Friday, December 15, 2017
Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Bucs' Winston says he second-guesses choice of FSU over Stanford

TAMPA — Some people may want to take a Tomahawk Chop at Jameis Winston when they hear this.

On a conference call with San Francisco bay area writers Wednesday, Winston indicated he still second-guesses his decision to choose Florida State over Stanford when he was recruited by both out of high school.

Winston's regret still exists despite him winning the 2013 Heisman Trophy and national championship with the Seminoles and becoming the No. 1 overall pick by the Bucs in the 2015 draft.

"It was really me just not really knowing how prestigious Stanford really was," Winston said. "I look back all the time and see how if I went to Stanford what way my life could have turned. But, you know, you make your decisions and you go with them and you own them."

Winston said he was "blown away" by his visit to Palo Alto and came "very close" to picking Stanford when learned he had been accepted to the prestigious university by coach David Shaw in 2011.

"Yeah, I mean, just because Stanford is a great school," Winston said when asked to confirm he would like a do-over of his college choice. "You are who you place yourself around. I would have just loved the opportunity to go to Stanford and be around some of my friends out there."

Winston's career at FSU was eventually tarnished by off-field issues and an accusation of sexual assault for which he was never charged.

UNSURE WHAT TO EXPECT: The Bucs went 2-4 in the games missed by WR Vincent Jackson due to injury last season, equipped with mostly first-year players in an attempt to replace his considerable production.

But not much has changed, and with Jackson on injured reserve with an ACL problem, coach Dirk Koetter isn't really sure what to expect Sunday at San Francisco.

"I don't think you ever really know — I could stand up here and say whatever I want, but we're not a whole lot more experienced than we were, other than Adam (Humphries)," Koetter said. "Adam's the same as Jameis, he's a year and a third into his career. But first just going back to Vincent: Of course when you lose a guy like Vincent to your team, he means a lot to our team because of the kind of pro he is, the kind of player he is and the kind of man he is.

"What's really amazing about that is Vincent himself doesn't even really know when he got hurt in that game. He finished that game and was a big part of that final drive in the Carolina game. So how we absorb what Vincent does will be a little bit of a work in progress. We're working on that this week. We made a couple moves, there might be some more moves to be made. I can't give you a great answer to that other than, as in all injuries, even though injuries are horrible, the show goes on."

In addition to Humphries, the Bucs added two receivers to the practice field this week: Cecil Shorts, who was out more than a month with a hamstring strain; and Dontaae Dye, who was re-signed after being waived injured with a hamstring injury in August.

MR. RODGERS' NEIGHBORHOOD: Bucs RB Jacquizz Rodgers is not only headed back to Pac 12 country when the Bucs play at San Francisco, he will face a familiar opponent in 49ers coach Chip Kelly. Rodgers was at Oregon State when Kelly coached rival Oregon. Rodgers lost both meetings against Kelly's Ducks.

But Kelly has great respect for Rodgers, who rushed for 101 yards on 30 carries in a 17-14 win at Carolina on Oct. 10.

"Yeah, he was just an unbelievable player in college and very, very difficult to defend," Kelly said of the 5-foot-6 Rodgers. "I think he doesn't get enough credit for how physical he is just because he's not the biggest back in the world, so you automatically think that he's a nifty, nimble, make-you-miss type of guy.

"He can do that, but he's also a very physical runner, very sturdy, has great balance, great vision. He's a handful, and we have to be very aware of him in their run game because really the run game sets up everything else for them. So, I'm very familiar with Jacquizz. He had an outstanding career at Oregon State and he's doing the same thing right now in the NFL that I saw him do in college, which is a credit to him."

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