Lavonte David, Ali Marpet, and Mike Evans all stepped up to the podium Wednesday as veterans reported for training camp. All three were asked about the elephant in the room - Jameis Winston’s looming three game suspension.
To no surprise, all three players support Winston and are excited for his inevitable return.
Evans, Winston’s go-to guy, made it clear that Winston is one of his best and closest friends and feels the Bucs can still succeed even though the franchise quarterback will miss the start of the season;
Video: Bucs WR Mike Evans says he doesn’t think Jameis Winston’s suspension will impact Bucs’ season. “That’s my boy, one of my best friends.” pic.twitter.com/mcpHv3nwJb— Greg Auman (@gregauman) July 25, 2018
Marpet and David also expressed their support;
Video: Bucs guard Ali Marpet talks about supporting Jameis Winston and moving forward after his three-game suspension. pic.twitter.com/8VnfUaKNNN— Greg Auman (@gregauman) July 25, 2018
Video: Bucs LB Lavonte David says Jameis Winston had an “unfortunate situation” but teammates have his back during suspension and beyond. pic.twitter.com/8T1VRLvxXf— Greg Auman (@gregauman) July 25, 2018
Expect to see more players come forward in their support of Winston as camp begins. Winston will be available to the media on Thursday and he may not field questions on the suspension at all and just leave it as “I made my statement and I’m ready to move on.”
It doesn’t matter if his face isn’t on the side of the stadium. It doesn’t matter if he’s not in promotional videos. It does matter if his teammates rally behind him - and that’s exactly what they appear to be doing.