Image courtesy of Mark Cook of Pewter Report
Jameis Winston recently made an appearance at the Mike Evans charity golf outing, where he has a few people speculating if he is holding true to his comments earlier this year in March about playing at 250lbs, up from his usual 231lbs. At this weight, Winston would be the heaviest starting quarterback in the NFL and the heaviest since Daunte Culpepper retired a full decade ago.
Jameis based his decision on what he feels is best for him staying hydrated.
“I’m going to play bigger this year. I’m about 250. Yeah. A solid 250. It’s just about hydration and being at the peak body, too.”
While none of us can say if adding 20lbs to his already large frame will result in better hydration and being at his peak physical playing shape, what we do know, is that Buccaneers offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich and quarterbacks coach Clyde Christensen aren’t sold on the idea of Jameis coming in at 250lbs.
When asked about Jameis’ desire to come in at a larger 250lb build, Leftwich said,
“I don’t know how true of a statement we’re going to allow that to be.”
Christensen went much further into details when asked about Winston’s desire to play at 250:
“I’m hoping that’s just a rumor. I think one thing we all know, they try to maim quarterbacks in this league. There’s no system (that prevents it). Tell me a system where you’re not worried about your quarterback getting hit and hit a bunch. It’s more performance based than protection defensively.
There are some guys who are really linear and lean that maybe have to carry a little extra fat because you can’t let your weight get down, but he’s not that guy. He’s a big ol’ strong guy with a ton of girth. So we just want get him to an optimal position. We’ll make that decision and then work toward it.
We just ran the blood tests, we’ll do the body (analysis). We’ll come up with a good (weight). We’re in the process of doing that now. And then it will be my job to convince him, hey, just don’t set a number. It’s all body composition and it’s really important.”
Bruce Arians does see one positive to Jameis desiring to come in at an increased weight though, as he says added weight definitely helps the quarterback when the defense is trying to sack him.
Something other than added weight that might help Winston avoid being sacked would be for the Bucs to establish a solid run game, and beef up the offensive line. Doing so, would prevent him from losing any mobility, which is the very thing that allows him to extend plays and pick up crucial first downs.
While nobody but Jameis has publicly come out in support of this added weight idea, and nobody has indicated that it would actually improve his game, it ultimately will come down to how Jameis feels, combined with what his coaches are telling him. Ultimately, my money is on the advice of the coaches, especially Leftwich as he has experience what it’s like to carry too much weight as a quarterback.
From what I’ve personally seen, Jameis doesn’t look to be at the suspected weight of 250, and given that he hasn’t had an official weigh in yet this year, it would be impossible to know for sure, but he looks to be far closer to 240 than 250, and looks to be in not only amazing shape, but possibly the best shape of his NFL career.
Quotes via: Tampa Bay Times