Jameis Winston
Jameis Winston (img source: NY Post)

Jameis Winston: The Maturity Check

After one of the most troubled college careers in history, knucklehead rookie Jameis Winston is trying to leave his past behind and start anew as Tampa Bay’s new starting QB. The FSU Seminoles probably won’t say it out loud that they breathed a sigh of relief when he declared himself for the NFL draft, leaving a trail of still pending cases behind him. Winston is a unique pick for an organization that has been more careful with their picks, and he is infinitely more interesting since he is as unpredictable on the field as he is off.

His play style also doesn’t suit the Bucs offense, who will have to build around him if they choose Winston as the starter. As far as potential, he is through the roof as a big athletic quarterback that is more comfortable from the pocket than running.  And with the FSU playbook resembling a lot of modern NFL offenses, he is more NFL ready than a lot of the quarterbacks in the draft. QB’s of his caliber that have come out of college are used to the spread offense and use a run first mentality, often leading to their ultimate destruction in the NFL. Their inability to adapt to the faster and more complex NFL system has seen the demise of the likes of Robert Griffin III and Tim Tebow on the professional level.

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With Winston being a different beast altogether, we could possibly see his game mature into something special. The cautionary tale to follow is that he has no plans on being a leader, or even a huddle guy. That’s not only a big problem moving forward, but perhaps someone should have sent him a memo telling him that the quarterback is the leader of the offense. It’s more than likely his inability or avoidance of leadership is directly attributed to his troubles off the field. A lack of confidence in that area has stunted his on field growth, which can be a potential disaster in the making. Buc’s coach Lovie Smith named Winston the starter way too early, a mistake that the Washington Redskins are kicking themselves for to this day. Hopefully Jameis will prove everyone wrong, and that he is here to stay.

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