For the first time since Lovie Smith was relieved of his duties in Tampa Bay, Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston spoke publicly about his former head coach.
His comments were brief, as the majority of the interview focused on preparation for next season, but they were heartfelt and told a lot about the player-coach relationship.
Winston, who also expressed his excitement for Dirk Koetter’s new opportunity, said he was “blessed” to have spent one season with Smith, and will continue to look to him for guidance.
“I learned so much, just from an accountability standpoint,” Winston said of Smith on the Ronnie and T-Kras show on 620 WDAE. “He’s a great mentor and a great coach. I will continue to have a good relationship with that great man.”
While Koetter and quarterbacks coach Mike Bajakian are given – and deserve – a great deal of credit for helping Winston to a record-setting rookie season in 2015, it’s goes without saying that the former head coach was instrumental in the decision to draft Winston No. 1 overall. The respect Smith has around the league is also well documented, and clearly he left an impression on the Bucs young quarterback after just one season.
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: [email protected]
I appreciate James Winston comments. Football is very hard,Some coaches acts great but can’t delivered. I do wish him well at Illnois.Lookout colleges in a yr or fwo. Univ of Illinois will rise to the top. Go fighting Iillnois
No one ever questioned Lovie’s status as a human being. I never really questioned his football knowledge or ability to coach. Like many, I questioned his ability to surround himself with a proper coaching staff and perhaps allowing his emotions and personal feelings influence his thought process. Similar approach was Dungy’s undoing. I wish him well at his new opportunity.
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