The New Orleans Saints' top brass can rest a little easier after Monday's exhibition by Jameis Winston. The former Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback, vying for the starting job in New Orleans, had a fantastic outing against the Jacksonville Jaguars in the Saints' second preseason game.
Winston looked confident and sharp, and was assured in his decision-making. More importantly, he did not make any hasty or rash passes and took care of the ball.
Winston needs to show the Saints' coaching staff that they can trust him with the ball in his hands. In his last season as the starting quarterback for the Buccaneers, he threw 33 touchdowns and 30 interceptions, an incredible feat that will never be repeated.
But if Monday's game was anything to go by, his interceptions would be much less of a problem in 2021.
Winston should unquestionably be the Saints' starter
Taysom Hill is a great playmaker but not an elite quarterback. He's struggled to throw on top of his dropbacks and doesn't have the pocket presence necessary to get rid of the ball quickly or accurately with pressure on his face.
He's got a strong arm, he's athletic and he's fast. Those attributes matter, but the primary skill that a good quarterback needs to possess is getting through their reads quickly and making the right throws, and Hill certainly lacks in that department.
Winston, for his part, is a competent NFL quarterback. Is he a great one? Well, no, or at least he wasn't the last time he was a full-time starter. But if Monday's game against the Jaguars is an indication, he's a much better player now and he's got the tools to be a starter in the league. That's more than Hill can provide right now.
Will Winston succeed Brees as QB1?
His recent exhibition against the Jacksonville Jaguars probably gave him a significant edge over Hill in the battle for the starting job.
That doesn't mean that he'll be as good as Brees. But the Saints have a good roster overall, with one of the best offensive lines in the NFL and an excellent all-around defense. They've got enough talent on both sides of the ball to make this work.
All Winston has to do is not play recklessly again. If he keeps playing it safe, the future may be much better for the New Orleans Saints than what they've been expecting since Brees announced his retirement.
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