If I was to list some of the achievements of this Quarterback and ask you to guess who it was the name Jameis Winston would not be the first name to roll off your tongue. A former Heisman trophy Winner, National Championship winner at College, 1st overall pick in the NFL Draft, Most TDs by Rookie, Most passing yards for rookie… the list goes on. Unfortunately for him these records came at the very beginning of his career, they are easily forgotten and are usually followed up by shouts from other fans citing the interceptions thrown. But for the two negative NFL records he holds for interceptions he also holds nine positive ones, and for his two negative rookie records he holds thirteen positive ones, lets also not forget in his first five seasons Peyton Manning threw 12 more interceptions than Jameis, it happens. Some would argue… but Jameis has not won a Superbowl, it takes more than good QB to win a Super Bowl let’s remember that.
This has always been the problem with Jameis, the talent is there no question about it but…and there is a but… it is usually overshadowed by his interception record, past behavior, or the fact he is partial to some crab legs without paying. As Saints fans we probably had our rival glasses on when it comes to Jameis and love nothing more than picking on a division QB rival and his faults, others have a valid point he has been poor on occasions to and deserved the criticism. I have heard people say it’s a bold move or a strange choice the Saints signing him. For me it is a no brainer. Winston is not coming in to take the reins from Drew next season, he is not coming in off the back of being selected first in the draft and trying to impress immediately with massive amounts of pressure he is simply a backup with massive potential. This is a low risk deal for the Saints with Jameis picking up just $148,000 signing bonus, a base salary of $952,000 and $3.4 million in incentives. With the right guidance and better coaching the Saints could have a serious weapon on their hands in the years to come. Add to that an offensive line that will not get you sacked 47 times in a season and he may actually have more time in the pocket to work on his accuracy rating.
Although he was never truly a dual threat quarter back coming out of college as he was not the quickest of QB’s with a combine 40-yard time of 4.97 seconds, he does have the ability to stretch plays with his legs. His scouting report read “Winston is a smart, instinctive, tough quarterback. He has the arm strength to make every throw at a high level, showing enough depth and velocity to hit deep outs and throw a 20-yard-crosser on a line. Winston anticipates routes well and is confident to throw the ball before his receiver breaks off the route”. Now we could argue we haven’t seen this version of the player yet, but I truly believe it’s there and we have seen glimpses. If the Saints can tap into that potential, then Payton and Loomis may have just pulled off the deal of the year and many more to come. Winston is one of the best at throwing on the run, mainly due to having to run away from on rushing defenses, but a QB who stays still in the pocket with the Buccaneers offensive line has a death wish.
Winston currently leads the all-time passing yards record for Tampa Bay and was passing yards leader in the NFL last year, the problem with him is that he follows high yard and touchdown performances with high interception rates. He has just had an operation on his eyesight but I am not naive to think this is something the Saints need to coach out of him. Until they do, I fear he may never reach his true potential. Saying that he has landed at an organisation that is lead on the field by arguably the greatest quarter back in the NFL, Drew Brees. I am sure he will offer the advice, guidance and mentorship that could be just what Jameis needs at this time in his career. Its going to be very interesting but I am looking forward to the story unfolding, we need to remember that we may not even see him make a throw in a Saints jersey but I have a feeling we will be seeing plenty of him in the years to come. And I for one have no issue with that at all. I am a big fan and very happy with having him on board.
Good Luck Jameis