Jameis Winston on 'First Take': Judge against NFL's best, not Mariota

Jameis Winston (3) sprints to start a drill Saturday at One Buc Place. [LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times]
Jameis Winston (3) sprints to start a drill Saturday at One Buc Place. [LOREN ELLIOTT | Times]
Published Aug. 4, 2017

Bucs QB Jameis Winston was a guest on ESPN's "First Take" on Friday morning, continuing a strong national interest in the Bucs during training camp, and one of the questions he was asked was whether he is motivated to compete with Titans QB Marcus Mariota, who came into the league as the No. 2 pick after him in 2015.

"Absolutely not," Winston said. "The only thing I have against Marcus is he's beaten every time we've played against him. I'm looking forward to our next match. He's an amazing guy, a very talented player, a great quarterback. I think he'd agree with me in saying this: We're not trying to compete against each other. We're trying to compete against the top-tier quarterbacks in this league.

"If we're just trying to focus on each other and how good one another is, we're limiting ourselves. We should be striving for greatness, for the Tom Bradys and the Aaron Rodgers and the Peyton Mannings of this league."

Mariota's Oregon team beat Winston and FSU in the national championship semifinal in 2014, and his Titans beat Winston and the Bucs in the NFL debut for both quarterbacks to open the 2015 season. They'll meet up again next in 2019 in Nashville.

The highlight of Winston's appearance might have been him calling host Stephen A. Smith "Steve" in one of his responses.

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