NFL Wire News

Bucs QB Winston making positive impression

on

The Sports Xchange

Jameis Winston rarely resembles a rookie, teammates said Thursday, and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ prized quarterback didn’t sound like a neophyte after practice.

“Never was given anything in my life, so the way I brought up I always have to earn everything. The main thing is to earn the respect of all these players out there,” said Winston, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2015 draft.

Veteran wide receiver Vincent Jackson, the unquestioned leader of the offense, said Winston has been on the quiet side, only choosing his moments to pipe up in the locker room. Jackson said the get-in-line approach is rapidly endearing Winston to teammates, even his top competitor in daily workouts, Mike Glennon.

“He’s been great. He’s still a rookie and despite being the quarterback position, a rookie is a rookie,” Jackson said. “They’re going to be a little bashful, a little quiet and learn their way around, how things operate. He’s done a good job. He has a great sense of humor and a great demeanor about him and he comes out here on the field and he takes command of the huddle, and that’s the most important thing. He’s a great guy in the locker room, he gets along with everybody on the field and I think he brings a good energy for us.”

The Buccaneers will be judged on a pass-fail scale based on Winston’s performance on and off the field.

Coach Lovie Smith said back in February, when the Buccaneers began the process of vetting Winston and other top prospects, that the organization was confident in its assessment of the Florida State quarterback who found trouble off the field in Tallahassee. Most of the drama was self-created, Winston has admitted, but since becoming a professional the 21-year-old has pleased his new peer group.

He is splitting first-team reps with Glennon, who took over as the No. 1 quarterback when Josh McCown, since released, was injured last season. Smith said Thursday that the job, like all starting spots, are to be earned and that Winston is not being given special consideration even if the outside expectation and hype point to him starting in September. Instead, Smith said, Winston has approached practice with a hard-hat mentality.

“You assume he is going to come in in a limousine or something like that. That’s just not the case. That’s just not who he is. He is one of the other rookies,” Smith said. “When you are rookie, you’re supposed to be in the background until it’s your turn to step up. It’s not Jameis’ time yet. It will come though, soon.”


About The Sports Xchange

Since 1987, the Sports Xchange has been the best source of information and analysis for the top professionals in the sports publishing & information business