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Winston stays away from comparison of Manziel

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The Sports Xchange

Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston, attending a youth clinic at the Cleveland Browns’ facility, plans to be himself and wouldn’t compare his off-field issues with what happened during Johnny Manziel’s disastrous rookie season.

Winston, the 2015 NFL Draft’s first overall pick, said Friday that he plans to remain active on social media in his NFL career.

“Social media can help you in so many ways from a positive standpoint,” Winston said during the Play 60 youth clinic at the Browns facility in Berea, Ohio, as part of the NFL rookie symposium being held this week in nearby Aurora. “I can’t control what people put on social media about me, but I can control my actions and what I do.”

Winston, a former Heisman Trophy winner at Florida State who had his own off-the-field issues, was asked about Manziel, also a former Heisman-winning quarterback in his second season with the Browns.

“I’m in no point to judge,” Winston said at the youth clinic conducted by the draft class of 2015 as part of the rookie symposium. “I’ve got to better myself and improve every day as a person.”

Winston faced a sexual assault allegation among other off-field incidents while at Florida State. Winston was never charged in the sexual assault investigation, and in April the alleged victim in the incident filed a civil suit against Winston, who filed a counterclaim saying he did not rape the woman.

After being taken No. 1 draft by the Bucs on draft night, Winston drew criticism when he posted a picture of himself on Instagram posing in front of a serving of Alaskan king crab legs. The picture immediately received negative reaction on social media for making light of the incident when he left a Publix store in Tallahassee, Fla., without paying for the $32 worth of crab legs and crawfish.

“It’s about my actions,” Winston said Friday. “I got to be a quarterback. When I’m off the field, I got to be a quarterback; when I’m on the field, I got to be a quarterback. I know people are going to look at me in each and every way. I just smile, man.”

Winston’s off-field issues led legendary former Florida State coach Bobby Bowden to call Winston “an embarrassment” to the university in May.

Winston said Friday he doesn’t look back.

“I gotta better myself and improve every day as a person,” he said. “I really don’t pay attention to social media other than what I do. I don’t look up myself or anything like that. When I’m socially active, it’s because I’m doing something, and I don’t really pay attention to that — outside sources.”

Manziel has taken steps to clean up his life this offseason after spending 10 weeks in a rehab center earlier this year.

“I haven’t really talked to him much, but I know he’s a great person,” Winston said of Manziel. “His heart is so big and when he gets on the field he shows out and that’s one thing I really remember from him in college. But other than that, he’s just excited for my rookie year and starting with the Bucs.”


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