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Jimbo Fisher: Buccaneers contacted FSU about Jameis Winston

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers own the No. 1 pick in the 2015 draft, and not surprisingly, the Bucs have reached out to Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher in an effort to get to know more about Seminoles quarterback Jameis Winston.

Fisher said Wednesday on NFL Network's "NFL AM" that the Bucs "have contacted different people on our staff."

Asked how many teams he has talked with, Fisher said, "Not as many as you'd think right now. It's just now starting, and our pro day's in another month (March 31). I think in this month, we'll get bombarded. But we've got quite a few (prospects)."

Fisher also said that despite Winston's off-field issues, teams should be comfortable with making him the face of a franchise.

"Jameis' problem, if you really research and really get down to the nuts and bolts of what actually went wrong -- with him standing on the table and the crab leg incident -- when you walk out of a place with a deputy sheriff beside you, it was not intent," Fisher said. "It was a mental lapse. What Jameis does, which is very unique and a lot of people follow him -- he was just being a normal student. He was trying to do what the other kids around him were [doing], and it was very immature.

"It was an immature thing to do, not an intentional thing to do with malice. He sees himself with everybody. He doesn't put himself above everybody; that's why, I think, people flock to him, and his leadership is such a big deal. Because he is a genuine, honest people person, and he gets caught up. I think he understood that. It was a moment of him being 19 years old and making a critical mistake. But I think those mistakes are very easily corrected. Character issues are different, and I don't think he has those."

Bucs coach Lovie Smith said last week at the NFL Scouting Combine that he would be comfortable making Winston the public face of the Bucs.

Fisher also said he thought Winston had matured.

"He is a guy that learns from mistakes," Fisher said. "You watch him on the football field, you watch him in life -- he is a highly, highly intelligent guy. He learns from mistakes about as well as anybody."

Fisher calling Winston "a normal student" stretches credulity a bit. After winning the Heisman and leading FSU to the national title in 2013, Winston (and his coaches) had to know he was not a "normal" student. Still, that Fisher would squarely be in Winston's corner obviously is not a surprise; what would be truly news-worthy -- especially to NFL teams -- is if he blasted his former quarterback. Just as obviously, the Bucs and other teams interested in Winston are going to talk to a lot of people, not just the FSU coaches, about Winston's maturity and behavior.

Mike Huguenin can be reached at You also can follow him on Twitter @MikeHuguenin.

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