In case it wasn’t obvious before, it’s crystal clear now: Jameis Winston is the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ starting quarterback.
Buccaneers coach Lovie Smith said at his first press conference of training camp that the Buccaneers expected Winston to be the starter when they drafted him and have seen nothing in the three months since to make them question that view.
“He’ll be taking first-team reps,” Smith said. “It’s what we already knew, what we saw in camp, what he has done on and off the field here.”
Smith stressed that Winston doesn’t need a veteran mentor, which is good because the Bucs don’t have one. The only other quarterbacks on the roster are Mike Glennon and Seth Lobato. Smith also said the Bucs won’t rein Winston in as a rookie and will expect him to sling it around like a veteran quarterback.
So if the Bucs are going to turn their team around, they’re going to do it with Winston under center. He’s the franchise quarterback, period.