Bucs offensive coordinator on Jameis Winston: 'He's going to be somebody'


TAMPA, Fla. -- After watching Jameis Winston throw five touchdown passes in Philadelphia, Tampa Bay Buccaneers offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter doesn't need to be convinced that the rookie quarterback will be a star.

"I think it shows him that he belongs in the NFL," Koetter said Wednesday. "Jameis likes to say he's nobody yet. But he's going to be somebody. At some point, he's going to be somebody. Jameis continues to improve."

Winston enjoyed the best game of his young career in completing 19 of 29 passes for 246 yards with those five touchdowns in routing the Eagles. He finished with a season-best 131.6 passer rating, and he avoided throwing an interception for the fifth time in the past six games.

"What was so special about that day was it was at the Eagles," said Winston, who was a Philadelphia fan as a kid growing up in Alabama. "That was a dream for me, because I always wanted to play there -- let alone get a victory in there. So that was very important to me to be able to be on the Eagles' field.

"Other than that, it's just another game. You can't just look at that and be like, 'Hey, I had a good game.' OK, I've got to move to the next game. Preparation is everything. So that game is out of my mind, and I'm on to the next one."

Still, the variety in Winston's touchdown passes Sunday was impressive. Five different targets found the end zone: tight end Cameron Brate, running back Charles Sims and wide receivers Mike Evans, Vincent Jackson and Russell Shepard. Winston tied the NFL record for most touchdown passes by a rookie in a game, matching the Detroit Lions' Matthew Stafford (2009) and Chicago Bears' Ray Buivid (1937).

"That was one day," Koetter said of Winston's play last Sunday. "That was one day in a life of a rookie quarterback. So now we know where the high end is. Unfortunately, we also saw the bottom end of it a couple times earlier in the season. Let's hope we don't see that version anymore. He continues to improve."

Winston also showed growth by ad-libbing after the Bucs had headset issues early in the first quarter. On Wednesday, Koetter revealed that Tampa Bay's headsets were "in and out" for the first couple offensive series and that Winston's first completion -- a 16-yard pass to Brate -- happened without direction from Koetter.

"The very first pass of the game that Jameis completed ... our headphones went out," Koetter said. "He got that all orchestrated on his own. It was a pass that we had up in our scripted openers anyway."

Added Winston: "The way Coach Koetter trains us is that we have to know our personnel groupings and our play calls. So just thinking about the situation and knowing our game plan, I can think about the few plays that we had in those situations and went off of that."

A star in the making? Winston has the instincts to make Koetter's vision possible.