Getting ready to head into an important fourth season this fall, Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston has plenty of people questioning, whether he is the franchise leader of the future. However, there are also some who are already speaking out in support of the former #1 overall pick out of FSU.
Add the NFL Network’s (and former Seahawks and Lions WR) Nate Burleson to that latter list.
On Thursday morning, on the growingly popular “Good Morning Football,” Burleson was asked to give an opinion on his top choice for the entire NFL for a bounce back season, and he immediately went to Tampa Bay’s signal caller:
"I'm looking for @Jaboowins to quiet the critics, hush the haters, go out there and recapture the magic."
Big season ahead for the @Buccaneers QB?
— NFL Network (@nflnetwork) April 5, 2018
As Burleson points out, Winston’s numbers did improve in the final five games of the season, after he missed three games with a shoulder injury in the middle of the season. In fact, Winston’s completion percentage went up 6% to 67%, and he also, threw nine touchdowns to five interceptions over the course of the last five games that he played in 2017.
Now, as co-host Peter Schrager pointed out in that segment Thursday, it took a late fourth quarter rally for the Bucs to defeat the Saints for their only win in December and finish 5-11. So, no one is considering 2017 a success.
That’s where the “bounce back,” hopefully, comes in for Winston and his teammates.
As we wrote last month, at the owners meetings in Orlando, coach Dirk Koetter, GM Jason Licht and Bucs co-chairman Joel Glazer all spent time re-emphasizing their belief in Winston’s on field abilities. And, also, all three professed frustration at the slow pace of the ongoing NFL investigation into Winston allegedly inappropriately touching an Arizona female Uber driver in March of 2016. But, all are hopeful that he will be cleared and able to start the 2018 season.
It’s no secret that the Glazers in particular have a $125 million+ future contract decision hanging on how Winston performs this season.
So, they and everyone involved with the Buccaneers would love nothing better than Winston to prove Burleson’s April confidence to be correct, too.
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