Jameis Winston will have an opportunity for a fresh start under Bruce Arians and his new Tampa Bay Buccaneers coaching staff next season, and it sounds like the former top overall pick has been anxiously awaiting a change like this.
During a recent interview with former NFL defensive end Leger Douzable, Winston was asked how he was able to focus enough to turn his season around last year after he began the year suspended and was benched for Ryan Fitzpatrick in October. He essentially said the key was tuning out Dirk Koetter and the former Bucs coaching staff.
“I had to look at myself in the mirror and say, ‘Hey Jameis, what do you have to do?’ And that was simply, ‘Get back to playing Jameis Winston football. Be yourself. Have that swag. Don’t try to be something that a coach is trying to get you to be,’” Winston said, as transcribed by JoeBucsFan.com. “You know, you gotta go and be you.”
Winston did not show much improvement under Koetter, and the Bucs are hoping he can finally make the leap with Arians taking over. Arians is known as somewhat of a quarterback guru, having worked with top players at the position like Peyton Manning, Ben Roethlisberger and Carson Palmer. There was originally talk about Tampa moving on from Winston this offseason, but they are standing behind him yet again.
Of course, you could argue that the off-field issues Winston has had prove he has been less than 100 percent focused through his first four NFL seasons. If he wants to get the most out of his new coach, he has to show he can be a professional.