Jameis Winston has always been known for his charisma and his ability to speak to his fellow players. Everyone who's coached him or played with him raves about his personality, his ability to lift others up, and how charismatic he is. Former NFL players Nate Burleson and Mike Robinson talked about that on their latest podcast where they talked about different quarterbacks' personalities -- you can listen to the specific clip about Jameis Winston here.
"One of the most charismatic dudes I've ever seen," Mike Robinson said. "The thing about Jameis, and I had a chance to be around him at the rookie symposium, it's so natural. He does not try to be cool with everybody. He comes in with that big ol' smile, he may crack a joke and everybody starts laughing and you just want to be around him. He's a quarterback I'd love to play for."
After playing the clip of his locker room speech two weeks ago, Burleson and Robinson went a little further with praising Winston's leadership.
"He's a rookie. Rookies don't do that. Rookies don't take command of locker rooms like that," Nate Burleson said. "[They were clapping] while he's talking, almost like a pastor speaking at church. They were enthused. They were locked in."
"There are people out here who understand how to have conversations," Robinson said. "But then there are people out here who understand how to speak to men. There are certain coaches who don't really understand how to speak to men. The successful ones understand. Jameis, that speech that we just hard, that's a young kid speaking to men. That's a young man speaking to the souls of men in that locker room.
"You can hear it in his voice, it's like 'Man, I'm in the bunker with you. Just because I play quarterback doesn't mean it's separated. I'm in the bunker with you.' And that's what you want. You want a quarterbacks that's out there fighting right alongside you."
I'm not a big believer in vocal leadership as a deciding factor in a quarterback's quality. First and foremost, your quarterback has to be able to play football. He has to be able to drop back, throw the ball, and get it into your playmakers' hands. If your quarterback can't do that, all the leadership in the world won't save him. But if he can do that, the presence or lack of vocal leadership doesn't necessarily matter either -- look at Eli Manning and Joe Flacco, for instance. Personally, I think a lot of the public gravitation towards vocal quarterbacks is more about the desire for a cult of personality than recognizing the most relevant part of quarterbacking.
That said, his leadership certainly seems to be something that everyone who's been around Winston has been impressed with. Moreover, he has the on-field play to match that leadership. He's not just being vocal and uplifting: his play has by and large matched his words. And that matters.