Jameis Winston had a very good start to his NFL career after being the #1 pick in the draft last May. He threw for 4,000+ yards and 22 touchdowns while starting all 16 games.
Now, he had the chance to be out at the Super Bowl for the first time as a player, what’s it been like?
“My dream was to be like Dan Marino,” said the Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback on CBS Sports Radio’s DA show. “He went his rookie year, so that was one of my dreams. But, it ended (laughing). But, I feel like last season was just a blessing for me.”
Despite missing out on his dream of making the Super Bowl as a rookie, the Buccaneers were vastly improved, posting a 6-10 record just one year removed from going 2-14. More than that, with four weeks to go, the Buccaneers were sitting at 6-6 and still in the playoff hunt before losing their final four games.
One constant praise that was given to Winston during the course of his rookie year was that he was incredibly poised and showed good leadership skills.
“The easiest thing for a human being to be is to be themselves,” said Winston. “Real recognize real. It’s about looking those men in the eye. That’s the main thing. Those guys, they respect that. I’m a rook to them but, as we go out there and we play together, and we blood, sweat and tears together you start to get a sense of respect and you just can’t do anything to lose that.”
Is that something that you have to consciously think about? Or did it just come naturally?
“I don’t really think about it,” said Winston. “I believe our locker room is such a great locker room. We have so many great veterans and great teammates in that Tampa Bay locker room. I didn’t even have to think that I’m going to force myself upon these guys. I’m going to try to earn their respect. I’m just going to let it happen. Coach Smith told me a great thing he said ‘Hey, be a rook.’ Gerald McCoy told me the same thing. Sometimes as a rookie you get overwhelmed by everything. You try to do too much and that’s how it was early in the season I was trying to do too much. I had to realize ‘hey man this is the game of football I’ve been playing my whole life.’ I love this game so I got to calm down.”