Jameis Winston is one of the most controversial prospects entering the 2015 NFL Draft. After winning the Heisman Trophy in 2013 his redshirt freshman year, Winston regressed the following season where he threw 18 interceptions to just 25 touchdowns. In this film breakdown we will look closer at his interceptions and see if we can determine why he threw them and see if these mistakes are correctable for the future.
Jameis Winston’s 2014 Game Logs courtesy of ESPN.com:
Situation: 3rd and 10 at OKST 13
Description: Q2 – (14:49) Jameis Winston pass intercepted Seth Jacobs return for 14 yds to the OKSt 20
Winston misses the weakside inside linebacker in zone coverage over the middle of the field. This is an easy interception for LB10 Jacobs on the slant route. Pre-snap read is Cover 2 with five zones across. The middle linebacker drops into deep middle third zone to form a Tampa 2 Cover shell with one of the defensive lineman dropping into zone coverage as well. Winston forces the slant route over the middle rather than progressing through his reads and seeing his running back in the left flat wide open.
It’s 3rd and 10 which probably explains why Winston chooses to force the ball, but with an easy checkdown to the runningback this is a clear mistake by Winston.
Situation: 1st and 10 at FSU 29
Description: Q2 – (:35) Jameis Winston pass intercepted Ashton Lampkin return for no gain to the FlaSt 49
Winston takes the snap from shotgon and goes through his progressions on the left side of the field. He senses pressure coming from the edge and steps up to buy more time. At the line of scrimmage Winston releases the ball down field for WR80 Greene who Winston assumes will comeback for the ball. At the top of the route Greene figures he’s covered and looks back for the ball only for it to be too late as CB6 Lampkin is already diving forward for the interception on the sideline.
This interception is caused by a combination of Greene not finishing the play, and a great diving catch by Lampkin to secure the ball. Winston does a great job of sensing the pressure showing great pocket presense and mobility while buying more time in the pocket. If Greene turned and kept playing through the whistle this could have been a great play on 1st down to keep the chains moving in order to set up a late field goal at the end of the first half.
Situation: 1st and 10 at FSU 40
Description: Q3 – (14:55) Jameis Winston pass intercepted Jerod Fernandez return for no gain to the NCSt 41
In this play, Winston shows great pocket presense, but shows very questionable decision making. Winston launches the ball purely based off his arm strength as he backfoots the throw forcing it to TE35 Nick O’Leary in traffic. The ball is behind the target, which O’Leary can’t bring in and bounces right into the defender’s hands.
Situation: 2nd and 14 at FSU 23
Description: Q4 – (7:24) Jameis Winston pass intercepted Jerod Fernandez return for 19 yds to the FlaSt 12
Just like Play 1, Winston forces the ball to the slant WR and doesn’t see the underneath linebacker. Another easy interception.
Situation: 3rd and 10 at FSU 44
Description: Q1 – (9:08) Jameis Winston pass intercepted Merrill Noel return for 26 yds to the FlaSt 34
Winston takes the snap and instantly finds TE35 O’Leary over the middle of the field for the first down. The pass is a bullet, but the ball is slightly behind Winston’s intended target allowing the linebacker in coverage to make a play on the ball. In order for this pass to work, Winston needs to put the ball slightly in front of his target in order to not allow the safety over top to make a play, but also allow O’Leary to bring down the ball without interference from his defender in man coverage. Additionally, Winston needs to stop staring down his target from the snap as this allows defenders with better awareness (NFL defenders) to make a play on the ball.
Situation: 1st and 10 at FSU 19
Description: Q2 – (12:48) Jameis Winston pass intercepted Joe Schmidt return for no gain to the FlaSt 31
This is my least favorite play by Winston out of all his interceptions. Notre Dame brings four pass rushers and RG54 Jackson gets beaten to the inside by DT94 on a stab-and-grab forcing Winston backwards in the pocket.
Winston impersonates Johnny Manziel without a Mike Evans-style wide receiver over the middle of the field displaying terrible decision-making. He needs to take a sack here and live to fight another down instead of almost throwing the game away. In the NFL, this is bench-worthy material to me if I was a head coach.
Please continue reading on the next page.