Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston had a head start working with his new coach, and that has nothing to do with OTAs.
Via Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times, Winston’s probably going to enjoy working with the just-hired Bruce Arians, because he already has in the past.
When he was in middle school, Winston attended a football camp in Birmingham, Ala., which was run by Arians and his son Jake. And he said it was a turning point for him, allowing him to dream of a football future in the NFL.
“He’s one of the first people that gave me that dream of getting a Super Bowl ring,” Winston said two years ago before the Bucs played Arians’ Cardinals. “At the camp, he brought his Pittsburgh Steelers [Super Bowl] ring and showed all of us. That was one of those times when I was just like, ‘Man, I want to get me one of those rings.’ ”
Arians referred to Winston by his hometown nickname, and clearly sees something he can work with in the future.
“‘Jaboo’ has been a legend since he was in the ninth grade,” Arians said. “I’ve been hearing about him, knowing about him for a long time. . . . Just a tremendous athlete. A very bright guy, but had a cannon for an arm. He was probably throwing 90 mile-an-hour fastballs back then in the ninth, 10th grade. . . .
“Growth and unbelievable potential, how good he can be. I’ve known him a long time and I’m really proud of his growth. He’s just going to get better and better.”
Rekindling their working relationship will be important for both of them.
Arians gives Winston the chance to improve and prove himself as the team’s quarterback of the future, in the fifth-year option of his rookie contract. And Winston gives Arians the chance for some short-term success, since 66-year-olds aren’t generally in it for long-term building projects.