Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston has been missing in action over the last three weeks.
Not just on the field, but also in front of the microphones.
But with the announcement from head coach Dirk Koetter on Wednesday that Winston would be under center against the Packers this week, Winston was obligated to meet with the media for the weekly quarterback press conference.
Winston was asked about the allegations from an Uber driver that she was groped by the Bucs quarterback back in 2016, and he was understandably calculated with his responses.
#Bucs QB Jameis Winston on if he's afraid he might be suspended at some point because of the investigation: "I have no fear at all" pic.twitter.com/UiEzSMViKx
“I’m going to respect the process (NFL investigation) most importantly,” Winston said. “That’s all I can do.”
Tampa Bay Times writer Rick Stroud followed up by asking Winston about his association with former FSU teammates Ronald Darby, in not only this latest accusation, but also the first one from his days at Florida State where he was accused of sexual assault by Erica Kinsman. Winston was never charged after a number of investigations including ones by the Tallahassee Police Department and an FSU Code of Conduct board.
“Again, I put my statement out there discussing this allegation,” Winston said. “I have to respect the process, on that part. I’ve been vindicated several times on the past situation. My statements on those accusations stand firm, too. As always, it’s a growing process and I’m going to continue to grow every day.”
Winston was then asked if he feels he will be vindicated in the latest allegation, and the Bucs signal caller was quick to respond.
The next question was about of Winston was if he was worried about a possible suspension from the league, which seems almost inevitable short of the Uber driver completely withdrawing her complaint. Even then, there is no rhyme or reason when it comes to punishment handed down by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell.
“I have no fear at all, but like I said, I have to respect their process,” Winston said.
“One thing about my family is we are very strong in our faith. We’re very strong in believing that nothing from our past can control our future. What I’ve been to Tampa Bay and how I’ve grown over the past few years has meant a lot to my family—seeing my development even through college. I think that’s more important than what could be said by any outside source.”
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@example.com
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