Anytime you hear the words “Jameis Winston” and “baseball” in the same sentence, it usually comes with criticism and concerns about trust. Questions like, “is he committed to football?” or “does baseball affect his conditioning and mechanics?”
On Thursday head coach Lovie Smith addressed the topic, looking at it from a different, more positive perspective.
Smith recalled having a conversation with Winston’s father about how his son has never experienced an entire offseason of football, suggesting that the young quarterback could even have a higher ceiling than most realize now that he’s a one-sport athlete.
“I know he’s ‘pro ready’ and I‘ve heard all of those things,” Smith said. “But he hasn’t had an offseason of football, so yes (he can be better). I talked to his father early on, and that’s what we talked about, how his son had never been in an offseason program as a football player. He thought, from what he’s seen from his son coming up, that (Jameis) is not a developed athlete yet.”
Smith also spoke, albeit in a joking manner, about the criticism surrounding Winston’s conditioning, saying that a full-offseason with the team’s strength coach will also improve his physique.
“I know Dave Kennedy, our strength coach, is excited about getting him here,” Smith said. “We’re going to see if we can get him to get a six-pack since you all talk about that so much.”
Though, at the end of the day, the Buccaneers want a franchise quarterback, not an olympic athlete. And that’s who they believe they drafted.
“What can’t he do? Run the 40,” Smith jokingly said. “Besides that, Jameis will tell you, ‘once I start working out and I’m not playing baseball in the offseason I can get (the 40 time) down a little bit.’
“In the end, what do you want your quarterbacks to do? Throw the football in the pocket. He can do that and that’s a good starting spot.”
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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