Jameis, don’t try so hard

Tampa Bay Times - - Lightning - BY GREG AUMAN AND RICK STROUD Times Staff Writ­ers

TAMPA — Jameis Win­ston doesn’t lack for lead­er­ship qual­i­ties, but some­times he can go over the top. Whether it’s eat­ing Ws be­fore games, pick­ing fights with op­pos­ing de­fen­sive backs or play­ing hurt, the Bucs quar­ter­back can put added pres­sure on him­self.

Of­fen­sive co­or­di­na­tor Todd Monken wants Win­ston to try less to im­press.

“Ir­re­spec­tive of the phys­i­cal stuff on the field, let’s not try so hard,” Monken said Thurs­day. “(Win­ston has) nat­u­ral lead­er­ship qual­i­ties, a tough­ness about him. Guys want to fol­low him.

“It’s okay to fail. He’s hu­man. It’s okay to be hurt. It’s okay to have that side of you. … You don’t have to try so hard. Guys will fol­low you. Just be your­self.”

Monken is pri­or­i­tiz­ing im­prov­ing the Bucs’ red-zone ef­fi­ciency; they ranked 24 th in the NFL last year. Monken is quick to note that with five more touch­downs, the Bucs would have ranked eighth. But dropped balls, fum­bled snaps and missed as­sign­ments led to the rank­ing.

“We chose to suck,” Monken said. “We chose to not do it as well as we can do it. That’s the way it is. I say that all the time, ever since I’ve been in coach­ing. And ev­ery­one has to take a bite of it.

“I al­ways say this: We sure as heck want the credit when we win. I do. … And we’ve got to own it when we don’t, when we don’t score, when we don’t take care of the ball. When you don’t do some of the lit­tle things that al­low you to win, you’ve got to own it.”

Times (2017)

Of­fen­sive co­or­di­na­tor Todd Monken, at train­ing camp last year, says his 2018 pri­or­ity is im­prov­ing red-zone ef­fi­ciency.

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