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Rick Stroud, Greg Auman and Matt Baker

Winston named NFL Pepsi Rookie of the Week



After a disastrous NFL debut, quarterback Jameis Winston was hoping for the bounce back performance he had in last Sunday’s 26-19 win over the Saints. The Bucs needed it even more.

Winston completed 14-of-21 passes for 207 yards with one touchdown and ran for another score against the Saints.

That effort earned Winston the Pepsi NFL Rookie of the Week honors for Week 2, announced by the league Friday.

Winston engineered touchdown drives to end the first half and begin the second half against the Saints, giving the Bucs a 23-7 lead in the third quarter. While he wasn’t spectacular, he mostly avoided the early mistake that got the Bucs in a big hole in the season opener against the Titans. Winston was intercepted on his first NFL pass attempt in Week 1 that was returned for a touchdown.

"There's going to come a time with every quarterback, it's time to win the game for us,'' offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter said. "Before that time comes, there is the time when you don't lose the game for us. Jameis did a really good job of hanging in there. He made some beautiful throws, he missed some throws. That's just where we are at. I'm probably going to be saying that for the next (14) games as we go through.''

It's only the sixth time a Bucs player has won the NFL Pepsi Rookie of the Year award. Running backs Doug Martin (2012) and Cadillac Williams (three times in 2005) and receiving Michael Clayton (2004) each were recognized in their first pro season.

After the regular season, five players will be nominated for Pepsi NFL Rookie of the Year honors. Fans can vote for the winner on throughout the month of January. The Pepsi NFL Rookie of the Year will be announced at the “5th Annual NFL Honors” awards show in San Francisco on CBS on Saturday, Feb. 6, the night before Super Bowl 50.


[Last modified: Friday, September 25, 2015 4:28pm]


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