State NFL roundup: Jameis Winston turns his numbers around in preseason's third week
Alabama Media Group, Birmingham
Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston had an ugly set of stats in the second week of the NFL's preseason.
The former Hueytown High School star completed 3-of-10 passes for 28 yards in the Bucs' 27-21 victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars on Aug. 20. Winston ended his outing with a 4-yard touchdown pass, but he also threw an interception.
In Tampa Bay's third preseason game, Winston turned in glossier numbers in a 30-13 victory over the Cleveland Browns on Friday night. Winston completed 16-of-25 passes for 259 with two touchdowns and no interceptions.
"We went no-huddle the whole first half and it worked," Tampa Bay coach Dirk Koetter said. "Jameis came out on fire and made some beautiful plays."
Tampa Bay's first four series of the game resulted in two touchdowns and two field goals, with Winston throwing 3 yards to Charles Sims for a score and 34 yards to Mike Evans for a TD.
Winston also picked up a fumbled snap and ran 9 yards on a third-and-7 play to keep a drive going.
"I like starting fast," Winston said. "That's a big thing for our offense -- starting fast. ... With just my confidence with me starting slow the last game, we wanted to make a statement -- show these people what we are all about. I believe we did that.
"But it's just one game, and we have to get better."
Winston was among the 69 former Alabama high school or college players (that didn't play for Alabama or Auburn) who got on the field during the third week of the NFL's preseason schedule
Other former state players who started in Week 3 of the preseason included wide receiver J.J. Nelson (Midfield, UAB) of the Arizona Cardinals, cornerback Corey White (Samford) of the Buffalo Bills, left cornerback James Bradberry (Pleasant Grove, Samford) of the Carolina Panthers, right cornerback Jacoby Glenn (Vigor) of the Chicago Bears, right defensive end Michael Johnson (Dallas County) of the Cincinnati Bengals, running back Isaiah Crowell (Alabama State) of the Browns, running back Ameer Abdullah (Homewood) of the Detroit Lions, free safety T.J. Green (Sylacauga) of the Indianapolis Colts, cornerback Captain Munnerlyn (Murphy) of the Minnesota Vikings, left cornerback Malcolm Butler (West Alabama) and right defensive end Trey Flowers (Columbia) of the New England Patriots, tight end Larry Donnell (Carroll-Ozark) and right cornerback Janoris Jenkins (North Alabama) of the New York Giants, nose tackle Steve McLendon (Carroll-Ozark, Troy) of the New York Jets, center Rodney Hudson (B.C. Rain) of the Oakland Raiders, cornerback Leodis McKelvin (Troy) of the Philadelphia Eagles, defensive end Darius Philon (Vigor) and quarterback Philip Rivers (Athens) of the San Diego Chargers, strong safety Jaquiski Tartt (Davidson) and right cornerback Jimmie Ward (Davidson) of the San Francisco 49ers, middle linebacker Kwon Alexander (Oxford) of the Buccaneers and center Ben Jones (Bibb County) of the Tennessee Titans.
Nelson returned two punts for 15 yards in Arizona's 34-24 loss to the Houston Texans on Sunday.
White intercepted a pass, broke up another throw and made three tackles in Buffalo's 21-16 loss to the Washington Redskins on Friday.
Abdullah ran for 16 yards on four carries in Detroit's 30-9 loss to the Baltimore Ravens on Saturday. Abdullah made his preseason debut after offseason shoulder surgery.
Green led the Colts with five tackles in Indianapolis' 33-23 loss to Philadelphia on Saturday.
Flowers has had a sack in each of New England's preseason games after he took down Cam Newton in the Patriots' 19-17 victory over the Panthers on Friday. Flowers also led New England with six tackles. Bradberry made five tackles for Carolina.
Donnell caught an 8-yard pass in the Giants' 21-20 victory over the Jets on Saturday.
Rivers completed 5-of-9 passes for 54 yards with an interception in the Chargers' 23-10 loss to the Vikings on Sunday. Philon had a sack among his three tackles and was credited with three quarterback hurries for San Diego.
Alexander led Tampa Bay with seven tackles, including a sack, in the win over Cleveland. Crowell ran for 39 yards on eight carries for the Browns.
Other former state players seeing action in the third week of preseason games included Cardinals guard Antoine McClain (Anniston), Atlanta Falcons wide receiver J.D. McKissic (Central-Phenix City), Ravens offensive tackle Blaine Clausell (Baker) and defensive tackle Michael Pierce (Daphne), Panthers defensive end Mario Addison (Tarrant, Troy) and quarterback Joe Webb (Wenonah, UAB), Bears running back Jordan Howard (Gardendale, UAB), Bengals wide receiver Cody Core (Auburn High), Browns fullback Malcolm Johnson (Northridge) and safety Don Jones (Hazlewood), Denver Broncos safety Darian Stewart (Lee-Huntsville), Green Bay Packers tight end Kennard Backman (UAB), linebacker Beniquez Brown (Florence), running back Brandon Burks (Daleville, Troy), cornerback LaDarius Gunter (Jeff Davis) and wide receiver Jamel Johnson (Carver-Montgomery, Alabama State); Texans outside linebacker Eric Lee (Daphne), Colts wide receiver Chester Rogers (Lee-Huntsville), Jacksonville Jaguars defensive tackle T.J. Barnes (Enterprise) and tight end Braedon Bowman (South Alabama), Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Tyreek Hill (West Alabama), linebacker Jonathan Massaquoi (Troy), defensive end Rakeem Nunez-Roches (Central-Phenix City), running back Darin Reaves (Clay-Chalkville, UAB) and defensive end Nick Williams (Minor, Samford); Miami Dolphins cornerback Bobby McCain (Oxford), Vikings linebacker Jake Ganus (Chelsea, UAB) and defensive end Denzell Perine (Davidson), New Orleans Saints safety Trae Elston (Oxford), cornerback Cortland Finnegan (Samford) and safety Jamal Golden (Wetumpka); Giants wide receiver K.J. Maye (Murphy), Jets tight end Wes Saxton (Hueytown, South Alabama) and wide receiver Chandler Worthy (Troy), Raiders offensive tackle Matt McCants (Williamson, UAB), wide receiver Seth Roberts (West Alabama) and safety Brynden Trawick (Troy); Pittsburgh Steelers cornerback Montell Garner (South Alabama) and guard Chris Hubbard (UAB), Chargers outside linebacker Chris Landrum (Sweet Water, Jacksonville State), 49ers running back DuJuan Harris (Troy), Seattle Seahawks running back Troymaine Pope (Anniston, Jacksonville State), Titans cornerback Kalan Reed (Briarwood Christian) and defensive end Mike Smith (Wenonah) and Redskins defensive end Anthony Lanier (Alabama A&M) and wide receiver Jarvis Turner (Murphy),
McKissic had kickoff returns of 49 and 30 yards, plus three catches for 16 yards and a 9-yard punt return during Atlanta's 17-6 loss to Miami.
Webb completed only 6-of-17 passes, but he threw for 123 yards and had two TD tosses, plus a 2-point conversion pass, in the closing minutes of the Carolina's loss to New England.
Core caught a 53-yard pass in Cincinnati's 26-21 loss to Jacksonville. Barnes made a tackle behind the line of scrimmage for the Jaguars.
Burks gained 30 yards on six carries, including a 19-yard touchdown run, in the Packers' 21-10 victory over the 49ers. Harris ran for 28 yards on six attempts and caught a 9-yard pass for San Francisco.
Lee shared a sack in the Texans' victory over the Cardinals.
Rogers had a 9-yard punt return in the Colts' loss to the Eagles.
Hill caught a 58-yard pass, returned two punts for 33 yards and added an 18-yard kickoff return in Kansas City's 23-7 victory over Chicago on Saturday. Reaves gained only 7 yards on five carries, but one of his attempts was a 4-yard touchdown run for the Chiefs. Howard had 8 yards on four rushing attempts and caught a 4-yard pass for the Bears.
Finnegan had a sack for a 12-yard loss among his three tackles in the Saints' 27-14 loss to the Steelers.
Worthy broke a 52-yard punt return and caught a 12-yard pass in the Jets' loss to the Giants.
Landrum recovered a fumble for the Chargers in San Diego's loss to Minnesota.
Pope gained 14 yards on four carries in Seattle's 27-17 victory over the Dallas Cowboys.
Reed, the final player picked in the 2016 NFL Draft, made an interception and broke up another pass in Tennessee's 27-14 victory over Oakland on Saturday. Roberts caught a 15-yard pass for the Raiders.
Ravens outside linebacker Za'Darius Smith (Greenville) and safety Lardarius Webb (Beauregard), Broncos outside linebacker DeMarcus Ware (Auburn High, Troy), Colts outside linebacker Robert Mathis (Alabama A&M), Eagles wide receiver Jordan Matthews (Madison Academy) and Steelers defensive tackle Devaunte Sigler (B.C. Rain, Jacksonville State) did not play in the preseason's third week.
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