Gerald McCoy to Jameis Winston: Keep your head up, but play bad this week

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Panthers defensive tackle Gerald McCoy will be playing his former team on Thursday night and one of his teammates from his Tampa days was on his mind when he spoke to reporters on Tuesday.

McCoy was asked about quarterback Jameis Winston, whose long-running issue with turning the ball reared its head to the tune of three interceptions last weekend. Two of those three picks were returned for touchdowns in a 31-17 49ers win.

McCoy said that he reached out with some encouraging words for Winston, although he added that he’d prefer to see the quarterback find his footing in Week Three.

“I texted Jameis and told him, keep his head up,” McCoy said, via the Tampa Bay Times. “Media has been trying to tear him down. People are saying, ‘Ah, same old Jameis.’ All this stuff. I just told him, ‘Keep your head up. It’s the next game.’ Not this game. Skip this game and go to the next one. Play bad in this one and then fix it.”

Winston said that McCoy has been a positive influence on his career, but the Bucs would surely prefer if he didn’t heed the older player’s advice about Thursday night.