Jameis Winston embraces his role as a runner

Getty Images

Jameis Winston is trying to reclaim his hold on the Buccaneers’ starting quarterback job.

And if that means becoming a bit of a running back, he’s willing to do that as well.

After making big plays with his feet last week against the Panthers, Winston said he’s willing to keep running if that’s what they need.

It’s just part of making great decisions,” Winston said, via Eduardo Encina of the Tampa Bay Times. “And making great decisions is a part of winning football games. So as long as we’re doing that as a team, and as long as I’m doing that, we’re going to win. . . .

“When you’re in man coverage a lot, not many times you have a guy for the quarterback, so in that case, a lane opens up and you pull it down and tuck it and get what you can get.”

There were often big chunks against the Panthers, with a pair of 18-yard runs and 48 yards total. He also led the team in rushing during their overtime win against the Browns, but those are the only two games he’s rushed for more than 32 yards.

They’re still first in the league in passing offense, and it’s not like they’re changing their emphasis. But Winston has the ability to pull it down and find space, and last week he did. Perhaps it’s a coincidence, but he also hasn’t thrown an interception in the last two weeks.

“We’re not designing it for Jameis to be our leading rusher, but that’s the way it worked out (last week),” Bucs coach Dirk Koetter said.

And because it worked, it’s worth keeping it in the back of their minds as they game plan would be wise.