The Tampa Connection: Winston and Leftwich2 min read
Pittsburgh Steeler quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is almost a lock for Canton once his playing career comes to an end, which is perhaps why Jameis Winston quickly became quite fond of his new Offensive Coordinator Byron Leftwich since Leftwich says he sees a lot of similarities between Roethlisberger and Winston. One would find it rather easy to like a guy that just compared you to a future NFL Hall of Fame player, but the connection Leftwich and Winston have found goes far beyond a simple comparison.
When asked about his thoughts on Winston, Leftwich replied with,
“He’s been a playmaker from the second he got in this league. This kid’s played four years and he’s only 25 or something like that? It’s amazing, the situations that he’s already been in and experience he’s gained being in this league, so I’m excited about that.”
Seeing a coach show that much excitement simply getting to coach you, it speaks volumes about your upside and your potential as a player. Leftwich hasn’t been shy in declaring his belief in Winston and while he admits there are a few things they need to work on, such as turnovers and finding the optimal playing weight for Winston, Leftwich loves the opportunity to coach him and the ability to put Jameis in the position to be successful.
The excitement and praise aren’t just coming from Leftwich however, as Jameis took the opportunity to share his thoughts on the relationship and impact his new Offensive Coordinator has already had on him and his teammates.
“Man, what’s so unique about what B.A. did was not only do we have Blaine Gabbert who’s a former quarterback in his system, but we got Byron Leftwich. Having Byron in that quarterback room; playing the position, excelling in the position and playing under B.A. you know, winning a Super Bowl with Pittsburgh, I think that has been something that has been a huge thing that means a lot to our whole team.”
When you have both a player and a coach that have this much praise for the other and share the same excitement about working together, with the same goals and willingness to do whatever it takes to achieve those goals, it can only mean great things for not only Jameis but for the entire Buccaneers team.
Will this translate into a huge season for Winston?
Will it lead to Winston being mentioned in the conversations for MVP?
Will this relationship result in the Lombardi once again making a trip through the streets of Tampa?
We won’t know any of these answers until we watch the season unfold, but with this kind of excitement between the two of them, how can you not be more than just a little excited yourself for the possibilities that await this team?