NFL

Insults and injuries: Jameis Winston (still) needs to grow up

Jameis Winston

New Orleans, LA — For Jameis Winston, the Big Easy turned into the Big Queasy early and often versus the Saints.

First, let’s touch on the early.

The usually high-motored Winston often wins when it comes to motivating his teammates, but this Sunday’s pregame speech mirrored many of his passes versus the Saints – off the mark and out of bounds.

Winston thought it was a good idea to mix things up by nibbling on his fingers and asking his teammates, “How many people want to eat a “W” tonight?”

Talk about eating your words. That was finger lickin’ bad. His teammates weren’t inspired, just a case of a young quarterback trying way too hard.
That seems to be the biggest problem with WInston in his young pro career, he has all the talent in the world, but often can’t get out of his own way.

Tony Dungy told Dan Patrick following the Bucs now fifth straight loss what many Bucs fans are so angry about regarding Winston, “He still feels like he has to make every play, every throw.”

It’s becoming a broken record.

I realize Winston is only 23-years-old, is gutting it out on a bum shoulder, and while I give him credit for trying to play through it – even though I was disappointed with recent actions – trust me, nobody has been a bigger supporter of his than me.

I thought the Bucs made the right move in drafting him No. 1 overall. I was willing to look past many of his mistakes at FSU, and I applaud him for staying out of trouble since he has put on a Bucs uniform. But at some point, Winston needs to take that next step forward instead of constantly taking two steps forward and three steps back.

The missteps were on full display in the Superdome when WInston made the worst audible of his pro career by instigating a fight after repeatedly poking the helmet of Saints rookie corner Marshon Lattimore.

Could you imagine Brady, Brees, Wilson or Rodgers doing that?

The result was having your main target Mike Evans mistakenly come to your defense (you should pay his fine by the way) and afterwards unlike Evans, it bothered me that Winston didn’t seem contrite or take accountability.

Time to grow up Jameis.

Winston has to learn better timing in all areas of his quarterback life. I remember back in the preseason when those “Hard Knocks” cameras caught backup quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick telling Winston that his pregame speech was too long – it seems he has good intentions, but continues making the same overzealous mistakes.

It’s no secret his coach Dirk Koetter isn’t afraid to criticize his young quarterback, but you have to wonder how much advice Winston gets off the field and how much he is soaking it in when it comes to his play and his demeanor?

Being injured and losing is unfamiliar territory for a durable quarterback who came into the league winning at every level, but Winston, who routinely says “I gotta be me., has to learn to be an improved “me,” a more grown up “me.”

The Bucs season may be over, but Winston has plenty of time to turn his career around – you can only hope he learned from the worst afternoon of his NFL career.

(You can follow Mike Nabors on Twitter @MikeNabors)

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