Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Bucs-Seahawks: How Russell Wilson influenced Jameis Winston

TAMPA — The last time QBs Jameis Winston and Russell Wilson were on the field together was in January, when they were teammates at the Pro Bowl in Honolulu.

They will be reunited for Sunday's Bucs-Seahawks game at Raymond James Stadium. Winston credits his improved conditioning and fitness to his long conversations with Wilson.

"Russell and (Vikings QB) Teddy Bridgewater were a huge part of me getting healthy and preparing my body the way I should," Winston said. "Russell is a true professional, and he does his job the right way. So I learned so much from him as far as what to eat, what a Pro Bowl quarterback should be like."

Wilson said Wednesday he was a big fan of the former Florida State quarterback before Winston entered the NFL.

"I've always been very fond of Jameis in terms of the quarterback that he is and the competitor that he is, first of all," Wilson said. "I think he's a tremendous player, and I have tons of respect for him there. And I had the opportunity to be around him. We have actually common acquaintance, Trevor Moawad, who works at Florida State.

"He's their mental coach and sports psychologist. … And then we went to the actual Pro Bowl, and we were on the same team. … I just continued to discuss with him and talk to him about the game of football and what it takes to excel on a consistent basis. He asked tons of questions in a good way.

"He's a guy who wants to know and wants to learn."

They could meet in the Pro Bowl again after this season. Winston entered Thursday fifth in the NFL with 20 touchdown passes. Wilson has thrown only two interceptions in 335 passing attempts.

FAMILIAR FOE: One of Wilson's biggest targets is no stranger to the Bucs or defensive coordinator Mike Smith. TE Jimmy Graham, who played for the Saints from 2010-14, is having his best season with the Seahawks with 45 catches for 639 yards and four touchdowns.

"We know he's a good football player, and we're going to try to game plan and try to take him out as much as we possibly can," said Smith, who faced Graham twice a year when he was the head coach of the Falcons.

"The issues that you have when you're playing an offense like the Seahawks, is you've got (Doug) Baldwin that's a wide receiver that you have to put resources on, and you've also got to make sure that you can control the quarterback and keep him in check. Jimmy's an outstanding athlete, and when you start talking about upper-echelon tight ends … unfortunately for us, we've not fared well against tight ends throughout the season.

"I don't think you can put one guy on (Graham) and say, 'Shadow him all day' because of the position that he plays and where he lines up and the different formations."

INJURY UPDATE: CB Brent Grimes, who left Sunday's game at Kansas City in the first quarter with a quadriceps injury, returned to practice Thursday on a limited basis. G Kevin Pamphile also practiced but still is in the league's concussion protocol. "Hopefully not much longer," coach Dirk Koetter said. RB Jacquizz Rodgers (foot) and TE Luke Stocker (ankle) also practiced for the second straight day. G/C Evan Smith (knee) did not participate.

Bucs-Seahawks: How Russell Wilson influenced Jameis Winston 11/24/16 [Last modified: Thursday, November 24, 2016 6:39pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Is Bucs kicker Nick Folk a significant upgrade over Roberto Aguayo?


    Bucs head coach Dirk Koetter made it clear.

    Bucs kicker Nick Folk is entering his 11th NFL season. He spent three seasons with the Cowboys and seven with the Jets. [LOREN ELLIOTT  |  Times]
  2. Tim Tebow Week: 12 stories from his Tampa Bay tour


    Alas, Tim Tebow Week — eight baseball games in eight nights that reunited Tebow with his Tampa Bay friends and admirers — is over. The fun ended Thursday night.

    St. Lucie Mets outfielder Tim Tebow meets fans and signs autographs before the beginning of the Mets at Threshers game at Spectrum Field on Thursday, Aug. 17, 2017 in Clearwater. DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD   |   Times

  3. Bucs journal: Kicker Nick Folk has up and downs against Jaguars


    JACKSONVILLE — If the Bucs had hoped for a drama-free night in their kicking game, they'll have to wait another week.

    Bucs kicker Nick Folk celebrates one of his two made field goals against the Jaguars, but he also misses a field goal and has an extra point blocked.
  4. Bucs top Jaguars behind strong first half



    There is a reason why the air in Tampa Bay is filled with playoff talk. If Thursday night's 12-8 Bucs preseason win over the Jaguars is any indication, it's also going to be filled with footballs thrown by quarterback Jameis Winston.

    Doug Martin gets the Bucs’ only touchdown  on a 2-yard run, squeaking past linebacker Telvin Smith in the first quarter. He has five carries for 30 yards.
  5. Rays journal: Archer has strong outing, with two mistakes

    The Heater

    TORONTO — Two pitches RHP Chris Archer didn't execute are the ones that stood out Thursday as Josh Donaldson hit them out of the park. But the two solo home runs aside, Archer turned in a sterling outing that went atop the pile of good pitching the Rays keep wasting.

    Rays starting pitcher Chris Archer (22) works during the first inning. [Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press via AP]