Winston wins in loss?

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The fifth-year quarterback out of FSU would not consider Sundays’ performance a success, knowing his propensity for “team first”. In a season that has seen more ups and downs than a bounce house, a solid Sunday performance by Jameis Winston was a sight for sore eyes.

Where Do They Go From Here

Buccaneer general manager Jason Licht should be hard at work on a 1-2 year contract extension right now. This is exactly the time in a lame-duck season when a number might be reached that might save both sides some face. Throw a big, shiny signing bonus on it, let both sides agree to another year or two of love. Give Arians and company a realistic shot at a home town Super Bowl in 2021 here in Tampa Bay. Working that GM magic that might even open up some cap space before the season ends instead of crippling the cap with a contract for the franchise QB in the offseason. The team doubled down on the young QB, bringing in Arians. It seems like the time to see what skin this kid might put in the game himself.

Not Here To Lecture You

We all know the score with the 26-year-old wunderkind from Bessemer. He had a black PR cloud hanging over him from the moment he led FSU to a 2014 National Championship and picked up the Heisman Trophy his freshman year. Winston doesn’t know when to give up on a play, to a fault. He has worn his heart on his sleeve a little too much in the past to the point where the national media ate him up like so many “Ws”. The faults are easy to see and always have been in the history of the NFL with teams trying to climb out of the cellar.

The Flipside

Finally showing real maturity in 2019 has been hard to detect at times. This last week in Seattle, in a rough environment against a playoff-caliber Seahawks team, in a stadium so loud the Buccaneers ears may still be ringing, this kid shined. Save for a hit elbow fumble on a great defensive play you might even call the performance flawless. Which is exactly not the way Winston, Arians, Leftwich, or any other member of the team would describe it.

Because this team won’t settle for calling mediocre, flawless. There have been so many bad breaks this season. So many good performances sprinkled throughout as well. The 2019 Buccaneers may not be heading to Miami for the Super Bowl. Where they are headed is toward respectability, and a shot at the 2021 Super Bowl in Tampa Bay. Buccaneer fans have to dream.

Start putting those successful starts together and Tampa Bay may just wake up one day and realize the future has been here all along. The flipside of that being if the #1 overall pick in 2015 starts to regress, that future here all along may have been Ryan Griffin or Blaine Gabbert. But good Tampa Bay money is still riding on the kid from Alabama.

 

Photo credit: buccaneers.com

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