It was Jameis Winston's turn to address the media on Friday at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis. Much like Marcus Mariota yesterday, Winston faced several tough questions but there was a glaring difference.
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Winston put his fun, charismatic demeanor on display for the national cameras as well as in front of several scouts and coaches in attendance. He also oozed with confidence and a confidence teams look for.
"I'm out here to win games and be the face of someone's franchise," Winston said. "This is not a competition just between me and [Marcus] Mariota. One thing about me, I plan on winning the Super Bowl next year so it's going to be Jameis versus the Peyton Mannings, Jameis versus the Tom Bradys. I want to be viewed like that.
"I want my name to stay relevant for the next 15 to 20 years of my career."
For almost his entire life, Winston has been a two-sport athlete. Once baseball concluded at Florida State it was right on to getting ready for baseball. That is no longer the case and he is more then excited for the opportunity to focus strictly on football.
"I don't even know how good I really am yet. This is the first offseason that I've had since I was four years old. I never, ever been into February playing quarterback. This is the first time I ever played quarterback all year-round. I'm just so happy to be a quarterback right now."
His off-the-field character was going to be questioned eventually but he did not shy away from answering the concerns. He acknowledged that he realizes he has people looking up to him, specifically his little brother.
"One thing that helped me realize about all my mistakes is being around kids," said Winston. "I went to read at an elementary school in Tallahassee and when I [saw] those kids look up to me I feel better about myself. The hardest is being real with yourself and know that you let somebody down. I'm a family person. I look at little kid's eyes and say 'Dang that little kid may have seen something on TV that he can say anything he wants to say about me' and then I have a seven-year-old brother at home that's looking up to me every single day. Right there I say 'I can't disappoint this little man. That's my little brother. I'm his inspiration.'"
Winston, 21, is projected to be the first name selected at the NFL Draft on April 30. With the Buccaneers holding the first pick, Winston said "it would be a privilege to be accepted by the Glazer family" and acknowledges that there are lots of people that he has to prove himself to.
His energy, his charisma is something the Buccaneers need to put excitement back into the team. And he will be the one showing true leadership on the field.
"When my team looks at me, they're going to see a smile on my face because I'm going to tell them you know what we are capable of doing and we're not going to go down with a loss. All we want is a 'W'. And that's the main thing."
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