Ronde Barber: Winston has 'gunslinger mentality'


Ronde Barber spent his 16-year NFL career in the Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive backfield trying to stop quarterbacks. Now the three-time All-Pro cornerback believes his former team got a stud in Jameis Winston.

"He gives you the spectacular, but he also gives you the rookie. But what I will say about (Jameis) is he plays with zero fear. He'll let go of any ball. He has that confidence," Barber said on CBS Radio, via

Top 10 lists:

"I've played against guys that have supreme confidence in themselves and their ability to make plays. You can already see it. He has no fear letting the ball go."

Barber, who spent plenty of time on teams lacking dynamic quarterback play, juxtaposed Winston with Buffalo Bills quarterback EJ Manuel.

"The guy that preceded him at Florida State, EJ Manuel, I did a couple of games of Buffalo over these two years that I've been working at FOX, and he is the other way. He's timid. He holds the ball. He's scared to deliver it when he needs to. This guy is the complete opposite, maybe to a detriment at times; he throws a lot of interceptions.

"But he has that "it," that bravado, that gunslinger mentality, if I could use that (tired) cliché, to be a great quarterback in this league. I think the good ones have that. Now how he learns to deal with that as a pro and take care of the football and do the right things on the football field? But he has the tools."

The No. 1 overall pick has a good group of receivers starting with Mike Evans and Vincent Jackson who should help bail him out at times. The biggest question for the Bucs' offense is how well the rookie will be protected behind a revamped offensive line.

Winston's confidence and "gunslinger mentality," as Barber called it, can be an asset if Lovie Smith gets out of the way and doesn't insist on handicapping the offense to coddle a young quarterback, especially when those interceptions begin to mount.

The latest Around The NFL Podcast welcomes back Lindsay Rhodes to recap Antonio Gates' suspension and the 'Top 100' rankings. Find more Around The NFL content on NFL NOW.