This was a topic I was going to stay away from because it was just so idiotic to me, but I just couldn't resist any longer.
He's been called a criminal, a liar, a distraction, and fat. He's been accused of many things, none of which have led to any charges. He's won games and thrown interceptions. With those interceptions came enough touchdown passes to counter his mistakes and win those games.
Jameis Winston has faced a lot in the first 21 years of his life. He's overcome a lot in those same 21 years. He's now facing the laziest comparison anyone has made of him yet.
Speaking with Bob McGinn of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinal, an anonymous NFL executive had quite the lazy analysis for the soon-to-be quarterback of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
"With Jameis Winston I see JaMarcus Russell," the anonymous executive said. "They do dumb things. Isn't it interesting?"
We all know of the mistakes Jameis Winston has made. They are well documented. However, to compare Jameis Winston to Jamarcus Russell is lazy, hinging on racist.
Jamarcus Russell was a physical specimen coming out of LSU. He was big, athletic, and had the ability to throw the ball 70 yards down the field. Russell's downfall came because he didn't love football and didn't want to put in the work to be great. For Winston, a love of football and an outstanding work ethic are two of his greatest qualities. Actually, Winston has been called an "average athlete" by NFL Draft analysts during the combine and has an above average arm to make the throws necessary, but nowhere near the gun Russell had.
Unfortunately, this anonymous executive's opinions didn't end there.
"Lack of focus by JaMarcus is what I see in Winston," Mr. Anonymous said. "They're physically talented, but during the course of a game they kind of lose their focus and just put the ball up for grabs."
Could anything be further from the truth? Winston is the exact opposite of the crap this anonymous executive is spewing. Winston made it the norm to become absolute clutch in the 2nd halves of games. Either this executive never watched one of Winston's games and is just listening to the biased media or he is just flat out dumb.
"I see the body. I see the lack of focus. I see the same coach and system. Only Winston's not as good an athlete and his arm isn't as strong as JaMarcus'."
Jimbo Fisher has not had the best set of quarterbacks make their way to the NFL. Russell tops the list that also includes E.J. Manuel, Christian Ponder, and Matt Flynn. Will Jameis Winston follow in their footsteps? It's lazy and unfair to cast that judgement on him.
I wouldn't say that Marcus Mariota comes from a quarterback factory in Oregon. Akili Smith, Joey Harrington, and Dennis Dixon are very comparable to the Fisher quarterbacks. It's not fair on either Winston or Mariota to be so lazy that you cast them into a group of former quarterbacks by that coach or university.
Former Bucs offensive coordinator Jeff Tedford had quite the reputation for his lack of successful NFL quarterbacks while a college offensive coordinator and head coach. The "Tedford 5" included the aforementioned Joey Harrington and Akili Smith, along with Trent Dilfer, David Carr, and Kyle Boller. Tedford's name was trash when paired with a quarterback preparing for the NFL Draft. It might have also been a reason former Cal QB Aaron Rodgers fell so far in the 2005 NFL Draft.
Aaron Rodgers, who was projected to be the first pick in the 2005 draft, ended up having the most memorable draft day slide in recent memory. This "Tedford quarterback" has had tremendous success and immediately put that reputation and stigma to bed.
Forget the fact that Jameis Winston played for Jimbo Fisher or that Marcus Mariota went to Oregon. They are both talented players with excellent film. What they do in the NFL will be a reflection of them, not the schools or coaches they played for.
As for Jameis Winston, his success or failure won't hinge on his work ethic, his lack of passion for football, nor will it mirror Jamarcus Russell. Jameis Winston seems to be strong in the areas of passion and work ethic, which is needed to be great in the NFL. If Winston fails in the NFL, it will be in his own way and have zero to do with Jamarcus Russell. Other than the position they play, the coach they played for, and the color of their skin, the two have zero in common. If you're going to analyze Winston as a quarterback, please do not be lazy and racist because it reflects poorly on you in the end.Subscribe to The Commish Online Podcast on iTunes!
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