There are two ways to look at Jameis Winston’s blocking effort on a running play down in the red zone in overtime: A quarterback showing grit while leading his team to victory, or the face of the franchise taking an unnecessary risk. The Bucs saw it both ways.

Bucs QB Jameis Winston said Tampa Bay played hard for rookie MLB Kwon Alexander - Photo by: Getty Images“You know on some of those things, and we’ll coach him up afterwards, but it would probably be bad if you had a quarterback thinking, ‘I don’t know if I want to stick my face in there.’ That’s not Jameis,” head coach Lovie Smith said Monday. “He’s about ‘What do I need to do to help my team win?’”

One of the main reasons Tampa Bay drafted Winston No. 1 overall is because of his competitive nature, and the will to help Doug Martin score the winning touchdown certainly exemplified what the Bucs are looking for out of their hopeful franchise quarterback.

But for the sake of his and the team’s future, Smith would probably prefer that Winston avoid taking linebackers head-on if possible.

“At the moment, he thought it was a good idea to go in there and block,” Smith said. “Of course we, (the coaches), didn’t.”

The overtime carry wasn’t the only play that Winston improvised on, however. During a drive late in the third quarter, Winston took off for 21 yards to the Atlanta two-yard line before capping it off three plays later with a four-yard touchdown run to make it 20-3.

While he admitted that it’s tough to watch your quarterback take hits, Smith approved of Winston’s mobility and effort on those two plays. The head coach even compared – jokingly – his quarterback, who ran a 4.97 40-yard dash, to one of the NFL’s all-time great scramblers.

“He looked a lot like Roger Staubach on that one… well maybe not that much,” Smith said, drawing laughs. “But he really did look good scrambling. Of course the touchdown, just the instincts to get in the end zone, he did a good job of that, too.”

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About the Author: Zach Shapiro

Zach is entering his 3rd year covering the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as a writer for PewterReport.com. Since 2014, he's handled a large part of the beat reporting responsibilities at PR, attending all media gatherings and publishing and promoting content daily. Zach is a native of Sarasota, FL, and a graduate of the University of Tampa. He has also covered high school football for the Tampa Tribune and the NFL for Pro Player Insiders. Contact him at: zshapiro12@gmail.com
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