The Tampa Bay Buccaneers used their No. 1 pick on what they hope will be a franchise quarterback, but rumors indicate that Jameis Winston may not end up being their Week 1 starter.
Though the Buccaneers were reportedly enthralled with the Florida State product going into the draft as team OTA’s star, it’s clear that they’re not going to simply hand him the starting slot.
That was on display this week, when Jameis Winston was placed with the second team.
“Jameis and everybody else have to earn their position,” coach Lovie Smith said. “Jameis is getting his first-team reps. You guys are here on Thursday, and Wednesday he was with the first group then. Don’t look too much into that. We just want the guys we think can play to get reps, and we want them to work with a lot of different combinations.
“Jameis is right on schedule. We’re not disappointed or anything like that in him.”
While Smith gave a good endorsement and it’s likely that Winston will end up the starter, his debut may end up being later in the season if the Bucs find he’s having any kind of difficulty getting up to speed.
There have already been rumors that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers aren’t entirely thrilled with Jameis Winston’s antics. After he was picked first in May’s NFL Draft, Winston posted a picture of himself in front of a plate of crab legs. The picture seemingly referenced the quarterback’s arrest for stealing crab legs — and it didn’t go over well with the Buccaneers.
Winston quickly took down the picture, explaining that he didn’t want to take away from the importance of the day.
“That’s the only reason why I took the picture down,” Winston said. “I didn’t want any negative publicity for this day, because that took it away from this whole organization and my family. I just never would’ve expected that.”
Winston hasn’t had any problems since then and is on board with the team’s strategy of starting him out in the No. 2 spot.
“I was never given anything in my life, so the way I was brought up, I have to earn everything,” Winston said. “The main thing is to earn the respect of all these players out here.”
The rumors regarding the Tampa Bay Buccaneers could be over by training camp and a starter emerges, but it’s clear that they’re in no rush for Jameis Winston’s development.
[Image via Getty Images/Joe Robbins]