Jameis Winston Finally Gets A Chance To Get Buccaneers Off His Back


Jameis Winston gets a second crack at his former team in the Superdome on Sunday.

The Saints quarterback, who was drafted first by the Buccaneers in 2015, would happily forget the first time he played against Tampa Bay.

Winston, who led New Orleans to four wins in their first six games in 2021, sustained a left knee injury when Buccaneers linebacker Devin White tackled the Saints’ seventh game of the season and missed the rest of the year.

“Hopefully I don’t have to relive that moment,” Winston told reporters this week. “I’m just pushing and keeping my eyes on this week.”

Winston and the Saints (1-0) will push forward with a home opener against the Buccaneers (1-0). The Saints won in Atlanta last week thanks to the biggest fourth quarter comeback in franchise history, scoring 17 consecutive points in the last 12 minutes, winning 27-26.

The Bucs came in 1-0 with a 19-3 win on the road over the Cowboys thanks to Leonard Fournette’s 127 yards rushing back.

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For Winston, it’s a chance to beat Tom Brady, the quarterback the Bucs replaced him with and who won a Super Bowl two seasons ago.

“They’re just another team,” Winston insisted. “I have a lot of respect for a lot of those players, some of my old teammates, but in the end it’s a division game, against the best in Tom Brady. But I can’t go against him I get to face Devin White and [linebacker] Lavonte David and [safety] Antoine Winfield and [defensive tackle] Vita Vea and [edge rusher] Shaq Barrett.”

Jameis Winston sustains a knee injury at the end of the season against his former team, the Buccaneers.
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For Brady and the Bucs, the Saints have been a problem lately. Tampa Bay is 0-4 in regular season games against New Orleans since Brady joined the team. During that period, Brady was intercepted eight times in those losses.

“That’s probably the thing that stands out the most — revenue,” Brady said this week. “It’s a very physical team. I think they beat us up physically. It’s a tough, hard-nosed team. They’re coached very well.”

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The Saints are led by freshman coach Dennis Allen, who was New Orleans’ defensive coordinator for the first three of those games and served as interim head coach in a 9-0 win at Tampa Bay last December, when Sean Payton stayed home because of a positive COVID-19 test. Allen remains the defensive player for the Saints.

James Winston
Jameis Winston is helped off the field after a season-ending knee injury against the Bucs in 2021.
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Are the saints in the minds of Brady and the Buccaneers?

“Any time you lose to a team more than once or twice, you try to put your finger on what they’re trying to do and what you’re doing and what you can do differently,” said freshman Bucs head coach Todd Bowles. .

One element of the Saints that is better is their receiving corps, with star Michael Thomas returning from injury. Jarvis Landry was taken on off-season via free agency and Chris Olave was drafted in the first round. The three combined for 212 yards and two receiving TDs in Atlanta last week.

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Tampa Bay’s offensive line, which has seen many changes off-season, looked solid last week, with newcomers Robert Hainsey in the center and rookie Luke Goedeke on the left hat. Both made their first NFL starts last week and helped the running game minimize Brady’s exposure to the pass rush.

As for the relationship between Winston and White, which ended the Winston 2021 season, the quarterback said White contacted him last year after the injury and there are no hard feelings.

“Me and he are great,” said Winston. “I can’t be mad at someone who plays football. He felt equally bad, but he’s a footballer. He’s a great footballer, so he kept going.”

Now Winston will be able to continue.

“I’m just grateful to have this opportunity now,” said Winston. “I’m here now, healthy, and I’m ready to rock. That is it.”