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Shannon Sharpe: Jameis Winston ‘is equally as talented as Ben Roethlisberger’

The difference? The Steelers QB had Bruce Arians working with him. And now, so does the Bucs' signalcaller.
 
Jameis Winston (3) runs for 17 yards during a game against the Saints in December at Raymond James Stadium. [MONICA HERNDON | Times]
Jameis Winston (3) runs for 17 yards during a game against the Saints in December at Raymond James Stadium. [MONICA HERNDON | Times]
Published Jan. 14, 2019|Updated Jan. 14, 2019

One quarterback is a two-time Super Bowl champion and future Hall of Famer. The other is trying to prove he deserves a second contract from the team that drafted him.

But talent-wise, there's not much that separates the Steelers' Ben Roethlisberger and the Bucs' Jameis Winston, FOX Sports personality and Hall-of-Fame tight end Shannon Sharpe says.

The difference? Roethlisberger had Bruce Arians working with him.

And now, so does Winston.

"I think Jameis Winston is equally as talented as Ben Roethlisberger," Sharpe said on Undisputed. "He's nothing like Peyton (Manning), he's nothing like (Andrew) Luck. I believe he can play like Ben. Arians got the best out of Big Ben. I believe he'll get the best out of Jameis."

Sharpe's co-host, Skip Bayless, said Arians' record of success with the Steelers, Colts and Cardinals, where he worked with quarterbacks such as Roethlisberger, Manning, Luck and Carson Palmer, gives him instant credibility.

"On the field, he brings stature and credibility and a strong voice," Bayless said. "He will not tell Jameis what he wants to hear, (but) what he needs to hear."

"Jameis' biggest problem is, over his four years in the league, he's thrown 58 picks. That won't cut it, because that's the second-most in all of football."

"And guess what, Skip?" Sharpe interjected. "He brought that problem with hm from college."

'That has to get fixed," Bayless continued, "and I think he'll listen to Bruce, because Bruce and he could be a really great match. They could really go places."

Arians' flexible approach will help Winston, Sharpe said.

"He knows how to work with a quarterback," Sharpe said. "They're different. He doesn't ask any quarterback to be anything they're not."

"And he said all the right things about Jameis," Bayless said. "He said, 'I like his leadership, his competitiveness, and he's got a big arm.' That, he can work with."

Sharpe has one other concern about Winston, besides turnovers.

"The question I have for Jameis, is his mind clear and free off the field?" Sharpe said. "That's the only thing that concerns me."

Responded Bayless, "Arians can't help with that."