In terms of greatness, Jameis Winston has yet to reach the pinnacle of his profession. However, that hasn’t stopped the Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback from dreaming about being the game’s greatest quarterback.
Even before being drafted, he made it clear he was aiming to supplant the GOAT, Tom Brady, rather than compete with his fellow rookie, Marcus Mariota.
“I’m out here to win games and be the face of someone’s franchise,” Winston said at the combine, via NESN. “This is not a competition between me and Mariota, because one thing about me, I plan on winning the Super Bowl the next year. So, it’s going to be Jameis versus Peyton Manning and Jameis versus Tom Brady. I want to be viewed like that.”
Fast forward three years later as Winston prepares for his third season as a pro and those aspirations have yet to be met but haven’t been squelched, either.
Appearing on Podcast One with none other than Shaquille O’Neal, Winston was asked by Shaq Diesel if he’s tired of hearing other quarterbacks like Cam Newton and Tom Brady listed above him in the NFL hierarchy.
“Yes, sir. You know, I’m going to wait for my time, you know,” Winston said (h/t JoeBucsFan.com). “But I ain’t going to wait for my time; [I’m] just preparing for my time. I just want to get better every single year. At the end of the day, when I start performing, when I start producing, that’s when my name will start coming up there. Until then, I’ve got to earn everything I get. Those names that you’ve just said, they’ve earned a lot in this league. So I know that I’ve got to continue to improve and be consistent.”
You wouldn’t want your franchise quarterback to say anything else.
Winston clearly has the desire to be the best, and it sure seems like he has the game to evolve into one of the best in the game. He and the Bucs enter the 2017 NFL season with huge expectations after landing DeSean Jackson in free agency and adding rookies Chris Godwin and O.J. Howard to one of the best young offenses in the game.
If Winston leads Tampa Bay into the playoffs and continues taking steps forward in his maturation process, then he’ll be well on his way to being mentioned among the likes of Brady, Newton and the rest of the game’s best.