Somewhere on a bench in a local Tampa mall, while his wife finds amazing Black Friday deals, Bucs general manager Jason Licht is smiling. That is, if he isn’t hunkered down in his office at One Bucs Place already scouting the 2016 NFL Draft class.

No matter where he is on this Friday afternoon, he has to be pleased, as another draft pick has won an award. Just imagine if they gave out weekly offensive linemen awards.

On Friday it was announced that Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston has been voted Pepsi Rookie of the Week for Week 11.

Jason Licht, Jameis Winston and Lovie Smith - Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

Jason Licht, Jameis Winston and Lovie Smith – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

Going against the Philadelphia Eagles, Winston completed 19-of-29 passes (65.5 pct) for 246 yards and five touchdowns, with a 131.6 passer rating. Winston became the first rookie since Ray Buivid in 1937 to throw five touchdown passes and zero interceptions in a game. The five touchdown passes tied a record shared with Buivid and Matthew Stafford (2009). His five touchdown passes – to five different receivers – tied a franchise record.

Winston joins Marcus Mariota as the only rookie quarterbacks in NFL history to throw four touchdown passes in one half of a game. Winston is also one half of a duo (along with Doug Martin) that became the first teammates in NFL history to have one player throw for five touchdowns and another rush for more than 200 yards in a road game.

Winston’s 15 touchdown passes are tied for the most by a rookie quarterback through the first 11 weeks of the season since the merger, while his 2,305 passing yards are the third-most.

This is Winston’s third Pepsi Rookie of the Week award (also Weeks 2 &5) and the fifth for the team this season (LB Kwon Alexander, Weeks 3 & 8). Tampa Bay’s five Pepsi Rookie of the Week Awards are the most for any team since San Diego earned five in 2013 and Winston’s three are the most by a quarterback since 2012 (Andrew Luck, 3; Robert Griffin III, 7).

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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 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
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5 years ago

Without question, this looks like the best Draft since 1995. Even some of the undrafted free agents look promising.

5 years ago

When you nail a franchise Q.B., you could make the argument it might be our best draft. There’s a guy named Brady who makes a lot of UFA’s look like stars, looks like we got one here in Tampa. Jameis has upped everyones game just by being Jameis. It was a tough choice in May, getting it right has set us up nicely.