The Bucs coach summed up the rookie's first NFL game as a "typical Jameis Winston day" after watching the No. 1 overall pick go 9-of-19 passing for 131 yards with an interception in Tampa Bay's 26-16 loss to the Minnesota Vikings.
Winston played the entire first half, producing 10 points over eight drives including a nine-play, 76-yard scoring march capped by the rookie's eight-yard touchdown run.
"He threw some good balls at the end," said Smith, per ESPN.com's Pat Yasinskas. "Pretty good decisions. We'd like to have that one interception back, but I thought he threw some pretty good balls. That's what you judge your quarterback on, decision-making. For the most part, I think it was pretty good."
Along with the pick, Winston also fumbled the ball and saw too many of his early throws sail high and off target before connecting with Vincent Jackson for a 40-yard bomb downfield on his third drive under center.
Saturday night's debut lined up with what we've heard about Winston throughout camp: He isn't afraid to test the field, throwing aggressively into coverage for a mixture of big plays and ill-conceived lobs. His hot-and-cold nature is what being a rookie is all about.
"You pick up the game and you see how things are flying at you, you get into that mode of just playing football," Winston said afterward. "I'm getting better every single play."