Jameis Winston said he won’t let his emotions get the best of him when starting against his old team for the first time on Sunday.
“I’ve always been an emotional football player,” the New Orleans Saints quarterback told the media per ESPN’s Mike Triplett. “I think that’s something that I’m trying to work on — being present instead of being stuck in my feelings.”
“As a quarterback, we have to be present all the time and aware of everything that’s going on,” Winston added. “Sometimes too much emotion can lead us places that we don’t want to go.”
Such as seeking revenge. Winston alluded to not wanting that according to Pro Football Talk’s Josh Alper. The Bucs took Winston No. 1 in the 2015 NFL Draft followed by five losing seasons — including 2019 when he threw for 5,109 yards, 33 touchdowns, and 30 interceptions. He left in free agency as the Bucs signed Tom Brady and won a Super Bowl.
“I was very happy for the guys that put in a lot of years there with me,” Winston said about the Bucs Super Bowl win per WWLTV. “For them to get there and end up on top. I was very happy for them, for my (old) teammates.”
“But it’s this year now, and that’s one of our goals, and our next opponent is them, so that’s who we want to beat this week,” Winston added with a smile.
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No Bitterness or Anger, Winston Says
Winston asserts he looks back at his time with the Bucs in a positive light. He quickly confirmed as such when asked he had bitterness or anger about how his time ended there.
“No, everything happens for a reason. And I’m very grateful for that organization and for the Glazer family giving me the opportunity, drafted No. 1 overall to that city,” Winston said per WWLTV. “That city’s done a lot for me, and I know I’ve done a lot for that city. That’s where I stay at now. So I definitely love that city.
He still maintains friendships with former teammates, too. Bucs linebacker Jason Pierre-Paul said they went hiking in Colorado this summer. Cameron Brate said he stays in touch with Winston.
“Jameis is a good guy, still a guy I’m super close with, talk to him all the time,” the Bucs tight end told the media on Thursday.
It’s all business at the Superdome though on Sunday, Winston alluded to.
“Now, we get to play them, so this week it’s time to play and all the lovey-dovey stuff is behind,” Winston said.
Bruce Arians: Winston is ‘Playing Very, Very Well’
Bucs head coach Bruce Arians expects his defense to be dialed up to face Winston because the former Florida State star doesn’t give the ball away like it’s 2019. Winston has three interceptions and one fumble lost in six games.
“He’s probably throwing it 15 times less a game (than 2019),” Arians told the media on Wednesday. “They’re playing with a lead, and we didn’t have that many leads that [season], so we had to throw it. So, yeah, he’s playing very, very well at the position.”
Overall, Winston has 1,114 yards passing, 13 touchdowns, and a 58.9% completion rate this season.