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NFL coaches and executives impressed with Jameis Winston’s leadership

NFL: Tampa Bay Buccaneers-Training Camp Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Jameis Winston had a pretty good rookie season, is the general consensus. Not just among fans and third-party analysts, but among general managers and NFL coaches as well. That, at least, is what Mike Sando found out when he polled executives and coaches around the league about NFL quarterbacks. Sando produced a nice little ranking of quarterbacks for ESPN, placing Winston in the third tier of quarterbacks: those who need a run game and some support to succeed, which seems fair for now — though the Bucs certainly hope he’ll do better than that this year.

People who liked Winston coming out of Florida State still like him. Some who had questions about Winston's maturity like what they've seen so far. A defensive coach who studied Winston raised concerns about short accuracy (Winston ranked 32nd in completion percentage on throws traveling fewer than 10 yards downfield). A GM thought Winston's mechanics and ability to read the field would impede consistency. But the general feeling on Winston is, "So far, so good."

That accuracy statistic is a little worrying, and underscores something we’ve known for a while: Winston has to improve his accuracy this offseason. Most of that is related to inconsistent mechanics, and he’s been working hard to improve them this offseason. If he can just consistently hit the easy throws, which wasn’t a given last year, that should make a big difference this offseason.

Sando cited a few contrasting opinions, which is always fun. One coach doubted Winston’s leadership, another praised it. One general manager compared his personality to Cam Newton’s, in terms of how he’s affecting those around him: teammates love both of them.

Regardless, it seems Winston’s reputation around the league is pretty good — especially among those who’ve seen him play in person. It confirms what we’ve seen for a year or more now: Winston is on his way to becoming a franchise quarterback.