Teammate: Jameis Winston reminds me of a ‘young’ Aaron Rodgers
Jameis Winston by all accounts is doing an admirable job in his first NFL training camp. So much so, it appears, that one of his Tampa Bay Buccaneers teammates went so far as to compare the rookie to a younger version of arguably the most talented quarterback currently playing in the NFL:
Bucs offensive lineman Evan Smith is the teammate who showered Winston with such enormous praise. While it may seem like a bit much, Smith is in a position to make the comparison, as Smith’s first season in the NFL was 2009, Rodgers’ second season as a starter.
“I’ve only been around two other quarterbacks,” Smith told Yahoo Sports. “I played with one who was really good. He reminds me of a very young version of him.”
Smith did wisely qualify his complimentary comparison.
“Jameis hasn’t taken a snap yet in this league,” he acknowledged. “When I first got to Green Bay, you could see the talent there, you could see Aaron was starting to take off as a superstar. You can tell Jameis has that potential.”
There are of course vast differences between the situations that Rodgers faced at the earliest stages in his career and what Winston has been tasked to overcome in his rookie season. Rodgers, after all, was in his fifth season when Smith saw what he brought to the quarterbacking position. Winston, on the other hand, faces enormous pressure to be “The Man” from the get-go, something Rodgers never had to navigate.
“You see it with the brains,” Smith said. “You definitely see the arm talent. That’s one thing that will jump off the film at you. He obviously has a baseball background, and he knows how to throw it. But the anticipation on his throws is something that really wows you. Sometimes we watch film and say, ‘Wow that was a really good throw.'”
It’s absurd to anoint Winston the “Next Aaron Rodgers” at this point. But at least from Smith’s perspective, Winston has what it takes to one day be referred to as such.
[H/T Eye on Football]