I know, I know. It’s only preseason. Rookie quarterback Jameis Winston has a lot left to learn. But when those lights at Raymond James Stadium turned on Monday night, he was on.
Winston helped orchestrate an eight play, 80-yard opening drive which he capped off with his second rushing touchdown of the preseason from a yard out. His three completions for 27 yards showed how the rest of his night would go as he spread the ball around efficiently and accurately. Because of that, Winston got into a rhythm early.
“Completions, all in all, help you settle in,” Winston said. “The way we were playing, we started out fast. That was also a good thing. We upped the tempo real fast, so obviously we got on a roll early and we kept it.”
Part of Winston’s success Monday night was due to the play in front of him from the offensive live. The unit gave the rookie signal caller the time and protection he needed often to have success.
Winston acknowledged that.
“I was so happy that [center Jeremiah Warren] stepped up. He did a great job. That whole offensive line had an amazing day, those guys carried us the whole way through. Obviously by them doing so well, it helped us get the win.”
Overall, Winston performed admirably and he displayed — in front of the home crowd — what he is capable of. He finished 8-of-13 for 90 yards and a rushing touchdown. Although the numbers were good in a limited fashion, the first overall selection realizes he still has work to do.
“My main goal is just to get better every single week,” Winston said. “My first two passes were checkdowns, so that was a big thing. I don’t believe I had many checkdowns the first game. The main goal for this team is just to get better every week, build on the positives and eliminate the negatives.”