“I definitely think he got more of the blame than he deserved,” Bucs wide receiver Chris Godwin said in a recent interview with The Boardroom. “I think he’s a really, really talented quarterback. Obviously there are things that he does that you can’t teach, and there are plays that he made that just weren’t smart plays.
“But a lot of the mistakes and interceptions that he made, I would say half of them were because of a bad read on someone else’s part.”
Winston led the NFL with 5,109 passing yards in 2019 but also became the first quarterback in league history to throw for 30 touchdowns and 30 interceptions. His 30 interceptions are tied for the seventh-most in NFL single-season history, and they’re the most since Vinny Testaverde — also with the Bucs — threw 35 picks in 1988.
Now a free agent after Tampa Bay’s signing of Tom Brady, Winston drew mixed reviews this offseason from Bucs coach Bruce Arians.
In a recent interview with CBS Sports Radio, Arians lamented Winston’s “regression” in the Bucs’ final two games, when he was intercepted six times. Arians also told SiriusXM NFL Radio last month that “there are about 10 (interceptions) that weren’t his fault,” adding that he “loved him, and I hated him.”
But Godwin, who enjoyed a breakout 2019 season, admitted that many of Winston’s turnovers were because of mistakes from his teammates.
“There have been times where receivers either ran the wrong route, I’ve been guilty of running a wrong route or not being in a spot where he thought I was going to be, and you get intercepted and you get a turnover,” Godwin told The Boardroom. “It’s not just him. I think people who are really entrenched in football understand that — that the quarterback gets a lot more of the blame than he deserves. Sometimes he gets a lot more credit than he deserves, too. But that’s just the nature for the position.”
Godwin also said he will miss Winston, a popular player in Tampa Bay’s locker room, echoing the sentiments of other Buccaneers players.
“I feel like Jameis gets a bad rap a lot of times and people think it may seem like the cool thing to hop on the bandwagon and kind of trash him,” Godwin told Complex Sports. “But I enjoyed having Jameis in the locker room and having him as a friend, knowing that he’s going to be the same dude every time I come in. He’s funny, down to earth, for me I see him as a positive aspect of our locker room, and that’s going to be missed.”