Bruce Arians says he's not mulling QB change for Bucs

TAMPA, Fla. -- One day after Jameis Winston threw five interceptions and turned the ball over six times against the Carolina Panthers, Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Bruce Arians said he was not considering a change at quarterback, nor has his perception of Winston changed.

"No. I look at the reasons why. What happened?" said Arians, now 2-4 as the Bucs' head coach. "If it happens again, yeah, it'll concern the hell out of me."

Winston already has thrown 10 interceptions this season, behind only Cleveland's Baker Mayfield. Winston's 68 career interceptions are the most of any quarterback since 2015, as are his 87 turnovers.

The Bucs enter the bye week in third place in the NFC South after dropping back-to-back divisional games to Carolina and the New Orleans Saints. Tampa Bay's next opponent after the bye, the Tennessee Titans, just benched Marcus Mariota, who was selected one spot behind Winston, second overall in the 2015 NFL draft.

Both quarterbacks are in the final year of their rookie contracts after having their fifth-year options picked up by their respective clubs.

"I know the history, yes," said Arians, who came out of retirement in part because of the opportunity to coach Winston. He said Winston is still trying to do too much, but he also feels protection let him down, with the offensive line surrendering seven sacks.

"I think when you get hit -- I don't care if you're Tom Brady -- when you get hit early in games, it's different," Arians said. "And we got him hit early in the game, excluding the first play. We got him hit too much early in the game."

Against the Panthers, Winston was pressured on over 40 percent of his dropbacks -- more than in all but four games he has played in the past three seasons.

Before Sunday's game, Winston threw nine touchdown passes and two interceptions during a three-week stretch against the New York Giants, Los Angeles Rams and Saints.

When asked what makes him believe that Winston will be steady after years of erratic play, Arians said, "I think just him playing better, the guys around him playing better, coaching better -- the whole thing. 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 Bucs will not practice during the bye week, with the exception of outside linebacker Jason Pierre-Paul, who will practice Tuesday and Wednesday for the first time since suffering a neck fracture last spring in a car accident. He'll work with outside linebackers coach Larry Foote, assistant head coach Harold Goodwin and the athletic training staff. Pierre-Paul won't be eligible to play until Week 8.

"He'll have pads on, go one-on-one with a couple offensive linemen -- practice squad guys," Arians said. "They'll practice tomorrow and Wednesday."