While visiting Buccaneers training camp on Wednesday, NFL Network’s team for “Inside Training Camp Live” received a welcoming fan base, as well as the Florida heat. More importantly, Rhett Lewis, Charlie Casserly, and Jeff Darlington witnessed Dirk Koetter’s squad working out the preseason kinks.
Jeff Darlington, the well-traveled national reporter for the NFL Network, got a great chance to observe and breakdown Jameis Winston.
“We’ve talked so much about his physical makeup, but for Jameis, this is more about his mental makeup,” Darlington said. “He’s coming into this camp now, knowing that he is the man. And last year, although he was the number one overall pick, he came in with a more subdued leadership role. He wanted to earn it. He has earned it. This locker room loves him. This team loves him. He has done things in the past year that has earned him the trust of this organization.”
“This guy seemingly broke out early in his rookie season and really never stopped. His trajectory continued to soar and I think we’re just going to continue see that happen. It’s not only about the physical makeup that has improved, it’s also about the mental makeup,” Darlington said.
As Bucs fans, the optics on the development of Winston, including his physique, his competition, and his maturity can somewhat be absorbed. But, it’s sometimes difficult to understand the maturation of an individual unless you’re able to directly speak and look into a person’s eyes. That’s what Darlington brought us in his assessment of the second year for Winston.
For those of us who have the opportunity to actually visually size up our franchise quarterback, it’s comforting to hear high praise and analysis from outside, unbiased sources. Of course, it also helps when these sources have quality credentials. So, it would seem that it is not just conjecture that Winston is filling the role, but maybe also exceeding expectations throughout the league.