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Jameis Winston helps bring Bucs together, GM says


Tampa Bay general manager Jason Licht is garnering praise for the assembly of this current Bucs roster which, on paper, seems to give the franchise the best chance of returning to the playoffs for the first time since 2007.

But as he's learned in a short time, the best laid plans can often collapse. That's why he's thankful for Jameis Winston.

"As you guys know, sometimes on paper things look really great, but it doesn't work out that way. So we want to make sure that it does work out for us. So it starts with them getting here, working together, gelling, getting the playbook down and being together," Licht said Tuesday on Good Morning Football. "Just forming that camaraderie and I feel like we're going to be one step ahead with that quarterback ... who does a great job of doing that and getting them together."

While many have downplayed Tampa Bay's relationship with documentary series Hard Knocks this offseason, it launched what is an incredibly important period of time for the franchise.

Winston's leadership abilities need to be noticeable beyond the camera eye. He has to wrangle together high-ceiling rookie O.J. Howard, new free agent DeSean Jackson and resident star wideout Mike Evans. He needs to bring along Doug Martin who, as Licht said on GMFB Tuesday, looks "as good as I've ever seen him."

With such an investment in the offense, it places an unbelievable burden on the shoulders of a third-year quarterback. But a look back at many of the league's better passers shows a third season as a key turning point in maturity and on-field progress. Winston seems ready for that challenge, just as Licht is ready to hand it to him.


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