Antonor Winston, Jameis Winston’s father, joined Pat Donovan and Aaron Jacobson on 620 WDAE Thursday for a wide ranging interview about the Bucs’ 22-year old quarterback.
The radio spot began with Antonor being asked about what made him proud or exceeded his expectations during Jameis’ first season in the NFL. Like so many others when speaking about former Heisman winner’s entrance into the pros, Antonor was impressed by how his son conducted himself from the start and earned the trust and respect of his teammates as the year progressed.
“That was very exciting for me – to see him go in and talk to the guys and (develop) a relationship with the coaches,” Antonor said, referring to the team as a “Bucs family.”
“It’s been a struggle, but it’s been a great struggle. It’s great to learn from your mistakes and it’s a great feeling when you can pick yourself back up and win.”
It wasn’t all praise and admiration for Jameis, though. While Antonor wasn’t being critical of his son as a quarterback, he acknowledged that he had some of the same concern as fans during the NFL Combine when it came to throwing mechanics. Antonor, speaking in an animated tone, recalled calling Jameis’ former QB coach, George Whitfield Jr., in a panic and asking how they were going to correct his “round motion” and “wide hips.” Whitfield assured Antonor that everything was under control, and judging by Jameis’ rookie season, Whitfield was right to feel confident. Not to mention he had a true student-of-the-game to work with, according to Antonor.
“From little league, we were always trying to get better, watching film and trying to make sure that (Jameis) is doing the right things,” Antonor said. “With him being a baseball and football player year round, we just had to work on some things.”
Moving away from the field, Donovan got Antonor to tell a few stories about Jameis the kid. And after two tales about a seven-year-old Winston’s determination to save Thanksgiving dinner for his family and another, more traumatic, memory of how Jameis nearly lost half a finger at age 11, Antonor spoke of his son’s selflessness that’s never changed.
A few weeks ago Jameis visited victims of the Orlando massacre at the hospital, and his involvement in the community didn’t come as any surprise to Antonor. In fact, before he realized Jameis’ talent and competitiveness he envisioned a future of working in the church for his son.
“He would take the shirt off his back and give it to someone without a shirt. To be honest, before I saw professionalism in sports (as a future for Jameis), I saw a pastor or preacher in him as he was growing up,” Antonor said. “Then, as he got a little older, I thought, ‘Man, you want to be too much of a perfectionist – my God.’ That’s the only thing I can tell people right now.
“Jameis has always been doing those types of things, but it makes me feel even better now that he’s older and it’s still in him to do those things.”
Before signing off, Donovan wanted to hear the phrase he’s trying to make catch on – “Believe in Jameis” – uttered by the man who knows the Bucs quarterback best. Antonor did him one better.
“Believe in Jameis,” he exclaimed. “I want to tell all the Tampa Bay fans – or even if you’re not a fan – if you don’t believe in Jameis now, you will believe in the near future. He’s a team-oriented guy and you can’t lose with that.”
Click here to listen in full to Antonor Winston’s 11-minute interview on the “Pat and Aaron Show”
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]
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