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Jameis Winston wants to cut down on off-balance throws

Bob Leverone/Associated Press
Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher and QB Jameis Winston both know the Heisman Trophy winner can improve.

GREENSBORO, N.C. -- Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston has some on-field things to work on this season. He knows it. Analysts know it. And his coach has let him know it.

"Ain't nobody going to be more critical of my game than my head coach," Winston said Sunday during the ACC Kickoff media event.


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In April, FSU coach Jimbo Fisher said Winston hadn't played up to his capability during spring practice. Monday, Fisher spoke to the assembled media at the ACC Kickoff and said, "I've seen certain things this summer ... that really encourage me," Fisher said.

Winston was asked Sunday about specific areas in which he needed to improve and immediately mentioned hip placement. "I make a lot of throws off-balance and a lot of throws just using my arm," he said.

Fisher on Monday mentioned footwork, eye movement and eye discipline as things Winston needs to work on. In addition, increased knowledge of the offense would help him "get through his progressions even easier."

Winston said one aspect of his progressions that he needs to work on is being more willing to check down to his backs. While he loves the big play, he said "as a quarterback, you have to be able to nickel-and-dime down the field."

NFL Media draft analyst Bucky Brooks wrote in June that Winston "has all of the tools to be a superstar at the next level. He has rare arm talent and prototypical physical dimensions for the position." But Brooks also said Winston needs to continue to work on his footwork and fundamentals within the pocket.

Winston spoke Sunday of life in the spotlight, both on and off the field, and said "quarterback is the most scrutinized and publicized position in sports." As such, any criticism of his mechanics don't bother him and can be used as motivation.

"Always having that chip on your shoulder is an important thing for a quarterback," Winston said.

Even though he missed just one spring practice, Winston was criticized some for playing baseball for FSU during the spring. He said he doesn't slough off on football even when he is playing baseball: "I like watching film and preparing myself (for football) even during baseball season," he said.

Fisher said Winston is one of the most driven players he ever has been around.

"You got to know why you do things" if you want to be successful, Fisher said. "He's intrigued by the 'why.' "

Winston also said he was happy that fall camps open in a bit more than two weeks because that means game days are approaching.

"On Saturdays, I'm going to be in my sanctuary," Winston said.

Mike Huguenin can be reached at mike.huguenin@nfl.com. You also can follow him on Twitter @MikeHuguenin.

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