Warren Moon: Jameis Winston a young leader, much like Wilson
Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston was asked Tuesday about quarterbacks he has tried to emulate, and one of the names he mentioned was Pro Football Hall of Famer Warren Moon, who was in attendance Sunday with Seattle's radio broadcast as Winston helped the Bucs upset the Seahawks for their third straight win.
Moon said the way Winston has quickly elevated himself as a young leader of an improving Bucs team reminds him of the way Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson did in Seattle in his first two seasons, with different strengths on the field but similar work ethics in preparing for games.
"It reminds me a lot of when Russell Wilson came in to Seattle," Moon said. "Thse two guys have different personalities, but they went about it the same way as far as how they got their team's attention at a very young age and were able to lead their teams at an early time in their careers because of how they went about it. The veteran players can take heed: 'This is a guy I can follow: I see he's putting in the work, doing the little things, and he's very talented.'"
Moon first met Winston early in his Heisman Trophy redshirt freshman season in 2013, the night before his first tough road game at Clemson, when he threw for 444 yards and three touchdowns in a 51-14 rout of the then-No. 3 Tigers.
"He has really developed into quite a quarterback," Moon said. "I'm really impressed with the way he handles himself, with his leadership abilities and a big personality that everyone seems to gravitate towards."
Two years ago, Moon had publicly stated his preference for Winston over Oregon's Marcus Mariota -- they would end up going 1-2 in the draft, with Mariota following to the Titans -- believing that Winston was the more pro-ready quarterback. He said he hasn't seen anything to suggest he was wrong about him.
"It doesn't seem like what he's been asked to do in the NFL has been too big for him," Moon said. "Because of the system he ran at Florida State, it made him more ready for the NFL than Marcus Mariota. That was my biggest concern was that Marcus had a bigger learning curve, just because of what he was asked to do at Oregon.
"He has really gotten off to a great start for a young quarterback that really didn't inherit a very good football team when he came there. They've built pieces around him, and I think Dirk Koetter has a good feel for the things he can do and the things that he can't do. Jameis is not so much making better decisions as he's not falling in love with his arm as much as he did in the beginning. A lot of times, he tries to make throws he probably can't make, and it gets him into trouble in terms of turning the football over. Now he's making better choices in terms of when he can make that kind of throw."