The Bucs have one of the most intriguing quarterback training camp situations in the NFL. Their franchise quarterback, Jameis Winston, is going to miss the first three games due to suspension.
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It is presumed that his back-up from a year ago, Ryan Fitzpatrick will take over the lead role in his absence. So, who gets the lion’s share of first team reps? Who will be pre-season starter? The questions don’t stop there; what is up with the development of Ryan Griffin.
The 28 year old quarterbck, Griffin, has been Coach Koetter’s project for about three years. Now its time to see what all he can do. Is he worthy of at least being a reliable back-up, or can he show the ability to manage the entire offense? Koetter will definitely need a highly detailed plan to distribute each rep effectively. So, what does each rep means to each quarterback; how can he split them up to benefit all three?
The face of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers is Jameis Winston. He has endured a roller-coastal three year NFL career. Everything about him has been polarizing. The good things that sometimes get overlooked he does on and off the field are gravitating and simply, sensational. Things like his passion, his leadership, the game changing plays and his effort with the community goes under the radar. On the other hand, the things he does that gets the national attention are down right embarrassing.
There is substantial evidence to prove why you love him or why you hate him at this point of his career. This season is very critical to Winston’s development and his future with the Bucs. He is the epitome of a risk taker, and now it is time to show the bucs why he’s worth their risk.
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The 35 year old journeymen, Ryan Fitzpatrick, is only in his second off-season under coach Koetter, but he has a lot of experience. He is a seasoned vet and understands exactly what the team expects from him. This is nothing new, Koetter has counted on Fitzpatrick for a three game stretch before. In 2016, he took over while Winston was held out to rest his injured shoulder. He led the team to a 2-1 record, and played competitively in the loss to Atlanta.
The only difference this time around, he face three division winners instead of the Jets and the Dolphins. He has the whole training camp to gain reps in preparation, plus he gets to play them before they peek.
The lesser known guy in the Bucs quarterback room is Ryan Griffin. Coach Koetter hand picked Griffin and hoped he become the Bucs back-up or a fail-safe for Winston. Griffin has been on the Bucs roster since 2015 and has yet to complete a single pass in the regular season. He’s in a contract year and is going into the third training camp with the Bucs. The time has come for Griffin to show the Bucs how he can help this team.
Winston and Fitzpatrick can alternate first team reps throughout camp. Winston needs to be heavily involved in all the new installs. Then, Fitzpatrick can also alternate second team refs with Griffin. This would allow Winston to build chemistry with the starters and Fitzpatrick can gain starter reps while Griffin gets an opportunity to prove his worth. How would you like to see the reps distributed? Does Ryan Griffin development reflect Coach Koetter?
Rod Thurman is a contributor for Full Press Coverage covering his beloved Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Follow him on Twitter @BucBoy for more from him and everything Bucs.