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Jameis Proved His Critics Wrong in His Rookie Season

Winston had a lot of detractors, he shut most of them up.

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Jameis Winston threw two touchdown passes in the Pro Bowl, helping Team Irvin destroy Team Rice. Marcus Mariota was there too, parcipating in the half time show with a bunch of kids.

What a whirlwind year its been for Famous Jameis, who made a lot people (including us here at Bucs Nation) eat a lot of crow.

He's become a leader on and off the field, he's gone out of his way to become a pillar in the community and by the way, he's a pretty darn good quarterback, too.

The SBNation FSU blog Tomahawk Nation promoted a fan post that called us out, as well as many other media outlets for being doubting Jameis's.

Some of them were comical, like ESPN saying the Bucs would go 0-16 if he started every game. Others were some legitmate concerns that Jameis had to answer.

I do take issue with some of the commentors stating that we at Bucs Nation were racist. That's a ridiculous accusation as we've covered and supported a number of African American coaches, quarterbacks and players that have come through the Bucs ranks.

There's also the accusation of a Gator bias. While that could be true of me, our Captain of this ship, Sander, has no allegiances to any college in the U.S. - he is unbiased as they come. By the way, this Gator's all-time favorite Bucs player is Derrick Brooks. Once they become Pewter and Red, they cease being the enemy.

No, Sander's concerns were both on and off the field. As the flag waver for Jameis on this site, even I tried to show both sides of the argument.

So yes, there were plenty of Anti-Jameis articles on this site during the draft process. But there was also some Pro-Jameis articles, including one that got me into some hot water.I also marvelled at how Jameis excelled at the combine, especially in his interviews.

Heck, I even stumped for Jameis, saying he should be the number pick and I believed he would be the reason for the Bucs' turnaround. Was that mentioned? No. It didn't fit the narrative that  all of Bucs Nation hated Mr. Winston.

Truth is, we had a bunch of Pro-Jameis articles on this site. We also report news and many of the articles cited in shade piece was just that, our opinion on the news provided.

Let's start with this one -

Bucs Nation proclaimed his pre-season was the worst in 15 years.

And it was. It's right there in the article. He had one of the worst pre-seasons for a QB in the last 15 years. Those are the facts, jack. It didn't mean he was going to be a bust, but it certainly was a trend in the wrong direction. Thankfully, he followed Cam Newton (who also had a terrible pre-season) and turned in a great regular season.

We all know that Bucs Nation thought he'd throw 30 INTs.

We were hardly the only ones who figured Jameis would have a high number of picks his first year in the league.

Bucs Nation also thought he'd be a bust along the lines of Football Outsiders.

Sorry, Sander will need to speak to this one as we didn't see eye-to-eye on this article. I'm old school and don't really trust the analytic nerds. Apparently QBase isn't as accurate as they thought.

Bucs Nation was so worried about Jameis weight like he'd turn into Eddie Lacy.

Even Jameis admited that thanks to the award show circuit and his ankle injury he was significantly out of shape. The pictures proved it. It was rumored he played the College Football Semi-final at 270. Thankfully, he worked his tail off and looked great by the combine. In the end, the extra weight really doesn't matter. Heck, Roethlisberger looks like the staypuff marshmellow man yet still flings the rock.

Jameis proved many of the pundits wrong and I think we, as Bucs Nation, now understand what we have in him as a quarterback - someone we're all proud of. There are very few fans of this franchise that Jameis hasn't converted into believers. So much so, many of us, myself included, were a little annoyed that Mike Tirico had to mention the Title IX nonsense during the Pro Bowl broadcast.

It seems Winston can't appear on that network without shade being thrown his way. Perhaps Tirico should look at his own skeletons. Of course, since ESPN's The Sports Reporters decided earlier yesterday morning it was a great day to blame Jameis for FSU settling their court case with Winston's accuser, it seemed the agenda was clear and maybe Tirico was just following orders.

Jameis, as always, rose above it, played great and showed his infectious personality during the game. Sooner or later, the haters will go away and everyone will see what we see now.

Jameis Winston is the reason the Bucs will be relevant for years to come.