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Winston on starting: 'I haven't earned it until I get it'

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The Tampa Bay Buccaneers continue to force Jameis Winston to earn his stripes.

The No. 1 overall pick took snaps with the second-team offense as the Bucs opened mandatory minicamp on Tuesday. The rookie is playing along.

"As soon as I earn it,'' Winston said after being asked when he'd like to take over the starting gig, via the Tampa Bay Times. "With this camp being the last week (before the team reports for training camp), I feel like I've had great practices day in and day out and I'm just enjoying it. I haven't earned it until I get it.''

Lovie Smith -- who has proven to be no quarterback whisperer in his time as an NFL coach -- plans to bring along the rookie slowly and make him earn everything he gets.

"I have a plan and a part of that plan is for Jameis to get a certain amount of reps with certain guys,'' Smith said. "He's gone with the ones. He's gone with the twos. At the same time, it's not just about Jameis. We need to get our backup quarterback ready, too.''

This talk of second-team reps and backup quarterbacks in June is all fine and dandy for a team trying to break in a young quarterback and keep him humble despite his celebrity status. If we are still talking about Winston taking backup reps in August, the Bucs have a serious problem. 

"Before long, when we get back together, (the depth chart) will be for real,'' Smith added. "Then the depth chart counts. Where guys are getting reps count.''

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