Open Letter to JoeBucsFan.com and Ira Kaufman, February 15, 2019 Podcast – Jameis1of1
Dear Joe Bucs Fan and Ira Kaufman,
I love you guys and have recommended the JBF site and the Ira Kaufman podcast and continue to do so. However, that doesn’t mean I agree with every article on the site or opinion presented on the Podcast.
Your recent February 15th podcast, posted on the JBF site and titled, Ira Talks Roster Building, Interpreting Jameis, Smith Spotlight, Tight End Evaluations And More is a perfect example of this.
In the above podcast, you fellas doubled down on your recent article from February 14th, titled, Jameis Winston, Says He Told Himself To Disregard Coaching that drew so much flak from fans who felt the title was inaccurate clickbait, and which caused Jameis himself to feel the need to clarify his comments.
The money quote (JBF’s words, not mine) from Jameis Winston in their original article was:
“I had to look at myself in the mirror and say, ‘Hey Jameis, what do you have to do?’ And that was simply, ‘Get back to playing Jameis Winston football. Be yourself. Have that swag. Don’t try to be something that a coach is trying to get you to be.’ You know, you gotta go and be you.”
The above quote being what it is, I’m quite sure a more accurate title for the article would have been:
Jameis Winston Realized That to Be the Best He Can Be, He Must Stay True to Who He Is
My revised title, had it been used, would have perfectly summed up Jameis’ comments, would not have been misinterpreted by people and would not have had Jameis feel the need to clarify his perfectly understandable and personally reflective original comments.
Recently on Twitter, you (@JoeBucsFan) doubled-down on your title choice, which is your prerogative, even if many fans thought doing so was absurd. However, you then took the doubling-down to a whole new level in the aforementioned podcast with Ira Kaufman, as in said podcast, all of you basically said that not only did Jameis disregard coaching, but that his comments have been “all over the place” and that he was being “hypocritical” and that it was crazy for him to say he had to return to playing Jameis Winston football as after he returned as the starter in week 12, he played “neutered” and just handed the ball off a ton. I mean, are you guys kidding me? Do you really expect fans not to question or refute such absurd statements, after spinning such an absurd and inaccurate narrative?
Firstly, nothing Jameis said in his original statements to you, could be accurately interpreted as him disregarding on-field coaching or disregarding coaching related to on-field play. His comments, if taken at face value, simply show that an unnamed coach was trying to make him act like someone he wasn’t and he realized after looking in the mirror that he had to be himself. Those are personally reflective comments, not an incendiary attack on any specific coach.
Secondly, the insanely false narrative that Jameis was neutered, turned into a game-manager, asked to hand the ball off a ton, Et cetera, after returning as the starter in week 12, is not only absurd, it is provably false by even a cursory look at the statistics. Outside of the one nasty weather, road game in Baltimore in week 15, Jameis attempted 189 passes (while NEVER attempting less than 30 passes in a game) and had another 36 drop-backs where he either scrambled or was sacked over that mere 5 game span. That is an average of 37.8 pass attempts per game and 45.0 drop-backs per game over that span! He also averaged 291.0 passing yards per game and threw 11 TDs for an average of 2.2 TD passes per game over that span.
What does the above mean? It means that over that span, the span that you guys say Jameis played “neutered” and like a “game-manager” he averaged more pass attempts per game than all but 4 QBs averaged per game last season, more passing yards per game than all but 5 QBs averaged per game last season, and more TD passes per game than all but 2 QBs averaged per game last season!
The actual truth is that the stats prove that after Jameis returned as the starter in week 12, outside of the one bad weather game on the road in Baltimore, he was still gun-slinging and averaging more pass attempts per game than Mahomes, more passing yards than Luck and Rodgers, and more TDs than Roethlisberger, Brees, and Brady did during the 2018 season!
As to the false narrative that Jameis was just handing the ball off a ton over that span. The actual fact is that he handed the ball off just 100 times in those 5 games, for an exact average of 20.0 handoffs per game. That is fewer handoffs per game than most any QB averaged per game in the NFL last year, including Patrick Mahomes!
In short, basically everyone on the aforementioned podcast was either completely ignorant as to the actual statistical facts, or they were merely spinning known false narratives about Jameis. Either way, that podcast was not a good look for Joe Bucs Fan or Ira Kaufman, as nearly every word of it can be refuted with actual facts.
I hope you take this letter in the spirit it was written in, as again, I do love you guys and generally support your work. However, I also believe that everyone, family or foe, friend or frenemy, can learn and become a better person, journalist, analyst, Et cetera by accepting constructive criticism from time to time.