Shocking news: former college coach loves his best player and defends his NFL prospects. Hey, at least we know Jimbo Fisher is no Steve Spurrier. The FSU coach joined NFL Network to talk about Jameis Winston and his NFL prospects this morning, and he unsurprisingly noted that the Bucs had talked to him and his staff about Winston. But Fisher was also very adamant in defending Winston.
"There are certain guys you just don't want to play against," Fisher said. "It's not just 'Can he do it?' But there are certain guys you don't want to play against. When you ("NFL AM" co-host Eric Davis) played with Joe (Montana), if Joe got the ball at the end of the game, what was gonna happen? Your team was gonna win. That's what this guy does."
Strong words from Fisher, and the Montana comparison is absolutely premature, but Winston has been very successful at the end of games. And Fisher didn't stop there, defending his high number of interceptions, too.
"You talk about mistakes, and you talk about interceptions -- and I've heard that -- well, let me ask you something: How do you make big plays if you don't take chances?" Fisher said. "Every play is not wide open, and you make mistakes. This year, some of it, he forced the ball. Some of it was not all him. It was young linemen in the middle missing blocks, having to get rid of the ball early, or young receivers ... they had to grow. He was playing chess, and they were playing checkers."
More interesting than Fisher's thoughts on Winston's on-field play, were his thoughts on Winston's off-field issues. And Fisher staunchly defended his protege.
"What Jameis does which is very unique and why people follow him, he was just being a normal student," Fisher said. "He was trying to do what the other kids around him [..] It was very immature. It was an immature thing to do and not an intentional thing to do with malice. And he sees himself as everybody, he doesn't put himself above everybody. That's why I think people flock to him and his leadership is such a big deal. Because he is a genuine, honest, people person and he gets caught up.
"No doubt [his maturity has improved. And I think that last one really got him, I think it really did and I think it hit home. [..] We were talking the other day and he knows how silly it was and how immature it was and he apologized to me again. [..] He's a guy that learns from mistakes, you watch him on the football field, you watch him in life, he's a highly, highly intelligent guy and he learns from mistakes as well as anybody."
Strong words. But then, that's what we'd expect of a prospect's college coach.