Jameis Winston, 9-15 as starter, says 'I'm not a loser'

Jameis Winston's sophomore season hasn't gone the way he thought it would.

The Buccaneers have lost five of their last seven under Winston, who, despite improved statistics, isn't playing up to the standards of previous first-overall selections in their second years (Andrew Luck, Peyton Manning). Since Jameis was named the starter before the 2015 regular season, the Bucs have gone 9-15 and look nowhere near playoff contention this season with the Falcons running away with the South and the NFC East ahead in the Wild Card race.

On the heels of an embarrassing, nationally televised loss at home, little is rosy around Tampa. And while Jameis knows his team's place in the standing, he's confident that Tampa Bay can turn it around.

"Confidence-wise, it's easy, because I'm not a loser," Winston said, via Jenna Laine of ESPN.com. "We're winners in this building. And I believe it's a choice. It's a mentality that we've gotta have and we're building. We're heading on the right path. We just gotta get over the hump, and I'm going to do what I need to do to help us get over there."

Losing is of course new to Winston, who famously went undefeated at Florida State during his Heisman-winning season in 2013 and lost just one game -- the College Football Playoff semi to Oregon -- in the following campaign. Jameis' sunny disposition and fiery optimism is in no part due to his limited experience with being on the wrong end of a battle, and his world view has been born from it.

"Losing, I believe ... losing is too easy. And I hate easy stuff," Winston added. "I hate easy. Going out there and losing is so easy. I want stuff to be hard -- that's why I want to win championships, I want to win games."

Every team and quarterback, west of the '72 Dolphins, suffers losses during the season, and it's the great ones that bounce back quickly. The 3-5 Bucs are not one of those teams, and this year is not their year. So while Jameis can spout motivational barbs to inspire his team and fanbase, if he doesn't start winning and delivering on the promise that comes along with being a franchise savior, he will accurately be labeled a "loser."

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