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Rick Stroud, Greg Auman and Matt Baker

Bucs' Jameis Winston out in front at diabetes walk



Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston, known for his early arrivals each day at One Buc Place, was up early Saturday morning, serving as the celebrity starter at "One Walk to Cure Diabetes," which drew more than 4,500 participants and volunteers to Amelie Arena for a cause that's personal for Winston.

"My grandmother has Type 2 diabetes, and as far as juvenile diabetes, it means a lot to me because I have a little brother as well," Winston said just before addressing the crowd, then cutting the tape and leading the walk in downtown Tampa. "Anything I can do to help the youth, I'm going to do it, and it means a lot to me because of my grandma."

A year ago, Winston was preparing for the NFL draft and making his case to be the No. 1 pick for the Bucs, and he said his offseason has been less hectic without the demands leading up to the draft. He's been busy getting in shape for the season and working out informally with his teammates -- the Bucs officially start offseason conditioning in nine days on April 11. Winston said he's glad to have time to attend events in the community during the offseason.

"We're so busy, but we have nothing to do but football, so it's good to get out and spend some time in Tampa Bay," he said. "It's fun to be out here and helping out."

The Bucs made a change at head coach with Lovie Smith's dismissal, but Winston is grateful for the continuity that comes with offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter being promoted to head coach. He's met new offensive coordinator Todd Monken, who Winston is excited about working with, having gotten a strong recommendation from FSU coach Jimbo Fisher, who worked with him as assistant coaches at LSU in 2005-06.

"I met him, and I kind of knew Coach Monken because he coached with Coach Fisher," Winston said. "Coach Fisher called me and said 'You know, you're playing with my guy.'"

Winston doesn't expect much to change from an offensive scheme this fall since Koetter is still in charge of the offense, but he's excited to see the team continue to add pieces in the draft as they have through free agency.

"I know Coach Koetter is still at the top -- I know his whole thing," he said. "I'm going to war for Coach Koetter. I'm going to be prepared for it, so we just have to get everybody prepared for it. I'm excited. That's the main thing. I'm excited to see how things are going to change, if things are going to change."

[Last modified: Saturday, April 2, 2016 9:48am]


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