Lovie Smith on Jameis Winston’s off-field issues: We’re OK with where he is

AP

The Buccaneers are expected to take a quarterback with the first pick in the draft, with Florida State’s Jameis Winston topping most lists when it comes to on-field readiness to start in the NFL.

There are off-field questions regarding Winston after a host of issues during his college career, including allegations of sexual assault. Winston was not charged by authorities and was cleared in a code of conduct hearing held by the school, two things that Buccaneers coach Lovie Smith cited Wednesday as reasons why the team would be comfortable making Winston the first pick of the draft and the face of their franchise.

“From what I know right now, yeah, we’re OK with where he is,” Smith said, via Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times. “He’s been accused of a crime. There’s an allegation. He went through our court system. I have faith in our court system. He went through the school justice system. He was cleared. He went through our court system and he was cleared. Exonerated. What else can you do?”

Smith said the team is still doing its homework on Winston and there are on-field workouts to come, so it’s premature to start making jerseys with anyone’s name on the back at this point. Character questions are the biggest red flag about Winston, though, and his chances of going No. 1 look a lot better if the Bucs continue to be OK with everything on that front.

55 responses to “Lovie Smith on Jameis Winston’s off-field issues: We’re OK with where he is

  1. Worry less about where he is and more about where he will be in a year. If you think the answer to that could be “On his couch, finishing up his third bag of chips” or “Cell block C”, then maybe you pass on him.

  2. Jamies is a going to be a star. I’ve watched him closely over the last two years and he has that “it” factor. He’s a very engaging kid.

  3. Lovie Smith, lol.

    Can anybody guess why this guy got a HC position and then why he still has one?

    Think hard now.

  4. Of course he’s okay with it. He knows nothing about offenses, QB’s or what a good O line looks like. Bucs fans, continue to recite these phrases:

    *We just didn’t make enough plays.
    *There’s plenty of football left to be played.
    * ________________ is our quarterback.

    Sooooo glad he’s out of Chicago.

  5. Isn’t Lovie the guy who insisted on signing Josh McClown for all that money because he felt the 34 year old career journeyman backup would be their ‘franchise’ QB?

    This should end well.

  6. Because a defensive minded head coach who coddles his players and believes they can do no wrong is EXACTLY what Winston needs at the start of his NFL career. :-/

  7. Lovie should show no love for Jameis. He will not be a good NFL QB because he’s not mature enough and the fact that he doesn’t have the skill set. His college team was very much overrated and he wasn’t as good as the media made him seem

  8. Tampa Bay, I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again–PLEASE DRAFT WINSTON and save the Titans from themselves.

    – Tennessee Fan

  9. Lovie should delegate all offense related decisions to someone else. I think Winston will be the pick but if Lovie is the only Bucs guy thinking that, punt.

  10. Last year FSU came from behind multiple times to maintain their place at or near the top of the college rankings. However, many of those holes were dug by Winston himself. His decision making doesn’t seem to be the best (talking on-field here; off field, we all have seen the potential issues) and he made a lot of bad throws that resulted in interceptions.

    He may have natural talent, but I’m surprised his sporadic play last year hasn’t scared more teams off. Of course, if this was a better year for QBs, he likely wouldn’t be the top pick.

  11. If the Bucs do this they need to put a clause in his contract that any bail money comes out of his pay.

  12. I don’t think either Winston or Mariota are franchise QB’s and wouldn’t draft either one until late 1st rd at the soonest. Leave it to teams like Tampa, Cleveland, Washington to reach for these two. In Winston’s case, not being found criminally liable for his off-field issues doesn’t eliminate the baggage or propensity for future problems.

  13. “We’re OK with where he is”

    Translation: He is not in jail yet.

    Think about it: If he had been in the NFL last year he still would be on the commissioners exempt list. Is that someone you would draft or trade for?

  14. He heard about the rape allegations and being overweight and immediately thought that they’d found the next Roethlisberger.

  15. Last year FSU came from behind multiple times to maintain their place at or near the top of the college rankings. However, many of those holes were dug by Winston himself.
    ————————
    Thank you, thank you, a thousand times thank you. Nobody seems to want to talk about this. Winston was positively Cutler-esque last year in his carelessness with the ball. At least half of those games FSU came back to win should have never even been in doubt.

  16. If anyone can get the upside from Winston and avoid the downside, it’s Lovie. That said I’m not overly impressed… how many great NFL qb’s have come from FSU? Brad Johnson was their most successful alum. :/

  17. Smith said, via Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times. “He’s been accused of a crime. There’s an allegation. He went through our court system. I have faith in our court system. He went through the school justice system. He was cleared. He went through our court system and he was cleared. Exonerated. What else can you do?”
    ===========================================

    How about you use common sense here, Lovie, and realize what a sham the Talahassee court system is when the biggest employer in the town, FSU, runs the show? As for the school “justice system”, are you really that naive or intentionally ignorant?

    I bet Lovie also thought that Casey Anthony, George Zimmerman, and OJ Simpson were also “innocent” just because their high priced lawyers were able to beat the system.

  18. You guys make it seem like Winston is a partier who does drugs every weekend like Manziel. Other than being immature (what 20-21 year old college kid isn’t) and falsely being accused of rape by a known cleat chaser, what real off the field issues does he really have?

    Winston is the right choice here.

  19. I only want to hear ONE thing when the Goodell steps up to the podium ” The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have traded their # 1 pick to the _________________” for their #1 pick this year, the number #1 pick in 2016. That would make my day. I have full faith the Bucs will be making a HUGE mistake if they draft either one of these QB’s.

  20. 2 months ago i called this.

    Winston is a very young individual with HUGE upside talent, hes actually fairly and a funny guy – IF he can play the part and grow up (like most of us had to do after college) then he’ll be a great NFL player.

    Hes a MUCH better fit for Evans ASJ and Lovie and will sell a butt-load of jerseys in Florida; which is something that team needs desperately.

  21. Well, he didn’t go through the court system, and he wasn’t exonerated. Someone decided that the university was better off with him playing QB than being suspended (or jailed), so he wasn’t charged. Not quite the same thing.

  22. So we have a kid who has a history of poor decision making and documented lack of personal accountability. Entitled. So if you make him an instant millionaire and celebrity do you think that will improve the situation?

  23. Tampa Bay (Miami and Jacksonville too) might be the worst landing spot for Wiston. Publix is the dominant supermarket chain in Florida and it would provide a daily temptation for poor Jameis to avoid the seafood counter. Forget the fact that he would have the money to pay for his lobster, his entitled mindset wouldn’t allow him to reach into his own pocket.

  24. The Bucs don’t really have a choice but to take a QB. There isn’t a top notch, can’t miss player at the top of this draft. So, there isn’t likely to be many trade opportunities for the Bucs. They will almost certainly take a chance on a QB. If I was the GM or Head Coach, I would want to know which QB is going to work the hardest to stop the losing. Which QB is going to be the driving force to change the culture within that locker room? Which QB will simply not accept the losing….

  25. Lovie Smith may be the nicest guy in the room but judging from afar all these years he seems completely oblivious to his failings with multiple players and teams. remember Rex Grossman anybody?

    He thought he’s be a start too.

  26. He needs a good interview more than any other prospect. Everything else is solid, but if the guy shows signs that he hasn’t matured or won’t own up to his mistakes, he might be in for a rude awakening on draft day.

  27. Winston has a SERIOUS lack of judgement—let’s go over his public lapses in judgement shall we ??
    1. Arrested for shooting at squirrels with a pellet gun on campus –no charges filed.
    2. Had a pellet gun fight a few hours later causing $4000 worth of damage–no charges filed.
    3. Accused of raping a woman–charges eventually dropped.
    4. Arrested for stealing from a Burger King –no charges filed.
    5. Arrested for stealing from a supermarket –had to do community service.
    6. Is a no show at code of conduct hearing for his buddies–no repercussions.
    7. Jumps on a table in the student union and yells a sexually charged expletive-laced phrase –suspended for a game but tried to ignore it and dress for the game anyway until Coach Fisher yelled at him.

    If you are an NFL GM, you are going to bet your career on this guy with the #1 pick ?? What’s going to happen in the NFL when Jimbo Fisher can no longer cover for him ??
    Winston has a lot of talent and if he matured massively he could be a great NFL QB. However, I doubt that happens.

  28. Watch “The Hunting Ground” documentary, which premiered at Sundance, to get a full picture of Winston’s character and the judicial system for college athletes and the Greek system…

  29. I can’t wait till the kid is tearing up the league in 2 years so all you haters can eat some serious crow. Hes got some serious talent. those that blundly look at int numbers this year didnt watch the games.

  30. Rex is our QB…..DOH!

    Lovie’s still spewing the same ole crap….come on man, put on your freakin’ thinking cap and stop playing dumb, or being dumb.

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