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01 May 2015

Transcript: Jameis Winston No. 1 Draft Pick Introductory Press Conference - Friday, May 1. 2015

(Opening statement)
“Wow. I wasn’t expecting that. Well, I guess I was. The days leading up to yesterday, there was an excitement in this building that you can’t put into words and it’s been almost 24 hours and that excitement hasn’t subsided. That’s for sure. In the city, and definitely not in the building from the coaches and scouts to the equipment room to the training room, everybody is just beyond excited about our future. I want to welcome the Winston family. It’s been great getting to know you. We’ve gotten to know you very well over the last few months. Antonor, Loretta, Jonah, Iyuana welcome to Tampa for the first time. We feel Jameis is a great fit for us and he feels the same, so much so that we were able to get a contract done already. Ladies and gentlemen, I want to introduce your quarterback, Jameis Winston.”
(Opening statement)
“What a privilege to be here and I would just like to thank Joel, Ed and Bryan (Glazer) just for giving me this opportunity. Thank you so much.”
(On what the ‘job interview’ process was like)
“It was exactly what you said, a job interview, so I had to take it very seriously. I always wanted to talk football, but we always had to talk about other things and get other things handled. I’m just blessed to be here right now.”
(On the reason he posted a photo showing himself with a plate of crab legs)
“That photo, I had to thank Capt. Keith (Colburn) from ‘The Deadliest Catch’ and that was just a thank you to him. It was a big moment for my family that we got to share with each other. I would just like to thank him for donating those crab legs to our party.”
(On how Florida State Head Coach Jimbo Fisher prepared Winston for the NFL)
“At Florida State our offense is built for quarterbacks, as far as protections and the way we do things. He is just a great coach. He just helped me become the man I am today and even a better leader.”
(On the responsibility he feels toward the people who ‘went on a limb’ for him)
“I’m just so grateful. Again, I would love to thank the Glazers and even Coach (Lovie) Smith and Mr. (Jason) Licht because right now I feel like it’s my responsibility to help them out. I believe that’s why I am here today, to just get involved in the community, be a great Buccaneer and keep growing as a man. Just help everyone build.”
(On the first steps in becoming a franchise quarterback)
“First of all, I’m glad we got the contract stuff out of the way. I’m just looking forward to getting with the team. We have some great teammates. I’m looking forward to working with the coaching staff and just playing some football. This whole thing has been long for me, but football is what I’m here for and I can’t wait.”
(On earning his playing time and if he feels ready right now to be the starting quarterback)
“I can’t say that, but you hit it right on the head. Earning the job and working and sacrificing your life to become a quarterback for a great franchise like this is my dream. Ever since I’ve been playing, I’ve wanted to work hard for what I get and I plan on doing that.”
(On if he feels ready for the responsibility of being the ‘face of Tampa Bay’)
“Right now I’m not worried about being the face of the franchise or anything. We have guys like Gerald McCoy, Vincent Jackson and just great men in this organization right now. I just want to learn. I want to learn from those guys. I want to help build myself so one day I can be the face of Tampa Bay and get involved in the community like Derrick Brooks is. I just want my face to be like that. Obviously it takes work. I can’t wait for that opportunity to just come.”
(On what his mom and dad have instilled in him)
“One thing they always instilled in me was honesty and hard work. Every time I look in my mom’s eyes I just think – you know, she carried me for nine months. She had a lot of hard work because I have a big head (laughter). Having both of my parents in my life has meant so much to me because most people from where I’m from don’t have a mother and a father, so I thank them as well for helping me get here. Not only them, but there have been so many influential people in my life that have helped me get to where I am today.”
(On what he needs to work on most as a quarterback to succeed at the next level)
“Decision making is just one thing I need to work on. I feel like as a man, as a young man growing up, I must better myself at every single thing, so just one thing I can’t focus on. I have to focus on bettering myself in each and every way.”
(On if the decision to wear the No. 3 is a part of the reborn process he spoke about last night)
“Absolutely. One thing about the No. 3, that was my first number ever of me playing football. I just look at it as a new beginning. In high school I wore No. 8. In college I wore No. 5. Five plus three is eight and five minus three is two, you know. Addition and subtraction.”
(On his style of leadership)
“First thing about getting people to play for you is serving them. That’s one thing I’m looking forward to is serving the players in the locker room and even serving the people in the facility. One thing about being a good leader is you have to have good followers too. I look forward to just getting involved in everything and just serving everyone I can.”
(On being the first player from Florida State to be selected first overall)
“I’m happy to be the first Seminole to do that, but I’m so ready to get to work. After the pick, I was so elated and my family really enjoyed it, but I just took a deep breath and I was like, ‘Yes, I get to play football again! I’m just happy for that.”
(On what was his initial reaction when he knew he was going to Tampa Bay)
“Being in Tampa at many events, I always felt like Tampa was a place of home. When they were on the clock and I eventually got that call, I was so happy. I was so elated.”
(On the process of learning offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter’s playbook)
“First of all, I have to get the playbook first, then I’ll get to work. I believe preparation is everything. I plan to prepare and I plan to prepare harder than anyone else. I can’t wait to get the chance. If you can get the playbook for me, please get it for me. I cannot wait.”
(On his initial impressions of Koetter’s system)
“Just watching some Atlanta Falcons’ film, he loves to stretch the ball down the field vertically. I like to stretch the ball down the field vertically, but anything I am asked to do, I’m going to do it because that’s my passion for this game and my love for football. I’m just doing anything I’m asked to do.”
(On the opportunity to throw to Vincent Jackson and Mike Evans)
“Oh my, man. That’s another important thing that I’m blessed to be a Buc with. I had Kelvin Benjamin at Florida State, but now I have two of them. I have two 6-5 receivers. It’s a blessing and I look forward to working with those guys. Having a chance to talk to Vincent, he’s a great, great man and I look forward to throwing him the ball one day.”
(On how he will deal with struggles in the NFL)
“That’s where hard work comes into play. As long as we are working hard and as long as we give it everything we have, it’s going to come around. I’m not really a negative person. I’m very optimistic, so you can find something positive in every situation. I’m looking forward to this rookie season. I really am.”
(On how much he has enjoyed going through the draft process with Marcus Mariota)
“I just enjoyed this whole process. Now that it’s here, what a coincidence that we play against them (Tennessee Titans), maybe him, the first game of the year. That’s when I just get in game mode. I can’t wait to prepare against those guys and play.”
(On if he is afraid of the microscope he will be under playing in Tampa)
“Not at all. Not at all, because I know the type of person I am and I know what I hold myself to. I’ve been under a microscope for the past two years like no one else, so I am kind of used to that. I’m just ready to play football now. I’m ready to play football, ready to get involved in the community. I’m ready to just do positive things and move forward.”
(On if he anticipated the reaction to the photo he posted)
“I wasn’t thinking what would come from it. I was just showing thanks to a dear friend of mine that I was blessed to have him provide the party for my family with the crab legs.”
(On if the negative reaction caused him to take the photo down)
“That’s the only reason I took the picture down. I didn’t want any negative publicity for this day, because it took it away from this whole organization and my family. I never would have expected that.”
(On the support from Derrick Brooks)
“It means a lot. That’s one thing, having someone like Derrick in my life is just like my dad being there, my dad holding me up to a high standard. I have to help him out. I have to represent him as well. It’s a blessing to have a great man like him, especially the way he is involved in this community and one day I want to be just like him, so he is definitely a great mentor to start off this process.”
(On the toughest part about the last four months)
“The toughest part of it all was just taking it all very seriously. I wanted to play football. I didn’t have the football field. I didn’t have my sanctuary. All I had was my family and on draft day, that’s what made it so special, because when it was all said and done the Glazers trusted me. Mr. Licht trusted me and Coach Smith trusted me. I got to celebrate that moment so it was an overwhelming moment for me and my family. It was like (breathes out) ‘It’s here now’. I’m so grateful. I’m so grateful for you all.
(On what he specifically said to Licht and Smith to make them back him on and off the field)
“They did research on me. Actions speak louder than words. I’m still working on their trust. That’s why I’m so grateful that they accepted me. That they trusted me. That Joel, and having a conversation with Ed and Bryan (Glazer), they accepted me as well. I’m just grateful.”

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