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Rick Stroud, Greg Auman and Matt Baker

Bucs Smith has no problem with Winston calling out players

“I don’t muzzle Jameis at all, or any of our players,'' Lovie Smith said of Jameis Winston, pictured. "I want them to say what’s on their mind and what they see. As one of the leaders going forward, he needs to be vocal.''

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“I don’t muzzle Jameis at all, or any of our players,'' Lovie Smith said of Jameis Winston, pictured. "I want them to say what’s on their mind and what they see. As one of the leaders going forward, he needs to be vocal.''

4

January

Jameis Winston called out some of his teammates for not caring about winning as much as the Bucs coaches following their 38-10 loss at Carolina Sunday.

“Some of our coaches want it more than some of our players and that’s the bad part,’’ Winston said shortly after the team lost its fourth game in a row to finish 6-10.

Winston did not name any players, but coach Lovie Smith didn’t disagree with him during his wrap up news conference for the 2015 season.

“If he said that, there’s probably a whole lot of truth to it,’’ Smith said.

“I don’t muzzle Jameis at all, or any of our players. I want them to say what’s on their mind and what they see. As one of the leaders going forward, he needs to be vocal — and more vocal in his role as our starting quarterback.’’

Winston first pointed the finger at himself, saying he needs to do a better job of protecting the football. Winston joined Cam Newton and Andrew Luck as the only rookies to pass for at least 4,000 yards in a season Sunday. He also had 22 touchdowns and 15 interceptions while rushing for six scores, a club record for a quarterback.

“As he came to me, that’s how our conversation went,’’ Smith said. “It was, ‘Coach, what can I do better? What do I need to do better? How do you see me and where do you see me?’

“Being a leader is a challenge, and the challenge to everybody (is) to raise their standard — players, coaches, everybody in the organization. I assume that’s what Jameis said. "I know that’s what comes out of his mouth every time he opens it about the team and what we all need to do to get better, play better, coach better ball, all of that.’’

Winston said he had not been approached by any player about his comments Sunday night.

“Absolutely not, because the first person I called out was myself and I made that absolutely clear,’’ he said.

 

[Last modified: Monday, January 4, 2016 2:50pm]

    

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