Last Call For The No. 1 Overall Pick

October 15th, 2019


The Bucs had a tough decision to make in the spring of 2015. They had to choose between a dynamic gunslinger and a savvy game manager.

They went with Jameis Winston at the top of the draft ahead of Marcus Mariota and felt good about the pick. More than four years later, the Bucs and Titans are coming to grips with the very real possibility both quarterbacks are destined for the dustbin of NFL history.

While Bruce Arians is sticking with Winston, for now, Tennessee coach Mike Vrabel is waffling about his starter under center against the Chargers.

The common denominator in this depressing spectacle is Titans GM Jon Robinson, who served as Jason Licht’s most trusted sounding board when Tampa Bay prepared for the critical 2015 draft.

“I will evaluate with Jon and the coaching staff,” Vrabel said to the Titans media corps. “I will let you know as soon as I figure out and do what is best for the team.”

On Sunday, Vrabel benched Mariota for Ryan Tannehill in the third quarter following Denver’s second interception, which dropped Mariota’s passer rating for the day to 9.5. That’s a little worse than the absurd number Winston fashioned in the opening half against the Panthers in London.

Some national media pundits have already closed the book on Winston, who takes a 23-37 record into the bye week. In the past 3 years, the Bucs have won only 8 of his 28 starts.

“Moving forward, the Buccaneers are going to have to find a new quarterback,” says NBC analyst Rodney Harrison. “Jameis is absolutely too careless with the football. Everything has to be a big play or a touchdown.”

That’s the nutty problem in a nutshell.

Winston still thinks he’s in Tallahassee, playing for a team that was almost always more talented than its opponent. The Seminoles bailed him out of poor first-half performances time and again during that sophomore season.

7 Deadly Sins

In retrospect, the 2015 draft looks like a disaster at the quarterback position.

Only seven were selected overall, with Garrett Grayson, Sean Mannion, Bryce Petty, Brett Hundley and Trevor Siemian filling out the seven deadly sins.

You see any Deshaun Watsons in that group?

“When you have a franchise-type quarterback, it gives the whole organization confidence,” says former Buc quarterback Chris Simms, now working for Pro Football Talk and NBC Sports.

The Titans and Bucs are each 2-4, not exactly brimming with confidence.

Winston’s completion rate is 60 percent and Mariota is at 59.1 percent, not acceptable given today’s pass-friendly rules. They share the league lead for most times sacked (25) and Winston’s 10 interceptions are topped only by Baker Mayfield.

Where’s the quarterback whisperer? He’s busy making excuses for a quarterback who shouldn’t need them in Year 5.

Arians has been very careful to treat Winston with a gentle touch at the podium. Let’s hope it’s a different story behind closed doors.

Last Call

At this point, with only 10 games remaining to quell the concerns of Arians and ownership, Winston already has one cleat out the door. If he hits the free-agent market in 2020, Winston will add yet another depressing chapter to a franchise tale of woe that began in 1976.

Yes, the Bucs have never offered a long-term extension to a quarterback they’ve drafted. If Winston wants to reverse that stunning trend, he must change his behavior in the moment/second of truth — when plays break down and he invariably returns to his garnet and gold mindset.

Since the London debacle, you can’t help but notice that people are talking about Winston. Most of ’em aren’t talking very nicely. The bye week gives him plenty of time to reflect on Monday’s headline on the popular web site Deadspin:

“The turnover king has returned.”

The Bucs don’t want to start all over at quarterback. They want to believe Winston is the guy who will lead them back to glory, but he’s not going along with the plan.

Next up: the Titans in Nashville, where Mariota is hanging by a thread. [Editor’s note: It was reported Tuesday Mariota has been benched for the foreseeable future.] Two quarterbacks passing through a Sunday afternoon, exchanging hugs and best wishes.

By March, there’s a good chance they’ll be exchanging new addresses.

Click through to see all the Fall Savings at Bill Currie Ford, Tampa’s first family of Ford.

62 Responses to “Last Call For The No. 1 Overall Pick”

  1. ITS ABOUT TIME !! Says:

    reality check …. you are what your record and statistics say you are!!
    WE have to stop putting lipstick on a pig and calling it beautiful 🙁

  2. Pewter power Says:

    Cant blame the o line because it’s been decent. If anything he knew he had two starters out and two guys were making their first start all the more reason to have the common sense to either take the sack or throw the ball away. Even average quarterbacks display that common sense. Hes been coached all offseason to make the smart play but he doesn’t get it. The issue is he probably thinks he is better than he is, his perception of his skills is not the reality and someone needs to be real with Winston.

  3. LordCornelius Says:

    He basically has to play the way he did weeks 2-5, from weeks 8-16, with no performances like weeks 1 & 6, or yeah he is probably doomed.

    Biggest thing to me is his confidence isn’t looking right in the pocket at all. Playing scared of the pass rush.. If that’s the case then that’s probably it for him.

  4. DalvinCookRules Says:

    Mariota plays his best games against Winston. This one could get ugly.

  5. Lamarcus Says:

    I don’t trust the Bucs drafting QBs. Can we trade for one instead? Or go after a undrafted guy.


  6. ClodHopper Says:

    We don’t need to draft a qb. There’s teams out there like the Jags, Aints, and Stinking Panthers who have two qbs. All I’m saying is we have multiple roads to go down after we wipe the stain of the worst qb in the division off our alarm clock uniforms.

  7. Smashsquatch Says:

    Ira, we’re going to have to ask you to leave now. We turned the lights on 20 minutes ago and last call was an hour ago. Thanks for coming.

  8. Reply Says:

    I blame this website for the past 11 years………

  9. Bucsmarley Says:

    As a original buc fan since the beginning I can’t hardly watch anymore
    It’s been 5 years with no improvement. Sure Winston shows flashes but we would be more competitive with a game manager. Winston is awful. If your being honest how many games has he lost for us. I know there are plenty of bandwagon Winston fans so what’s it going to take for you to realize he’s definitely not America’s Qb. Please understand it’s time. Between Winston and hardgraves or 2 picks besides the hole aguayo debacle we are losing games before we even start a game. Why not let griffin start a game. It can’t be any worse. Plus maybe he will surprise many of you. Every game we all hold our breathe and wait for Winston to f@&k it up. It’s hard to watch this train wreck. No other team would stick with him this long for flashes. Even a broke watch is right twice a day. Hopefully we can get Herbert or Fromm.

  10. Troy Says:

    The only people who thought we should draft a QB in 2015 were Lovie, Licht, and FSU fans. Those of us who are living in reality wanted to trade down and drafted O and D linemen. Ah well. We set the franchise back by forcing the round peg (a mediocre QB) into a square hole (Franchise QB). He wasn’t, neither was Mariota. Everyone who actually looked at the draft without desperation saw it.

  11. DB55 Says:

    Apples and oranges. Winston doesn’t have stud tackles on the oline, a Heisman winning running back or champion scat back. Likewise Mariota doesn’t have a defense that has given up an avg of 30+ ppg for years now.

    But yes I completely agree it is time to move on.

  12. Bruce Blahak Says:

    Last call is done and over, or it should be! How can a fan base continue on with this guy at QB next year. It’s 5 friggin years of frustration already. Cut him loose for sanity’s sake. I don’t care if he wins a handful of Super Bowls, it won’t happen here, with him….

  13. zzbuc Says:

    Well, at least for me is pretty clear, Our Bucs have to move on from JW. I can accept incosistency on his rookie year, but not in his 5!!!
    He va¡can make good plays no soubt about that, but he can´t make the dumb mistakes he makes all the time…..You lose games with that kind of QB….I mean, how much more evidence do we need? Isn´t 5 years of inconsistency enough? Whate else do they need? Its annoying!!!

  14. Frank Pillow Says:

    It’s pretty simple math: Jameis’ lack of on the field production + his off the field ‘incident’ > the cost of starting over with a rookie QB. We simply should tie up $ at the position, given the state of the overall roster. Just look at what QBs on their rookie deals are doing in this league- some are downright outstanding and other are every bit as good as what Jameis has shown in 5 yrs.

    It’s time to grab another youngster and try to build a team around him while his salary is limited and before the new CBA kicks in.

  15. Bruce Blahak Says:

    …never mentioned his off field messes but that has to be considered for his removal too. Add this to his poor QB play and THERE IS NO REASON, AT ALL, TO KEEP THIS FAILURE!!!!

  16. Cobraboy Says:

    The $27 million it would cost to resign America’s Turnover Machine could be better spent elsewhere.

    NFL offense is no longer drop-back and throw. It is more wide open, sometimes even college-like.

    Dump Winston, sign a couple of decent FA DB’s, get a young QB and let him play with decent talent around him.

    Kyle Allen’s play should underscore my point.

    My heart has grown cold with Jameis Winston. I am weary of bad decisions and losing games by his terrible, erratic, boneheaded play.

  17. Bucsmarley Says:

    It’s time to rebuild. It can’t be anywose than what we have seen
    Start with firing licht. Then trade Winston for anything lol. Trade hardgraves, Brate,Jpp, stock up on picks and start in the trenches. I can think of 5 qbs in the draft that would certainly be as good as America’s flop qb. When I watch minshew, Allen,Hodges and more just playing the Brad Johnson game manager why can’t we give griffin a go. He was hand picked by Sean Payton and was reluctant to let him go. I trust his scouting a lot more than licht. A game manager may not win the game for us but he won’t lose it other like our current qb

  18. unbelievable Says:

    I have plenty of issues with Winston and his poor play, but honestly what quarterback do you guys think would be playing better behind this o-line and a now non-existent running game?

    I’m just curious.

    Drafting a new QB might result in 3 or 4 less INTs over the season, but it won’t solve the losing until you actually fix this o-line.

  19. Michael in Fort Denaud Says:

    Been a season ticket holder (four Seats) since 2000 section 108. If they don’t reach at least 8-8 I am not renewing. I have better thing to do on Sunday then watch this train wreck.

  20. unbelievable Says:

    lol we’ve been rebuilding for 12 years already… but yea what’s a few more I guess.

    Trade away everyone you can lol.

  21. Pewter power Says:

    I guess the problem is all rookie quarterbacks shine when they play us so for all we know it can get no worse. We dont even have to have a first round d draft pick at quarterback next year to find someone who plays more consistently. Whether he gets an extension or new contract or franchise tagged they should spent at least a 2-3 pick on a quarterback. He’s gonna get himself hurt anyway by holding on to the ball to long

  22. DB55 Says:

    Kyle Allen has max protect, RBs who can actually block and crossing routes within 5 yards of the los. Due to the lack of a pass rush and a porous secondary he has time to hit the second level receivers. But if you paid attention you’d notice anytime there was even slight pressure his passes would be incomplete.

    As for paying FAs with the 30mil savings, when has that ever worked out? No top tier FA ever signs here. Just players padding their retirement accounts as you guys say. Suh might be the biggest success story of our FA signings in 5-6 years and half of you couldn’t stand him just a year ago. Lol. Dirty player who took the entire 2018 season off until he got to the playoffs if I recall correctly.

    You guys are funny. The only redeeming quality is that anything you guys say is normally wrong so Winston should be great once he leaves Tampa.

  23. Thunder_Sack Says:

    I was never a fan of Winston, but wanted him to do well in his career. He has been below average and it is time to move on.

    My real question is why Ryan Griffin is not being given a shot? He is a preseason pro bowl qb that has been with the team for years. Right now it seems the only way they will play him is if Winston is injured. If the season losses pile up I hope he at least gets a chance. If he produces for a few games that could potentially allow the franchise to invest dollars elsewhere.

    You never know what you have until they play a game. I am not being outlandish in my thinking am I?

  24. Bucsmarley Says:

    27 million for a stop gap. No thanks
    Yes the oline is in need of help so why pay 27 million to get Winston hurt lose that money. Start griffin, draft a qb. Fire licht. Trade what we can for picks and be out of salary cap hell.

    Unfortunately it starts at the top. Glazers
    Hire Derek brooks or dungy for our GM

  25. Donnie Says:

    I’m not trying to justify JW play but the rest of the team sucks! Except the rush defense. 30th in point allowed, 30th in pass defense, no run game, tied in last place for sacks and a rookie kicker. How is changing QB going to change all that?? Jabo can make throws but if the rest don’t change we are doomed.

    I had season tickets since JW was drafted but this year I declined because I have no confidence in Litch. I have more confidence in JW at QB than JL picking a good draft or bringing in good players we need.

  26. Petty Officer Buc Says:


    I’m glad somebody in Tampa Bay can call out that 2013 Seminole team what it was, beyond talented compared to the rest of the NCAA and Winston was a turnover machine in his sophomore season.

    Don’t worry: I’m sure the #WinstonDefenseForce well tell us how the sage of Tampa Bay sports doesn’t “know football” a favorite talking point among them.

  27. BucsBandit Says:


    …they continue letting Winston play much for the rest of the season.

    It’s crystal clear what we have in Good Jameis/Bad Jameis. He’s had 5 years and isn’t consistent and still turns it over like crazy. He’s an offensive liability.

    WHY WHY WHY???

    Why give Winston a chance to once again lure the front office and fans into “FOOL’S GOLD” if he puts together some good performances during the rest of the season???

    How is that going to negate his poor play that we already know is a regular thing for him?

    The time to bench Winston is NOW. Waiting, no matter how he plays going forward, is only going to make things worse.

  28. ElioT Says:

    First of all –
    I really want to see Jameis succeed, I don’t want to see another full rebuild and that’s what will happen if the Bucs are forced to draft a new starting QB.

    I can see both side’s perspectives on the Winston debate, and I try to stay somewhere in between.

    Great “Franchise” QBs typically make those around them better with inspired play and true leadership. Jameis has not done that and I believe that’s the most disappointing aspect of all of this.

    We’ve seen QBs make chicken soup out of chicken sh*t in this league. Freeman did it in the 10-6 year.

    I don’t think it’s too much to ask from a #1 overall pick with all the tools the franchise (yes, maybe not the best collection of tools) have given him.

    With that said, I’m still rooting for Jameis, he can be great, he’s just got to cut the bullsh*t immediately.

  29. Colorado Says:

    Garrett Grayson out of Colorado State! ‘Sko Rams!

  30. Dlavid Says:

    Excellent read Ira ! Winston sealed his fate Sunday I believe . More time …. not gonna change a thing no matter how he performs the rest of the season . The book is closed as far as I am concerned ( fan since ‘76 ) not interested in this team anymore till they give me something better . To many heart breaking losses , stupid shooting themselves in the foot losses , poor coaching losses , ineptitude on the field losses , that glorious team Dungy built seems like a lifetime ago ! At least we had something to root for then . See you when the sun comes out again .

  31. Gettinthebucs Says:

    It hurts me to say it but I think Jameis is done here. He’s careless with the ball. He doesn’t seem to learn from mistakes. I thought the football gods smiled on us when we took one of the best FSU players of all time No. 1 overall. Apparently that wasn’t the case. Maybe he’ll move on somewhere else and have a solid career. This franchise is just cursed man. We’ve just had horrible draft after horrible draft year in and year out since the early 2000s.

  32. Onetrickpony Says:

    Lamarcus, I’m wondering the same thing.
    JL cant even get it right with a kicker and we might let him go again on drafting a qb? Why do we have to draft one,build the trenches first I would think.

  33. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    I am quite convinced that Arians didn’t hitch his wagon to Winston…..there was no need…..I can see him saying…..”I’ll do my best to fix Winston but if I can’t, we’ll draft and I will develop a new QB.”

    One thing is for sure… big money will be coming Jameis’ way….either in Tampa or elsewhere.

    He’s on his “prove it” year… it makes absolutely no sense to franchise him. Either sign him to a low end no guarantee contract or let him go.

  34. 813bucboi Says:


    JW is a bust….

    i wanted him to be the “MAN” and take us to the promise land but that aint the case…..

    he’s not the first #1 overall QB to bust and he wont be the last…..

    time to move on indeed….

    GO BUCS!!!!!!

  35. Bucnjim Says:

    It’s unfortunate that not one single QB from the 2015 draft has been worth a crap. Just our luck even the best in their class isn’t worth a baloney sandwich.

  36. ElioT Says:

    I do think everyone is getting far too carried away with sitting Jameis right now.

    There are still 10 games left, he just had one of his worst games as a pro and he’s got the bye week to soak it in. BA and BL do too.

    I thought Jamie’s played great ball last year after his benching (even though a lot of people thought he was “neutered”).

    If he doesn’t bounce back and play solid football the Bucs will be totally done and the last few games they can start Griffin or Gabbert to see what they’ve got.

    Most likes it’s going to be another sh*t waste of a season but there’s still a chance.

  37. Pete I Says:

    DB55 = No one else can do well behind this O-line so lets just stay with the guy who already isn’t doing well for 5 years.

    Utter nonsense!

    I hope DB55 isn’t a financial planner as his clients will be working till their funerals as he will leave their money in terrible investments that never pay-off

  38. DB55 Says:

    A bust who holds how many records?

    The only bust around here is the right side of that oline and the soft mentality and play from our “star” players.

  39. DB55 Says:


    Find me where I’ve said to keep Winston. If you knew anything you’d know I’ve been telling Jameis for over a year to


    The only constant here is that Tampa is the worst sports franchise all of sports. Jameis couldn’t change that, oh well, I can accept that and I’m certain he can too.

  40. Tye Says:

    I can remember many of us not seeing the value of either of these guys and calling for the Bucs to trade down… Winston’s turnovers go back through his college years and Mariota was a part of that Chip Kelly splash offense many doubted would ever work out in the NFL..

    That’s water under the bridge now so own up to the truth that it was a mistake and learn from it to hopefully make a better decision on qb in this next draft…
    Yes, any of them could be another Winston {UGH!} but you want know with giving them a shot..

    Tua is likely already a Dolphin
    Burrows probably will be a Bengal

    So the choice could be Herbert, Fromm, Eason…
    I read where the Bucs scout where in attendance to scout Herbert
    I’ve watched Fromm and researched his history which are promising..
    Eason I have researched and could be the answer the Bucs have been looking for..

    Hopefully the Bucs are doing all they can to get this next qb decision right!

  41. Troy Says:

    JW holds all the records that don’t matter. This is the problem. I could care less that he has a 100 TD passes. His record as a starter is what?????? 25-41. That’s the record that matters. All the other excuses don’t. I know. I know. The Patriots can’t wait to sign him to replace Brady. LMAO! You people who think this crap are nuts. He won’t replace any starter in this league unless they get hurt next year. PERIOD.

  42. Loyaltotheend Section 312 Says:

    Glad I don’t see a bunch of excuses for JW

    I’m not a fan of holding the wins and losses against him but the turnovers and poor decisions are all on him

  43. Cory Collier Says:

    Winston has never processed information fast enough. It takes him an extra 2-3 seconds to figure out what’s going on. By that time the play is over. All of the best QB’s process instantly, this allows them to be one step ahead of the defense, not 2 steps behind.

  44. Coburn Says:

    Aftwr thr last 5 years I think I’d only feel truly comfortable if he playes like a stud the entire rest of the year. Give him maybe a game or two. Reality is he’s only really played 2 great games (tempted to say 1.5, but we ca chalk up giants 2nd half to him being shut Down.. I still think he missed some shots). He’s dropped a couple real stinkers and a couple maybe average games.. (our standard low enough we consider games like firs panthers a good game?)

    At first I thought the headline meant wed be competing for #1 pick lol. Surprisingly hard to do.. after how poor we were last yea apparently there were still a few worse somehow

  45. NPRSageBoy Says:

    Great read, Ira. I’m happy someone finally told the whole story of the QB rich 2015 draft. Stiffs from top to bottom.

    Just goes to show ya how much bad luck follows this franchise. They even picked the wrong year to suck.

  46. Coburn Says:

    Yup.. many things you can blame Licht for but in this case he was kinda screwed lol… you know he basically had to pick Winston or Mariota.

  47. D-Rome Says:

    Jameis Winston’s failures on the field is ultimately an organizational failure.

  48. 813bucboi Says:

    DB55 Says:
    October 15th, 2019 at 1:19 pm
    A bust who holds how many records?


    cmon man….

    a bust(JW) broke another busts'(JF) records….lol….

    i know he holds the record for most games with multiple INTS(18)….

    and guess which bust held that record before JW took the crown?…..BLAKE BROTLES….

    JW IS A BUST….

    GO BUCS!!!!!

  49. 813bucboi Says:

    The only bust around here is the right side of that oline and the soft mentality and play from our “star” players.

    so JW’s not one of our “star” players?….

    damn, after 5years and 3 HC’s he’s still not a “star” player…lol…

    i know i know, its the o-lines, rb, wrs, tes, dbs, coaches and gm’s fault….lol….

    GO BUCS!!!!!

  50. DB55 Says:


    It’s all good. JW will be good, the Bucs will rebuild or whatever they call it. Hopefully the Bucs will get a bearded Baker Mayfield type to make the town happy.

    Jaboo will go to another team or mlb or just go home to his foine arse Ivy League graduate wife and his son. Life could be worse.

    In the meantime he’ll put these buc records so far out of reach you guys will be hearing his name for decades to come as you sweat your butts off watching yet another 4 wins season. Am I lying? Am I lying though?

  51. stpetebucsfan Says:

    I’m not sure I agree with the CW or even that the CW is the same as it was a decade ago.

    I don’t know if it’s impossible for a rookie to come in and play well in year one. I concede that Mahomes are rare but there are others who are playing at a high enough level to win.

    We can’t afford JW. Let’s wish him well like DB55 and say Run Jameis Run. JW is a point in his career that simply does not intersect with where the Bucs are as a team. On a different team who knows…

    Meanwhile a couple moves…a couple of good draft picks…and this team could become good very quickly…led by defense. Let’s get a shutdown corner and another stud pass rusher. One stout Ali Marpet lineman to join Cappa on the right side…this can be a team good enough that a caretaker QB can succeed. A running QB able to open things up might really succeed.

  52. Alvin Scissors Harper Says:

    It’s finally all done for Jay Miss. It should have been done awhile ago, but Licht is as good a talent evaluator as DB55 and Ndog.

  53. Mike Johnson Says:

    Great Article as usual here Ira. I know many of you don’t agree here. But I’m not willing to give up on Jameis just yet. Good QB’s are just hard to fine. And I’m not nor never have been..keen on our scouting Dept to find a rookie. If we just had to, I’d go the way of the Saints and find a very good Backup with lotsa experience first. Every Buc fan I know is rooting for Jameis. He still has time….I hope.

  54. BucsBandit Says:


    You’re 100% right.

    We WILL be hearing his name for many, many years long after Winston is no longer a Buc…

    His career turnover records may not be broken for 100 years.

  55. firethecannons Says:

    The top quarterbacks in college now(that will be nfl 2020) are so much better than Winston ever was, none of them are turnover machines. They are all dual threat to some degree and have excellent character. They have played in top games and performed. WTF are we even considering keeping this overblown “talent” Jameis Winston for! Now is the time to plan and make some sales to better position ourselves, perhaps we trade Donovan Smith for a draft pick, OJ? just saying, vernon hargreaves for a first round(!:-)} — honestly belichick could make something out of these dudes. Comments?

  56. firethecannons Says:

    Tua, Jalen Hurts, Burro are all on my radar

  57. Alvin Scissors Harper Says:

    Wow, moderation for naming DB55 and Ndog. Really Joe?

  58. gambelero Says:

    Let’s turn this thread on its head. Does anyone think Jameis wants to come back? To this offensive line? To this playcaller? To this team’s defense?

  59. ElBajito43 Says:

    @Alvin Scissors Harper ima try it bro


    oh yeah and


  60. Jeebs the Honey Bear Says:

    I said it in 2015, and it ended up being prophetic. I said “football is won in the trenches”. I said the Bucs need to draft OL and DL at the top of the draft. I said any QB drafted to us is doomed to fail without good trench players. That being said, I did think Mariota offered the higher upside, but I did not want either QB. I thought both would fail on a Bucs team without talented players up front. And now here we are. Successful franchises don’t pin all their hopes and dreams on a franchise QB at the top of the draft. Successful franchises have decent rosters and just need a good QB to take them over the top. That’s why you see all of the best QBs being drafted in the middle of the first round or later. Teams picking a QB at the top of the draft are picking that high for a reason: their team sucks. So the GM that takes over needs to build the trenches first, get a decent team out there, and then find the QB who can make them better.

  61. BrianBucs Says:

    Winston just threw another pick!!!

  62. ship thief Says:

    All I want in the next draft is the biggest meanest lineman in the country with the first pick.
    And then I’d hope we get his little brother with the second pick.

    And I will probably say the same thing again next year.

    The trenches.
    The trenches.
    The trenches.

    Build the trenches, and never stop building the trenches.