TALLAHASSEE — Quarterback Jameis Winston hasn’t made many mistakes in a Florida State uniform. When he does, the redshirt freshman knows why. That’s how the teenager with the shoulder-shrug smile earned the trust of coaches and teammates.
“Each player, what he can absorb at that present time of his career, matters as to how much leeway you give him. And [Winston] gets more than most have.”
The 19-year-old Winston made a wrong read during the 54-6 win against Bethune-Cookman last week. He missed the hot receiver as the defense blitzed and was forced to spin out of the clutches of defensive end LeBrand Richardson. Winston simultaneously dipped from defensive end Erik Williams. The busted play ended with a falling down Winston throwing an 11-yard touchdown to Kelvin Benjamin.
Fisher’s quarterback tutorial hinges on one question: Why
Why did you make this decision? Why was this the outcome?
Winston tends to ace the “why” test.
He’s completed 50 of 64 passes for 718 yards, eight touchdowns and one interception with a 210.49 passing efficiency that ranks No. 2 in FBS.
Winston (6-foot-4, 228 pounds) also has two touchdowns rushing within the No. 5 scoring offense in FBS.
“You can’t rely on ability, as far as letting it bail you out all the time,” Fisher said. “If you don’t know why you made a mistake then that’s critical and we have to fix that.”
The previous week Winston threw his lone interception on a forced, high pass against Nevada. He took responsibility and moved on.
“He keeps his same personality, which is really goofy and loose and just very competitive,” FSU safety Terrence Brooks said. “He’s just going out there being very comfortable in his own skin and just knowing his abilities.”
That comfort has allowed him to deal with the “Famous Jameis” nickname, “J-Dub” T-shirts and another with Winston’s face on the body of Jesus and the words ,”The Chosen One.” Ego has not been a problem.
Buffalo Bills quarterback EJ Manuel was drawn to Winston’s playful demeanor last year despite being a senior NFL prospect. Indianapolis Colts linebacker Bjoern Werner was named 2012 ACC defensive player of the year and took notice, too.
“He’s comfortable in every situation they put him in, and that’s why he’s so successful now,” Werner said. “He’s just really open, he talks a lot and that’s what makes him so comfortable.”
Winston even exuded a level of calm as a freshman at Hueytown High School.
Winston and Fisher’s relationship isn’t always lovey-dovey. Fisher is known for his outbursts toward his quarterbacks. Winston was criticized in high school for berating teammates.
The common pursuit of perfection has enhanced the bond. The next test comes Saturday at Boston College.
“I’m a competitor till the day I die,” Winston said.
Source: Associated Press