Sunday, January 21, 2018
Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Fennelly: When Jameis Winston gets a grip on his emotions, Bucs will benefit

He doesn't like to lose.

That's Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston.

He has firmly established that.

It's what makes him a leader. Love it.

That passion and fire will eventually make him a great quarterback.

But so will his ability to channel that passion. And respond to adversity.

Winston and his team just lost. Badly. There are going to be times in his NFL career when he loses. This isn't Florida State. It's the NFL, where you lose a lot.

Love the fire, the passion.

But I think Winston is going to have to find the middle ground, emotion wise. I think that will be one of the keys to a long, prosperous NFL career, as important as being able to consistently hit on deep balls. Okay, the deep ball thing might be more important.

But we saw Winston at loose ends emotionally at the end of the Debacle in the Desert. His day was wretched. His emotions were frayed.

The Rams come to town Sunday. It reminds me of Winston losing it on the sideline last season when the Rams beat up the Bucs in St. Louis last season.

The Bucs would have lost those games anyway.

It's still a concern.

I think it will come with age, maturity, but Winston needs to find a way to deal with losing. Not accept it. Not at all. But channel it.

That's what the great quarterbacks, who play forever, learn to do. They push past bad days even when they're in the middle of them.

As even strain can go a long way. There are moments when a steadying hand might work as well as a passionate one.

That sends a message to teammates, too.

I would never try to take away Winston's fire and passion. He wants to play every down. He even wanted to play the fourth preseason to get back at Washington, which came back to beat the Bucs last season, that awful Bucs gag. Jameis wanted revenge. In a preseason game. That's him. Love it.

But how Winston pushes through bad games, bad moments, how he keeps it together — or doesn't — will define his career.

It would with any NFL quarterback.

That's why Sunday matters.

How does Jameis answer adversity?

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