, they money is too abundant, the mechanisms of fame too solidly in place, the behaviors, beginning with our own, too firmly implanted.

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