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Rick Stroud, Greg Auman and Matt Baker

Jameis Winston: Tampa would 'electrify' with Bucs in playoffs



It's not for the reason he wants this time of year, but Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston sees Tampa in the national spotlight for tonight's college football championship game and is reminded of how well the city would embrace a Bucs playoff run.

"This is amazing," said Winston, just after a 20-minute appearance on ESPN's Mike and Mike morning show. "I was telling my friends the other day: Imagine how this city would just electrify if we brought something back to the city, a Super Bowl, making the playoffs. You see, with the college championship stuff being here, how this city can turn all the way around and everyone can get up for it. It's very great to see."

Winston has had a week to catch his breath after the grind of his second NFL season, helping the Bucs to a 9-7 win and setting team records for touchdowns (28) and passing yards (4,090) in a season. Offseason conditioning work will begin soon, and after a win against Carolina in the season finale, he's enjoyed a break from football.

"I've just been trying to reflect on the season a little bit," he said. "I haven't even watched film much, just because we won the last game. Just sitting back, but I'm looking forward to getting better. I'm looking forward to coming back. I really wish we were in these playoffs. We were so close. You always have to find a way to get better."

Winston, who turned 23 on Friday, is only two years removed from his college days -- had he stayed in school, he would have been a redshirt senior this year. He said he's pulling for both Clemson's Deshaun Watson and Alabama's Jalen Hurts and impressed with what they've done to lead their teams to play for a championship.

"I enjoy seeing these young players make positive strides and develop their game," Winston said. "Especially these young quarterbacks, getting the opportunity to play early and often. I'm just so proud of those guys, them leading their teams here. Good luck to them both."

[Last modified: Monday, January 9, 2017 10:10am]


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