This time last year Jameis Winston was training with quarterback guru George Whitfield Jr., who never hesitated to heap praise on or make a strong case for the eventual No. 1 overall pick. One season into Winston’s career later, nothing has changed.
Jameis Winston and George Whitfield: Photo: Mark Cook/PewterReport.com
On Thursday PewterReport.com spoke with Whitfield Jr. about all things Winston. Above the many things he was proud of – and not shocked by – during Winston’s rookie campaign, was his attitude and competitiveness that he believes set him apart.
“When we would talk – and we’d talk weekly – the first thing I would hear were about the plays he didn’t make and wanted to make,” Whitfield Jr. said. “In a win, it was what we could have done more. In a loss, it was all about the loss. It was never about statistics, even in the backstretch when there was buzz about Rookie of the Year. He was thinking, ‘Rookie of the Year? I’m trying to get in the playoffs.’ His direction was right. Competing, battling and studying tape.”
Whitfield said with certainty that Winston, along with Andrew Luck, who he trained prior to the 2012 NFL Draft, were by far the two most developed quarterbacks he’d ever worked with out of college. In fact, Whitfield claims that the Colts’ and Bucs’ signal callers are “very comparable”, both in their temperament and ability to absorb coaching.
Winston was groomed under the likes of Jimbo Fisher and Dirk Koetter, while Luck spent years with Jim Harbaugh and Pep Hamilton. Both quarterbacks have taken advantage of their resources and strive to play up to their fullest potential, something Whitfield says you can’t teach.
“You can be in AP courses, but it doesn’t mean you’re going to have a 4.0,” Whitfield said. “There are kids in AP classes with a 2.0, so they had to work. But those two, I don’t know if I’ll ever have anybody who will exceed them. They’ve certainly been your quintessential valedictorians.”
Whitfield might be biased, but when asked where Winston would rank if he had played his junior year at Florida State and entered the draft in 2016, his answer was simply, “It would be Jameis and then the rest of these guys.”
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]
Insightful post as usual PR!
Thanks Zach; good one. Everything I have seen and heard doesn’t add up with what is being protrayed in Orlando.
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