While the debate and controversy about Jameis Winston’s speech to a group of local fifth graders last week has calmed down somewhat, it was still a topic on conversation on Wednesday at the NFL Combine.

Dirk Koetter was asked about his thoughts on the story that made national headlines.

“Anyone who knows Jameis Winston, knows that when Jameis gets up in the morning that he’s trying to do good things out there, whether it is to improve himself, help our team get better or do something good in the community,” Koetter said. “Obviously with the situation at the school last week, in the midst of a school presentation he made a mistake and he owned up to that mistake. He’s 23 years old. Anyone who has to stand behind a microphone and talk to a group of people, you’re going to make mistakes from time to time.

Bucs head coach Dirk Koetter – Photo by: Trevor Sikkema/PR

“Jameis continues to exceed the expectations as the face of our franchise every single day. We couldn’t be happier with Jameis. It was an unfortunate situation. He owned up to it and we have to move forward.

“What Jameis Winston has done in his first two years – the number of appearances he’s made and the number of times he spoken in front of the media, spoke to kids – that guy is fantastic. Jameis amazes me every single day with the maturity he has for his age.”

Bucs general manager Jason Licht was also asked his thoughts on Winston’s poor word choice. 

“I can’t stress it enough just how happy we are with how hard he works and what a great mature, leader he is,” Licht said.

“Unfortunately he made a mistake and used poor word choice. He knows it. He owned it. We are fully supportive of Jameis. I could talk for hours about how much we love Jameis Winston. From ownership to everybody in the building we are fully supportive of Jameis. He made a mistake. He owned. Moving on.”

Poor choice of wording wasn’t the only thing reporters in Indianapolis wanted to know about Winston. Koetter talked about what the team expects from Winston entering his third year in the NFL. 

Bucs QB Jameis Winston, head coach Dirk Koetter and OC Todd Monken – Photo by: Mark Lomoglio/PR

“You add to it,” Koetter said. “You don’t go back to ground zero. You build off what happened the previous season. After the first year, we built on his rookie year. Now we’ll do that going into his third year. The thing we have to remember about Jameis is that he barely turned 23 years old. Jameis should be here – this is his class right here – he should be here at the Combine right now. He’s got 32 games under his belt. I thought one of the best stats – the NFL is full of a lot of stats – but when you look at the final four quarterbacks in the playoffs, their age and their experience – just start with the two in the Super Bowl in [Tom] Brady and [Matt] Ryan – how far behind Jameis is from an experience standpoint. Tom Brady is what, 39 years old? And Jameis is 23, so he’s 16 years of experience behind. The best teacher in everything we do is experience. Jameis is going to get better and better.”

Koetter also addressed where Winston can improve.

“Not turning the ball over,” Koetter said. “We as team turned the ball over too much. When you say that, that’s always going to start with the quarterback because he touches the ball the most and he makes a lot of critical decisions and he has to make them quick. We, as a team, have to cut our turnovers down.

Koetter continued. 

“Jameis is a risk-taker, which is good, you don’t want to coach that out of him. There are times where that works out well for us. You can’t have it both ways. You have to try to minimize the negative plays and pump up the explosive plays.”

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About the Author: Mark Cook

Mark Cook currently is the director of editorial content and Bucs beat writer and has written for PewterReport.com since 2011. Cook has followed the Buccaneers since 1977 when he first began watching football with his Dad and is fond of the 1979 Bucs team that came within 10 points of going to a Super Bowl. His favorite Bucs game is still the 1979 divisional playoff win 24-17 over the Eagles. In his spare time Cook enjoys playing guitar, fishing, the beach and family time.Cook is a native of Pinecrest in Eastern Hillsborough County and has written for numerous publications including the Tampa Tribune, In the Field and Ya'll Magazine. Cook can be reached at [email protected]
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5 years ago

He needs to improve on last season. Has to work on his accuracy and early game over throws !!!!!!!
Hopefully like Koetter said, experience will help. He is a young one.

5 years ago

He’ll improve with better layers around him no doubt. He needs to improve his foot mechanics and fully get rid of that baseball motion. He’s everything we wanted and more. AS for the school incident, it was a media driven BS article that was a simple mistake. Heck most players are on vacation right now and he’s out talking to kids. Hopefully this doesn’t deter him from community work, which I don’t think it will.

5 years ago

I have tee shirts older then Jameis!

5 years ago

Margaret Thatcher : “Being powerful is like being a lady. If you have to tell people you are, you aren’t.”

Hmmm? Shame on Thatcher?

5 years ago

People still intent on finding fault with this fine young man are the ones with the issue and would do well if they conducted their personal and professional lives as well as Jameis has done since becoming a Buccaneer.