We've talked a lot about Jameis Winston willingness to work and his football intelligence over the past couple of days. So why not do it some more? I thought this quote from general manager Jason Licht was great, courtesy of USA Today's Jim Corbett.
"I told my wife, Blair, 'I gave him an A,''' Licht said. "I thought it was a great day. He knew the offense already. He wasn't overwhelmed.
"He was even a little ahead of the game. He was already trying to change protections. The coaches were like, 'Wait up. Hold on.'
"You're right. But the other guys aren't there yet."'
That's what happens when your quarterback played in a pro-style system in college, and digs into his playbook the minute he gets it.
"[Jameis Winston] is getting better," Lovie Smith said yesterday. "As you talk about that starting spot, there's a lot to learn for all of the rookies, but for the quarterback, that's a big playbook. He's cramming like it's the final exam right now and doing a good job. We've seen marked improvement from the moment we gave him his playbook. Jameis is a bright guy. He'll be able to get it all."
So far, it's all been bubblegum and fairy dust on Winston's performance in his first practices with the Bucs. That's part of rookie camp, and also the Bucs' marketing efforts, of course. They're not about to say negative things about the man they've made the face of the franchise. But it does all seem genuine, and it fits with everything we heard from anonymous scouts, people at Florida State, and his current teammates with the Bucs.
That honeymoon period won't last forever, of course. Winston is a rookie and will make mistakes. But the willingness to learn and work at his craft is important, as we keep saying.