You might think he would want to get as far away from football as possible. You might think he would want to go crawl under the covers to stop the sound of displeasure.
Instead, Jameis Winston went to the game films.
In the hours following the Bucs’ 42-14 loss to Tennessee, Winston sat and watched the disappointment over and again. He watched his first interception. He watched his second. He watched his fellow rookie, Marcus Mariota, have a day at the beach.
Then he watched it some more.
“I stayed up [until] probably about 2 o’clock, just trying to see what went wrong,” Winston said. “I was trying to get every excuse just to put that one behind me – it hurt. But at the end of the day, the sun did rise again the next day and I was back out there playing football.”
Bucs’ coach Lovie Smith said that all of his players should have been watching video of the defeat.
“Rookie quarterback and all of us – that’s what we should have done,” Smith said. “When things go that way, you want to find out exactly what happened and you want to start working, getting a plan to fix it as soon as you possibly can. That starts immediately. Doesn’t surprise me, of course, with Jameis. Again, we were all disappointed in our play and we all watched the game right away. We’ll continue to learn from it and that’s what it’s about, especially your first game. This is the first game, I set the bar, now I know for sure what I need to work on and that’s what we’re doing.”
Winston, who gets his second start Sunday in New Orleans, probably winced at what he saw. He was nowhere near as sharp as an NFL starter needs to be.
“We need to get better at everything,” offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter said. “The very first interception, he just made a bad decision. They were playing two-man, we didn’t have a great route run by the receiver that needs to win. When you’re going against two-man coverage one receiver usually has a two-way go so he can go in or go out. The guy didn’t run a very good route. It’s the quarterback’s job to cut our losses. [The] first interception [was] a bad decision.
“[The] second interception, on the screen, was just a bad throw. You got to make a better throw right there. What does he need to get better on? Quarterbacks have to make great decisions. When quarterbacks don’t make good decisions, bad things happen. Quarterbacks don’t make good throws, bad things can happen.”
And bad things did. Winston spent the night watching it, as disappointed as his fans were.
“I don’t like failure,” Winston said. “So, definitely, that was probably my main [motivation] for watching film that night. I need to watch this to see what happened. Like I always say, you put it behind you. You only can get better from there. One thing about being wise is not only learning from your mistakes, but learning from other people’s mistakes. Other people have done that before, so I just have to do my job.”
It is amazing how a week changes expectations. Before the opener, there were probably those who expected Winston to have a massive season and win the Rookie of the Year. Now, they think he might sputter on a team that won’t win many.