So much for quarterback Jameis Winston saying all the right things.
The former Florida State quarterback, who told Charles Davis of NFL Network over the weekend that the 2013 Heisman winner “didn’t even get coached up like I should have got coached up” in preparation for Scouting Combine interviews, sounded like a guy who hasn’t been coached up at all when it comes to talking about playing baseball in the future.
Asked by Peter King of TheMMQB.com about the possibility, Winston opted not to use the kind of football-only absolutes that coaches and General Managers would like to hear.
“Right now I am focusing on football,” Winston told King. “This is the first offseason I’ve ever had where I can focus totally on football. I am loving this, being a quarterback every day. . . . Anything that keeps me busy helps me. I love baseball. I love football. Playing both was the best of both worlds.”
So would he ever play both sports professionally? The right answer would be, “No. I’m a football player.” To his credit (or to his detriment), Winston opted for something closer to the truth.
“I can’t speak on that,” Winston said of playing both sports at the same time. “It always has been my dream, but I’m just playing football right now.”
It’s always been his “dream” to play both sports as a pro, but he realizes it’s wise to be circumspect at a time when he’s expecting a football team to select him to be its franchise quarterback. And so “right now” the focus is football.
How long will “right now” last? Until he’s drafted by a team he perhaps doesn’t want to play for? Until he encounters true adversity in adapting to the NFL? Until he realizes that he lacks the raw athleticism to thrive against NFL-caliber competition?
It’s unclear whether he has the ability to thrive in pro baseball. In 2012, the Texas Rangers made Winston a fifteenth-round pick as an outfielder. In 2013, University of Miami baseball coach Jim Morris dubbed Winston a potential first-round pick in both football and baseball.
So what happens if/when Winston is drafted by another Major League Baseball team? “Right now” he’s focusing on football. Perhaps something else will cause him to focus on baseball. Which could set up a team like the Buccaneers, who wasted the No. 1 overall pick in 1986 on eventual baseball player Bo Jackson, to ultimately waste a pick on Winston.