Buccaneers: Jameis Winston “not on Mariota or Carr’s level” is laughable

SAN DIEGO, CA - DECEMBER 04: Jameis Winston
SAN DIEGO, CA - DECEMBER 04: Jameis Winston /

For as much attention as the Buccaneers have received, Jameis Winston is still – for who knows what reason – still being doubted.

Okay, I get it. People either love Jameis Winston or they hate him. Very few are in that middle ground. Whether it’s because of the off-field attention he had at Florida State or just a personal dislike, it appears many non-Buccaneers fans as well as some media just love to hate on Winston.

Heath Cummings of CBS Sports recently ran a poll comparing Winston with Derek Carr and Marcus Mariota where the voters decided Winston was the worst of the three in a landslide;

Okay, I get it. Carr has one more season of experience on Winston and got his team to the postseason last year. He plays behind the best offensive line in football (behind Dallas) with two legitimate threats at receiver. Jameis just now got his first true threat opposite Evans this off-season so we haven’t seen what he can do with two great receivers. Not to mention, Winston is 0-2 when facing these guys in the NFL. But that’s not what got to me. This next tweet is;

Um, excuse me? Jameis doesn’t belong in the same conversation as Carr or Mariota? Wake up, knucklehead.

Just two months ago, this same guy wrote about how Winston and Mariota were rising up fantasy draft boards. Yet, in this column, he writes how Jameis “has always had it better than Mariota”.

Again, what are you even talking about?

Jameis has it better in what way? Because of Mike Evans? Okay, I’ll spot you that one. Winston’s top target is better than Mariota’s. You want to compare offensive lines last season? How about the Bucs’ 101.0 rush yards per game in 2016, ranking 25th in the league compared to Tennessee’s 136.7 rush yards per game ranking third behind only Buffalo and Dallas?

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Yep, Jamies had it better.

How about just the divisions they’re in? Mariota faces teams with Andrew Luck, Ryan Tannehill, and God only knows who in Houston for six of his games each year. Outside of Luck, not that intimidating. In Mariota’s two seasons, his AFC South rivals have a combined 42-54 record. Jameis faces Drew Brees, Matt Ryan, and Cam Newton with his division rivals representing the NFC in the Super Bowl in each of his first two seasons. His NFC South rivals have a combined 54-42 record.

But, Jameis has it better.

I have absolutely nothing against Mariota. I like him and I think he’s the perfect guy for the Titans, but there’s no way anyone with two eyeballs and a half ounce of sense can say Mariota is on a whole different level than Winston. We didn’t even get into the intangibles – the leadership, the motivation, the drive to push his teammates, the fact that WInston beats the coaches into One Buc Place each and every day. I’m not saying Mariota doesn’t do those things, but it’s one of the biggest reasons guys love to play with – and for – Winston.

If Winston has a better season, the doubters and haters have the built-in “he has better weapons” excuse, despite Tennessee having a far superior running game and their additions of Corey Davis and Eric Decker. Now, I’m not saying I’ll take Davis and Decker over Evans and Jackson, but let’s not act like Mariota is working with garbage. And I absolutely would take DeMarco Murray over Doug Martin any day of the week and twice on Sunday. That’s not really a hard choice.

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Carr, Mariota, and Winston appear to be the next big wave of quarterbacks. With Tom Brady, Ben Roethlisberger, and Eli Manning coming towards the end of their careers, these three guys appear to be that next top tier trio on the rise.

Don’t try to shortchange Winston by saying he doesn’t belong in a group he so clearly does. You can go ahead and doubt him, count him out, or attempt to diminish what he can do. Just don’t get mad at me when I call you out for how stupid you look six months from now.