Jameis Winston spoke to the media on Monday as the Buccaneers officially kicked off their 2016 offseason with a conditioning program. Winston spoke a number of subjects including Mike Evans, the firing of Lovie Smith and what he expects from himself in 2016, among other topics. Below is a complete transcript from his first press conference at One Buc this year.

(Opening statement)

“Football season again.”

(On who is better at video games – he or wide receiver Mike Evans)
“Well, I’m not really good at video games, so I know Mike – he whoops me all the time, especially in [NBA] 2K – he loves playing that. I’m not really a basketball guy, so I try to stay away from that.”

Oklahoma State v Florida State(On what Florida State Head Coach Jimbo Fisher had texted him about Buccaneers Offensive Coordinator/Wide Receivers Coach Todd Monken when Monken was hired)
“He didn’t really go into detail, he just let me know that that’s a guy that will be good for us. I trust Coach Fisher, so his word is as good as anyone’s word to me.”

(On spending time with wide receiver Mike Evans this offseason)
“It’s just fellowshipping with him, creating a steady relationship where we depend on each other. Because there’s going to be situations where in a game, I’m going to have to look at Mike and be like, ‘Mike, I need you on this play,’ and he’s going to look at me and be like, ‘Jameis, come my way. I got you.’ So it’s just developing that relationship off the field and on the field. It’s good.”

(On working out with trainer Tim Grover this offseason)
“I’ve been with him once a month, for the most part, so I’ve spent about three weeks with him. Just trying to get my body right, trying to stay in shape. I’m not used to really having an offseason. I jumped right into baseball right now [in previous years], so I was kind of in a place where I didn’t know where to go but [my] instincts say, ‘Work hard, Jameis, and you’ll be alright.’”

(On which parts of his game he has to improve upon)
“In every aspect. My main goal is just to get better every single day, so whatever Coach Bajakian – Coach Bajakian gave me a list of things to get better on, I looked at those things and I just try to improve on them every day I can.”

(On how much the change in head coaches served as an “awakening” that the NFL is a business)
“That was a tough week for me just because that was the week of my birthday and all that, but after that, I was excited for Coach Koetter to come in here and get this show on the road. I’m excited today just to be around all my teammates and we get to get back with each other, throw some jokes to each other. It’s starting a good process that we need to have that true bond when it’s time to get in training camp when we actually start sweating and actually have a true grind.”

(On how often he and Evans are hanging out off the field)
“It’s whenever he wants to. Like he says, it’s what’s you do off the field and on the field. Mike got married this [spring], Mike had so much stuff to do, so just him coming over to my house and me setting up a film session before we watch the Warriors play is very good for us.”

(On what has changed for him on his first day in the building from last year to this year)
“It feels the same because I was so eager to step onto a pro facility. I was so eager to just step in there with my teammates, because it’s not like college. College you’re with those guys year-round. After our last game, we just split apart. I’ve seen some guys in the facility and I’ve talked to some guys on the phone. It’s like we had long distance relationships. But it was good. It was good to see everybody coming in excited and I was very excited for Coach Koetter. He made a big statement in there in the team room and we’re just pumped, man. We’re ready to get this thing going.”

Bucs OC Dirk Koetter - Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR
Bucs OC Dirk Koetter – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

(On what the statement was that Coach Koetter made)
“It was a big statement (laughs).”

(On his confidence in quarterback Ryan Griffin)
“I don’t view Ryan or Mike [Glennon] as my backup because those guys help me out so much and we’ve just got a big family in that quarterback room. And as long as all three of us are on the same page, us three are really the people that get this team going. So it’s basically one quarterback and that’s all three of us. We’re like a three-headed monster.”

(On seeing Buccaneers Hall of Fame defensive tackle Warren Sapp this offseason)
“I’ve seen him at Anquan Boldin’s event and just him giving back to Anquan, because they know each other. And I’ve seen him at Mike Alstott’s event last night, so just being around as great of a Tampa Bay legend as he is, it’s good to just sit there and mingle. But I try to work the room – I just don’t necessarily stay there with one person, I try to talk to everyone I possibly can.”

(On if he ever talks football with Sapp)
“I really don’t talk football with Sapp. Sapp is really interested in fishing, he does that a lot. He’s just a great guy to me. I’ve seen him, when I was growing up, so when I’m around Mr. Sapp, I’m like, ‘This guy’s a legend.’ I’m not really trying to pick his brain or anything like that because he’s a defensive tackle and this always remains consistent is he will tell me that he will sack me. And he’s going to say that every single time. And I’m like, ‘I’m playing, you’re not, but you’re a Hall of Famer,’ so it’s just a respect thing for me and Mr. Sapp.”

(On if he spent time at the Pro Bowl trying to recruit any potential free agents)
“I wasn’t out there trying to recruit anybody. I just was out there trying to put my foot down, trying to see how I can get better, trying to take things in from the other great guys that have been at the Pro Bowl multiple times. Because I want to be back there again, I don’t just want it to be a one year thing.”

(On how the offense can “play with more swag” and translate production into more wins)
“Well, Mike Glennon said something great when we first got into the quarterback room. He said, ‘This is the first offseason I came into this building and I had the same exact offense.’ That’s how you get better – repetition, doing the same thing over and over again, and we have the same offense. We’ve got a new offensive coordinator, so that’s how you get the swag back, because you play better when you know what you’re doing.”

(On if he agrees with Coach Koetter’s statement that the deep passing game needs to improve, and what he can do to improve it)
“Absolutely. I’ve just got to give the guys chances to make plays on the ball, and that’s something that I have – me and Mike [Evans] really specifically worked on that – we spent like two days just doing deep balls. Of course he’s tired, but he kept doing it. We actually had some of the Tampa Bay Storm guys come and help him out because they saw him out there working his tail off and they were like, ‘We aren’t going to let you burn him out right now,’ so Mike was very appreciative of that because I just kept on going.”

(On Evans having to do all the running during their throwing sessions)
“I don’t let him do it by himself. When we go out there and he runs a 50-yard route, I will sprint to 50 yards down the field, wherever he had caught the ball. So when I work with the guys, I don’t let them be the only ones running because that’s the only excuse that a receiver or tight end can have, like, ‘You’re not out here doing this running.’ I’m like, ‘Okay, I’m going to show you. I’m going to do the same running that you’re doing,’ so they can’t have any excuses.”

(On how he feels about his offseason conditioning and if he feels he’s met his objectives)
“I feel great, but it’s still a work in progress. This is April. You’ve got to be peaking when it gets to August. You’ve got to be peaking when it’s the middle of the season. I’m always just working trying to get better every single day. I do believe I look good [laughs] – I’m just saying, that was my main objective, not to lose myself because I love to eat so I had to keep working hard. By me not knowing what to do in the offseason, it helped me because I was just like, ‘I know how to work.’ So I started working.”

(On how he dealt with the stress of the pre-draft process last year)
“Like you said, the Pro Day and the Combine, that was stressful, but after all that was over, I was like, ‘I just can’t wait to get to a team now.’ Because that stuff is very stressful, I’ll just tell you that right now. And I think everyone knows that, but I was just happy to get put on a team and I’m happy I never have to do a Combine and Pro Day or that stuff again. I’m pretty sure these rookies that come in, they’re going to be happy that they don’t have to do that stuff again.”

(On what it was like to hear his name called and be selected in the 2015 NFL Draft)
“It was a blessing, it was a blessing. Actually, my uncle had said something the other day. He was like, ‘I’m just happy you got called first so everything got over with quickly,’ so it was just a great day. I’m very eager to see who we get. I’m happy for all of the guys that have a chance to get drafted and for the guys that think they won’t get drafted, I’m happy for them because I know those guys out there are working their tails off to make a way for themselves.”

(On what people can expect from the Buccaneers’ 2015 rookie class in year two)
“You can expect for us to get better every single day. That’s a good point, because at one time I think we had at least five rookies on the field and that’s just our rookie class. [Buccaneers Director of Player Engagement] Duke Preston did a great job with bringing us in, having our rookie class, keeping us together as a family. Hopefully, we can spread that out and get this whole team as one big happy family. That’ll be good for us.”

(On how much he looks forward to supporting the incoming rookie class)
“I can’t wait. I’m all into welcoming somebody in because I know when I came in, a lot of people have their guard up because they don’t know what to do expect. They’re like, ‘This guy is in the NFL, he might think he’s like this, and I’m just coming from college, I need to be this type of way so he doesn’t think I’m a bad guy.’ I’m going to be like, ‘Bro, be yourself. That’s the easiest way that you can have success quickly in this league. So be yourself,’ and I’m not going to be trying to put [any] pranks on [any] rookies or anything like that. No, not at all. I’m going to accept them in because they are part of this family.”

(On if it’s different being able to start off the year as the guy who everyone follows)
“Not at all, because if you’re trying to push leadership on a guy, that guy’s not going to want to follow you. Me and the chaplain, Doug [Gilcrease], we were just talking Biblically about what leadership means, and leadership means to serve others. As long as I can serve the guys around me, I feel like I’m doing a good job of being a leader to them and I know that they’re going to want to do anything for me just like I would for them.”


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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 mark@pewterreport.com
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5 years ago

I am fired up that Jameis is our QB! This Buc fan in Iowa is ready to follow his lead. Go Bucs!!!!!

5 years ago

A lot of so called bosses should read that last quote.
“Leadership means to serve others.”
Unfortunately many so called leaders think its the other way around.
Great interview and article.

Reply to  drdneast
5 years ago

Employees might also read the “work my tail off” quotes. Works both ways.

5 years ago

drdneast, yes I agree. A true leader is one who inspire others. Jameis is the real deal. Finally we have a leader who will take us to the playoffs!

5 years ago

It’s nice to have Jameis in place leading this team. It’s also a refreshing change having an up beat, candid coach. Koetter, as John Gruden mentioned last year, might well turn out to be that well kept secret coach. Finally a staff that will turn it’s players lose, instead of holding back.

5 years ago

Last year this time we were in the Winston-Mariota debate, not knowing how it would all play out. It seems our 40 year search for a true franchise QB may be over with young Jameis eager to do what it takes to be successful. I for one, am thankful we are no longer looking at other teams’ castoffs to fill the most important position on the team.