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Jameis Winston calls meeting Tom Brady an ‘honor’ and a ‘blessing’

Jameis Winston faced off against Tom Brady for the first time in his young NFL career Thursday night. And while the Tampa Bay Buccaneers came up short, narrowly losing to the New England Patriots at home by a score of 19-14, Winston hailed the opportunity to the Hall of Fame-bound signal-caller a “blessing” and an “honor.”

Winston in fact expressed some trepidation ahead of Thursday’s showdown over the chance to meet Brady.

“I’m thinking about, ‘What am I going to say to him when I see him and meet him?'” Winston said earlier this week, via ESPN.

While Winston missed out on the opportunity to chat with Brady before the game, per CBS Sports announcer Jim Nantz, the two did ultimately meet up after the game.

“I just said, ‘It was an honor.’ I told him thank you. A lot,” Winston said of the meeting, via ESPN. “That’s a blessing, man, to meet someone like that. I dream to be able to be the type of quarterback he is for his team to our team.”

Winston went on to praise Brady for serving as an inspiration.

“Utmost respect for him,” Winston said. “…  It was a privilege and an honor to meet him, to look him in his eye, to shake his hand. It felt good. That was another highlight of my night.

“I hate that he beat me, but he beats a lot of people.”

Brady responded in kind, praising the third-year Bucs quarterback as a rising talent.

“I feel that same way about a lot of younger players, too. I watch those guys and try to learn from them. When I was young, I learned from the older guys. And now that I’m older, I’m trying to learn from the young guys.

“He’s a great young player and he obviously led the team back tonight, and they were very close. He’s got a great future.”

Given how much it meant to Winston to simply meet Brady, the elder statesman singing his praises probably made the Bucs quarterback’s night, despite the loss.