Legendary coach Vince Lombardi famously coined the phrase “winning isn’t everything, it’s the only thing.”
While that mantra is easier to say than it is to live by, certainly Lombardi backed it up with the amount of games and Championships his Packers won.
Now, onto the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, a team that hasn’t done very much winning, especially recently.
The Bucs are coming off of back-to-back losing seasons and firing their fourth head coach (Dirk Koetter) in the last 8 years. And, they’ve only had two winning season since firing Jon Gruden in 2009.
Further, for quarterback Jameis Winston, he has been given essentially one year to prove that he can make Tampa Bay into a playoff contending team or Winston will likely be somewhere else. That’s Bucs ownership and GM Jason Licht decided to bring Winston back on the fifth year option of his rookie contract for just under $21 million.
So, while Winston got a humongous raise, there is no long term commitment beyond this season.
That led us to Tuesday afternoon and Winston meeting with the media during the Bucs offseason workouts, where he made it very clear that he understands, if there is to be a future for him in Tampa Bay, it’s tied to the amount of winning this season:
“We don’t want to view this as a rebuilding year, it’s not going to be that. We’re going to go out there and play good football and be a great team."
— Tampa Bay Buccaneers (@Buccaneers) April 9, 2019
Specifically, Winston talked at length about the Bucs weapons on offense and he knows that there will be expectations because of what they have:
“You look at the years, our offense has been producing here and there. We’ve always been in the top 10 so now he’s just getting these weapons and he’s using them the way that he wants to use them and we’re excited. Like I said, it’s not about rebuilding. We’re about to go out there and make some noise.”
Obviously, part of that “noise” is new coach Bruce Arians. Arians has lengthy experience in working with former star quarterbacks like Peyton Manning, Ben Roethlisberger, Andrew Luck and most recently, with Carson Palmer in Arizona. His track record speaks for itself in terms of those quarterbacks, their teams and the successes they have had, including the postseason.
So that’s the expectation of what Arians, and his offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich, will bring to Winston in terms of guidance and leaning on past success. And, even though Winston is only had one winning season out of his first four, with a career record of 21-33, there is a lot of winning before his Buccaneer days.
He had tremendous success at Florida State, where he won the Heisman Trophy and they won the BCS National Championship going 13-0 in 2013 to draw off of. Plus, you couple that with having won an Alabama high school state championship with an undefeated team, and no one can deny Winston knew how to win when he came to the NFL.
Now, he, Arians, and everyone with the Buccaneers know what has to be done- put together a lot of wins in 2019, or else, for the QB.
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