Playing against some of the NFL’s elite is still a surreal experience for Jameis Winston.
Last week the Bucs rookie quarterback was excited to watch Drew Brees and fellow Alabama native, Mark Ingram, from the sideline in New Orleans. Now he’ll get an even closer look at the opposing team’s face of the franchise when the two take the field at the same time on Sunday.
Bucs QB Jameis Winston – Photo by: Getty Images
“It’s like, ‘Wow, we’re playing J.J. Watt,'” Winston said at his press conference Wednesday. “It’s amazing.”
This wasn’t the first time Winston expressed his excitement about playing Watt. A player who loves challenges and big games, Winston had Week 3 marked right after the draft in April. Now comes the opportunity.
“Be careful what you wish for, it might come true,” offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter said jokingly. “It’s going to come true on Sunday.”
Winston’s eagerness to play Watt is about his passion for competing, and while he said he looks up to a lot of players, he assured that there wouldn’t be any distractions on Sunday.
The former Seminole was known in college for being unfazed by competition and playing at a high level at any stage. And that’s the mentality for Sunday. It will be all about executing the Bucs game plan and worrying about his own performance in Houston.
“(Watt’s) objective is just to get in your head. But I have to focus on doing what I have to do,” Winston said. “If I let him hurt me, I’m hurting the team. I have to try my best to do what I need to do for this team.
“I never let another man intimidate me. Ever. But it’s football, so being competitive is going to be a big thing out there. But we’re competing and playing a sport that we love. Intimidation is not a factor.”
Aside from Watt, Tampa Bay’s offense will have to account for numerous elite players in the Texan’s front seven. Koetter stressed limiting the amount of contact on Winston – “We can’t get Jameis hit as much as we are right now… those will add up over the course of 16 games,” he said – while acknowledging Sunday’s challenge against the entire defense in Houston.
“Every team has good players. Every week that’s the juggling act, where are their best players and how to we try to minimize what they do,” Koetter said. “They’ve got, as you mentioned, 99 (Watt), 75 (Wilfork) has been a good player in this league for a long time, 56 (Cushing) has been a Pro Bowl player and 24 (Joseph) has been a Pro Bowl player… It’s just where are they every week and Houston has a lot of good players on defense.”
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]
We have big receivers; throw short passes and often, then run. Go Bucs!
Houston’s best WR DeAndre Hopkins may not play due to a concussion. If J. J. Watt plays usual game, this could be a low scoring slugfest.
Competing is one thing, but being hammered by an industrial grade press is another. JJ Watt is a real animal. Remember,stupid is as stupid does, so run Forest run.
Good advice and good post, Buctebow. lol.
I agree with that. THrow quick slants to throw off their pass rush, and pound the ball.
This kid’s attitude is amazing. I think Koetter will have a plan to keep the pressure off Jameis. Our defense will keep us in the game and hopefully contribute a few takaways. We’ve got a good shot again this week. Go Bucs!
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