Arizona HC Bruce Arians praised Buccaneers QB Jameis Winston. - Photo by: Getty Images
Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston’s star has been rising ever since throwing four touchdowns in his collegiate debut against Pitt.
The 22-year-old’s popularity got another bump after dishing out four more TDs Sunday in Atlanta – this time during the first game of his sophomore NFL season.
Bucs QB Jameis Winston – Photo by: Mark Lomoglio/PR
Winston is a hot commodity on the national media circuit this week, doing Monday radio interviews on The Mike and Mike Show and The Dan Patrick Show. He then picked up some league-wide accolades Wednesday when the NFL named him its NFC Offensive Player of the Week. Winston led Tampa Bay to a 31-24 victory by throwing for 281 yards and four touchdowns.
Shortly after the league sent out its list of weekly awards, Arizona Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians called in to speak with the local media. Arians was on an NFL Radio program Tuesday addressing his lengthy relationship with Winston that dates back to the Bucs signal-caller’s youth in Alabama.
“Jaboo was a legend in Birmingham and my son lived in Birmingham,” Arians said when asked to elaborate on how he knew of Winston well before the rest of the country. “We had a little football camp back then in Birmingham and he threw one day. We had a bunch of local kids there and his high school coach was a good friend of mine. So we’ve known him and watched him grow and we’re very, very proud of him.”
Winston grew up southwest of Birmingham in the town of Bessemer, Alabama and attended Hueytwon High School. Arians’ son, Jake, is a former collegiate and NFL kicker who played his college ball at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.
The Bucs quarterback said he thinks Arians embellished his recollection of his younger self, but is looking forward to the trip to Arizona.
“He was probably just saying that,” Winston said Wednesday afternoon from the podium at One Buc Place. “I don’t believe that, but it’s about now. It’s about us playing against them. The past is the past. I’m pretty sure after the game I’ll give him a big hug, but we’re playing against the Arizona Cardinals. We have to get ready to play these guys. These guys are a good team.”
Arians and his defensive staff is now tasked with game planning for Winston’s arrival in the desert this weekend, but said calling plays for him would be much more enjoyable.
“He would be fun to coach, there’s no doubt about it,” Arians said. “He’s a winner and a great leader and obviously a heck of a young quarterback.”
Speaking of winning, that’s the thing Winston remembers most about his back-in-the-day run-ins with Arians.
“One thing I remember was him showing me those Super Bowl rings,” Winston said. “I still haven’t gotten one yet. I’m shooting for that. He really motivated me to go after a Super Bowl. He showed me that Pittsburgh one and it was gorgeous. He really inspired me to go after a Super Bowl.”
Stage 1 in the Cardinals game plan. Befriend the enemy. Yeah I get it, he likes Jameis, he will still try slobberknock him on Sunday. I think this next game is winnable. Arizona’s run defense will be tested I’m sure, Dougernaught needs to get his get up and go going. GO BUCS
And Jaboo will still try to beat him on Sunday.
That’s funny, he showed me his superbowl rings, and I haven’t gotten one yet! Jameis, you just started your second season. Is this kid driven, or what? I hope he wins many S.B.’s, but remember, some of the all time greats, HOFers, never got a ring. They aren’t easy to get.
Regardless of motives, it is so nice to hear so many kind, supportive remarks pertaining to our QB and having so many see what us Nole and Buc fans have known all along. Proud of your growth, Jameis!
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