"Preparation is always the key. It definitely helps that this is not my first year learning the offense," Winston said. "I actually spend a lot of time worrying about other defenses and handling that aspect of the game instead of trying to see what my job is on the offensive side."
Winston's maturation process has been evident from the minute Tampa Bay drafted him. Since entering the NFL, Winston has continued to grow mentally, and he has also constantly adjusted his game to match the speed of pro defenses. His vast improvements on ball protection last season, coupled with an insatiable desire to win are just a couple of the traits that enabled him to win Rookie of the Year.
Jameis' hatred of losing also appears to be something that has assisted in his evolution as a quarterback. Having a hatred to lose is something that can't be taught or developed. You either have that particular intangible or you don't, and I believe the young man has got it 100 percent, which is another crucial reason as to why his football IQ has continued to prosper. No quarterback without a deeply-rooted loathing for failure stays up so late studying film that coaches personally ask him to go home for the night and rest (something Jameis has been known to do quite frequently).
After throwing a whopping seven interceptions and losing one fumble in his first four regular season games, Winston made appropriate changes to prevent giving the ball away, and proceeded to go the next four contests without a single turnover. As the season progressed and Winston became more comfortable with his receivers, his mental maturation allowed him to react quicker to certain looks opposing defenses were showing, and also enhanced his decision making skills. For example, Week 11 of the 2015 season saw a locked-in Jameis rifling 5 touchdowns and zero picks against the Philadelphia Eagles, a huge contrast to an earlier game such as his four-interception meltdown against the Carolina Panthers in Week 4.
As he stated earlier this week, Winston will be able to shift the focal point of his gridiron studies toward picking apart individual defenses, rather than simply finding his place in the Bucs' offensive machine, which fans should see as a positive thing. Jameis' new bond with OC Todd Monken should also help him along in his maturation process, something that will hopefully flourish between the two of them for years to come.
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