Bruce Arians says there's no thought of benching Jameis Winston

Shalise Manza YoungYahoo Sports Contributor

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are coming off a disastrous “home” game in London against the Carolina Panthers, with seven offensive turnovers — five of them interceptions by Jameis Winston.

Winston now has 10 interceptions this season, second to Baker Mayfield’s 11.

Arians rose to prominence as a coach for his ability to work with quarterbacks, and he has a former NFL quarterback, Byron Leftwich, working with him as his offensive coordinator. But while Winston has had some solid outings — he played well in the Buccaneers’ surprising win road win over the Los Angeles Rams two weeks ago — this past Sunday was one of the worst of his five-year career.

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But Arians isn’t considering sitting Winston.

Tampa Bay coach Bruce Arians, right, said there's been no thought to benching Jameis Winston, left. (Getty Images)
Tampa Bay coach Bruce Arians, right, said there's been no thought to benching Jameis Winston, left. (Getty Images)

‘Not at all’

On Monday, ESPN Buccaneers reporter Jenna Laine asked Arians if any thought has been given to making a change at quarterback, particularly with this being Tampa Bay’s bye week.

“Not at all,” Arians said. “I think as we continue to grow together, I think it will get better and these games will be one in a million and not one every five.”

The Panthers’ pass rush was impressive, and led to Winston being sacked seven times. But he also just held onto the ball too long on several occasions. At the two-minute mark of the first half, the Buccaneers were in field-goal range, facing first down from the Carolina 12.

Winston was sacked on consecutive snaps, and on the second clearly was trying to force a play instead of throwing the ball away, getting another shot on third down, and at minimum getting a field goal that would have put Tampa Bay down just a touchdown heading into the half.

Instead, he lost the ball on the second sack.

Arians also said the performance against the Panthers doesn’t change what he thinks of Winston and his ability to be a franchise quarterback, but if it happens again it will worry him.

Small problem with benching

There’s a small problem with the idea that Winston could be benched: the team has made it so he basically can’t. Tampa Bay has only one other quarterback on its roster: 29-year-old Ryan Griffin.

Griffin, undrafted out of Tulane in 2013 and a member of the Buccaneers for four years, has never played a snap in the NFL.

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