Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston capped his rookie season with a Pro Bowl berth. In Hawaii, he saw things that could propel him to reach an even higher level of success in his second year.
As explained by Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times, a “perceptively leaner” Winston arrived for the start of the offseason program, after seeing the physical condition of players like Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson and Falcons receiver Julio Jones in Hawaii.
“I do believe I get better every single day and I look good,” Winston said.
To get there, Winston hired Michael Jordan’s former trainer, and Winston has been working with Buccaneers strength coach Dave Kennedy. Winston’s new commitment to fitness has him going well above and beyond the call when throwing passes to guys like receiver Mike Evans.
“He goes out there and he’ll run a 50-yard route, I will sprint 50 yards down the field, wherever he had caught the ball,” Winston said.
Because Winston had played both baseball and football in high school and college, he had never had the opportunity to devote an offseason to getting himself into top shape. Last year, Winston spent the early months after football getting ready for the Scouting Combine and his Pro Day workout.
This year, for the first time Winston was able to focus only on getting himself into the best physical shape possible. Which will serve him well if he continues to embrace contact on the football field.
Of course, it would be smart for him to avoid as much contact as possible, but it’s difficult for quarterbacks to suppress that instinct. Besides, he managed to stay healthy last year when he wasn’t in great shape. The new and improved version of Jameis Winston could go a long way toward staying healthy and becoming even more effective.