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Jameis Winston was hit too often this season, Bucs coordinator says

Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston praised his O-linemen and said he's brought a lot of the hits on himself. Geoff Burke/USA TODAY Sports

TAMPA, Fla. -- The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have been more than pleased with rookie quarterback Jameis Winston. They love his spirit, his passion for football and his competitiveness -- most of the time.

While Winston has been sacked a reasonable 25 times, which is tied for 18th in the league, he has been hit 99 other times. That doesn't include the times he's scrambled and run the ball.

That number is too high, according to Buccaneers offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter, and something the staff is going to work on trying to fix next season.

"We'll do a study on where did all of those hits occur," Koetter said Thursday. "How many were (Winston's) own fault?

"Sometimes in the pocket you step one way or the other, or you step up to avoid an edge rusher or you avoid that first rusher, but if you step too far the right guard might be thinking he's doing a great job blocking over here. All of a sudden the quarterback moves and the right guard doesn't know he's right there so now he's in trouble with the three-technique, for example."

Winston has thrown for 3,717 yards and 22 touchdowns this season. He has also rushed for five touchdowns. He said he has brought a lot of the hits on himself but doesn't plan to change.

"I have, but those guys in front of me they protect me well," Winston said. "I put most of the hits on myself, so it isn't [that] the people around me aren't protecting me, it's because I'm the one trying to (initiate) the hits. I love football and I'm trying to get in the action."

Koetter doesn't want to limit Winston's creativity, but he plans to limit the amount of hits his quarterback takes on a weekly basis. Winston has taken every offensive snap for the Buccaneers this season. Koetter would like that to continue for years to come.

"How we do it, that is something that will be an offseason project," he said. "I can't give you a good answer on that today."