Lovie Smith prefers Jameis Winston over Marcus Mariota, according to ESPN's Pat Yasinskas.
I've heard that coach Lovie Smith prefers Winston over Oregon's Marcus Mariota. From what I have gathered, Smith chose Dirk Koetter as his offensive coordinator over Marc Trestman. The logic was simple. Although Smith and Trestman had similar philosophies about how to run an offense, they disagreed on the quarterbacks. Trestman preferred Mariota.
That's interesting, and more specific than most reports we've seen. It's slightly odd that both would have similar offensive philosophies, yet both would have different preferences on the style of quarterback they wanted.
But it also makes some sense. While Mariota has certainly displayed a lot of pro-style attributes, he's farther removed from becoming a traditional pocket passer than Jameis Winston is, who has operated as that style of quarterback in that style of offense for the past two seasons. On the field, Winston is probably the better prospect of the two, and certainly the prospect more ready to step into a pro-style offense.
As Yasinskas rightly notes it's still early in the process, and we're seeing conflicting reports every other day now. Yesterday, the Buccaneers had "a lot more love" for Marcus Mariota than most teams and Ira Kaufman thought they'd draft Winston. It's a little silly, but the Bucs are doing a good job of obfuscating their intentions. So we get to discuss all of this every day.
Good job by @PatYazESPN on the Lovie news. Was texting with folks yesterday and I too was told the same. #Bucs pic.twitter.com/JsWed5hnrP— Gil Arcia (@GilArciaTBC) February 11, 2015