Do Bucs Coaches Really Not Trust Jameis Winston OR Is That Just Another MEDIA-Driven FALSE Narrative?
Do Bucs Coaches Really Not Trust Jameis Winston
Is that Just Another MEDIA-driven FALSE Narrative?
After the recent Tampa Bay Buccaneers loss to the New York Giants, Tampa Bay Times journalist Rick Stroud wrote an article titled, “It’s still a matter of trust with Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ Jameis Winston” and postulating that despite the Bucs being up big at the half on the strength of Jameis Winston’s right arm, the coaching staff lost trust in Jameis after he threw an interception (one that resulted in zero points for the Giants).
I took exception to Stroud’s article and tweeted out the following:
Rick Stroud then contacted me via DM and explained his reasoning, which I appreciated. I posted his DM as well as my DM replies to him on Twitter and made it clear that I respected him taking the time to explain his reasoning and that such showed a lot of character. I’ve dealt with multiple Tampa Bay Times reporters in the past and I can honestly say, Stroud handled himself in a more professional manner than any of the others I’ve dealt with, and I respect and appreciate that.
However, after my recent tweet thanking him for showing a great deal of character in explaining his reasoning, he asked me not to share any future DMs of his and explained the reasoning behind his article a bit further. I then replied with one of my customary lengthy DMs explaining the reason I found the article so distasteful.
While I will not include Rick’s recent DM as he asked me not, I will include the complete text of my reply to Rick, below. It explains, in full, exactly why I found the article distasteful and yet another example of a media-driven false narrative against Jameis Winston.
Now, before you read the complete text of my DM to Rick, please understand that I am not condemning Rick Stroud in any way, nor am I “exposing” him as I have done with various other media members in the past, both over social media and in my book (which I did not mention Rick Stroud in whatsoever, as I did not feel he deserved to be called out for contracting or spreading “Jameis Winston Derangement Syndrome”). Journalists are human and they make mistakes like everyone else. They write things that after publication they wish they would have written differently, in the same way that we all say things that after we say them, we wish we would have said differently. Foot in mouth disease is a normal human condition.
I believe Rick Stroud may have had one of those moments in writing his article. I imagine he would disagree with my assessment and stand by his article. People disagree; it’s not a big deal, at least not to me, and probably, not to Rick Stroud either. However, Jameis Winston’s next contract is a big deal, not just to Winston, but to the entire Winston family and everyone Winston cares for and supports. And, I honestly believe that articles that spin false narratives about Winston damage his ability to earn the most lucrative contract he can earn, as they pit public sentiment against him, which puts undue pressure on team owners (in this case the Glazer family) to listen to such misinformed “fans”, and perhaps the either offer less money on the next contract, or even to “move on from” a player who has fallen out of favor with the misinformed fan-base. And, that is a “big deal” indeed!
Tampa Bay Buccaneers fans are the only fans in the NFL that have had to watch as no less than THREE quarterbacks their team drafted, went on to start in and win a Super Bowl, with another team! Considering that the Buccaneers’ franchise has ever only won one Super Bowl, it’s absolutely remarkable that THREE different quarterbacks they drafted, went onto win a Super Bowl as the QB1 of another franchise, after the Buccaneers dumped them.
I don’t want to see Buccaneers fans have to suffer the same fate for a fourth time, and I honestly believe that the more articles spinning false narratives about Winston that infect the public with “Jameis Winston Derangement Syndrome” that are published, the greater chance there is that such a fate will play out. I’m dedicated to making sure that doesn’t happen!
All of the above said, below is the complete text of my recent DM to Tampa Bay Times journalist Rick Stroud. Enjoy.
I have never viewed dms as “off the record” unless specifically stated and have posted dms of former TB Times employee Greg Auman in the past as well when he flew off the handle, which you know.
Regardless, I apologize for upsetting you. However, if you read the tweet itself where our dms are included, you’ll see that I spoke well of you and actually shared the dmsso that others would think more highly of you as well, as many folks have told me to blast you in the past and that you’re this and that; however I don’t play the gossip game and I try to always give everyone the benefit of the doubt until they personally show themselves not to deserve such. And, as you and I have never had an issue and I have never “personally” seen any reason to dislike you, I have never been hard on you, though I have and will continue to critique certain articles of yours if I feel such is warranted.
In regards to helping me sell books. Rick, I’ve never asked you to do any such thing, which you know full well. I didn’t write the book to make money; no author with any semblance of common sense, writes a 400+ page book backed by 850+ citations “on spec” the way I did if they’re simply in it for the money.
As for my “mistaken narrative”, what exactly would that be? I stand by 100% of what I have written and tweeted and there has not been one single person who has been able to refute one single page of my book, nor even one single tweet of the nearly 21,000 tweets I have posted, despite many, including TB Times employees, ESPN employees and the like trying to do so. So again, what “narrative” have I ever spun that is not accurate?
As for your article: You willingly admit that you personally spoke to both Arians and Leftwich and that both told you the INT did not influence the subsequent play-calls, yet despite getting that truth straight from the horses’ mouths so to speak, you wrote an article titled, “It’s still a matter of trust with Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ Jameis Winston”, and began said article with the sentence, “Do the Bucs trust Jameis Winston?”
Are you kidding me? You don’t see how your article not only flies in the face of reason, and the face of what Arians and Leftwich actually conveyed to you, but that such is absolutely spinning a FALSE narrative that the Bucs don’t trust Winston?
And yes, I understand you mentioned the success of the runs. However, after you quoted Arians explaining that he simply kept calling runs because they were working, you state in the article, “I’m not sure that argument holds water. The NFL is a passing league. Striving for a balance is nice if you’re talking about a checkbook, but the rules changes in the NFL favor throwing the football early and often.” Um, Rick, when those runs were called, it was not “early” and over the course of the game Jameis was asked to throw FORTY-ONE times (4 times resulted in sacks) which is “often”. Your reasoning doesn’t fit Arians’ response at all, and seems like nothing more than a bit of convenient text added to try and justify the FALSE narrative that the coaches don’t trust Jameis.
Later in your article, you compared Arians’ play-calls to Dirk Koetter’s play calls in a game in which he STARTED the game with 6 straight runs and fed Jacquizz Rodgers 10 times on the first drive. However, Arians started this past game with Jameis slinging the ball all over the field in the first quarter, and ONLY started calling run play after run play when the team was ahead in the 4th quarter and trying to run clock. The two coaching strategies are not remotely connected in any way, yet you used them to spin the FALSE narrative that the Bucs’ coaches don’t trust Jameis.
You conclude your article asking if other QBs Arians coached would’ve been allowed to throw the ball on the 3rd & 2 Peyton Barber was stuffed on. Seriously?Come on Rick, what sort of nonsense is that? I have no doubt you and I and anyone else with some extra time on their hands, could PROVE that ALL of those QBs handed the ball off on a 3rd & 2 in the fourth quarter of a game they were leading at least once (and likely MANY times) when Arians coached them. Roethlisberger was a mere game-manager who thrived off play-action and was supported by a monstrously effective run-game as a young QB. Manning also had the fortune of playing with Marshall Faulk and then Edgerrin James as a young QB! Jameis has had three straight years of next to no support from his run game, and finally the Bucs have a solid ground game with their own version of thunder (Barber) and lightning (Rojo) and they must only have such because Arians doesn’t trust Jameis? Talk about “spinning” a false narrative.
You then end your article with the line, “Do the Bucs trust Winston? Maybe not completely. Not yet.” You’ve got to be kidding me. You wrote this article after a game in which Winston was asked to drop back 41 times, threw for 380 yards, had a passer rating of 112.4, a QBR of 64.9, gave the Bucs a huge half-time lead on the strength of his arm AND put the Bucs in position to easily win the game on the strength of that same arm and a clutch would-be game-winning drive in the fourth quarter, if not for Matt Gay’s miss. And, you do such all because ONE run play was called on a 3rd down when the team was ahead late in the fourth quarter … a run play that was called on 3rd & 2, after the previous 6 run plays had gained a whopping 6.2 ypc!
I’m shocked that you don’t understand why I would call out such an article.
Jameis Winston is the most slighted and slandered QB in NFL history. ESPN is on a crusade to ruin his career and to convince the masses that he not only shouldn’t be in the NFL due to past off-field issues (none of which he was even arrested for, let alone convicted over, unlike a bevy of NFL players no one writes hit-pieces on), but even that his on-field play is so atrocious that he doesn’t deserve to start in the NFL. And, with THAT as the backdrop, you and various other TAMPA media members write additional articles that lead the local fan-base to dislike and lose trust in Jameis. Frankly, I think that is shameful.
It’s no secret that many in the national media desire the Bucs to have a different QB1 in 2020 – anyone other than Winston – so they can feel good about themselves and pat themselves on the back for running Jameis out of Tampa and for costing him millions over the course of his next contract. However, that such people also exist in the local Tampa media disgusts me. I am not stating that you are absolutely one of those people, but I find it hard to believe that you can’t understand how your recent article gives extra hope to such people that this will be Jameis’ last year in Tampa, emboldens other media members to write their own hit-pieces against Jameis, and stokes the fires of certain “fans” who also spend a great deal of their time on social media slandering Jameis, to be even more active in their work to run Jameis out of Tampa. And again, I think that is shameful and frankly find such disgusting.
I understand various media members don’t like me, hate my book as it exposes their false narratives, and wish I would just disappear. However, none of that bothers me one bit. I simply desire to see Jameis treated fairly (not heaped with praise or fawned over, merely treated “fairly”) and am more than willing to be attacked myself to see such ultimately happen. God’s will be done.
Jameis1of1 is the pseudonym of the author of: JAMEIS WINSTON DERANGEMENT SYNDROME: How the Media Causes Us to Overlook the Start of a Hall of Fame NFL Career, available on Amazon in paperback, and nearly everywhere as an eBook.