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Winston: 'Have to get back to playing Jameis' football

New Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Bruce Arians made it clear the 2019 season is all about turning around Jameis Winston.

The quarterback, in an interview with Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times, said he wants to prove Arians' faith correct.

"It means a lot to me man, and that's just how he is, he stands behind his players and I'm happy our team gets to see that side of him," Winston said. "And I just can't wait to get in the building and work with him."

Winston is coming off a rocky season with some highs and severe lows. After serving a three-game suspension, Winston retook the starting job from Ryan Fitzpatrick. However, after a four-interception, five-sack performance against the Bengals, it was back to the bench for Winston. He regained the starting gig for good in Week 12 and finished the season completing 64.6 percent of his passes for 2,992 yards, 7.9 yards per attempt average, 19 TDs, 14 INTs, 27 sacks taken and three lost fumbles.

"I really just have to get back to playing Jameis Winston football, man," the quarterback said of his 2018 campaign. "That season, it was a very odd season. I really wish I could've been in the locker room the first three weeks with the team, because we started off so fast and to miss those opportunities to be in the locker room with your family and experience that, you know, that momentum that we had, it's a loss."

Added Winston: "The back and forth with the quarterback situation made the year even odder. Getting benched, it was an odd year. The good thing about that is it's over. I can build off that and head into this new year with a fresh start and definitely hopes for better results (in 2019)."

The Bucs believe Winston can thrive in Arians' vertical system and will use the final year of his rookie contract to test drive the relationship.

Winston, who has known Arians since participating in his football camp in Alabama about a decade ago, is excited for a chance to play for his new coach.

"I was very excited," Winston said of the hire. "It's funny how things come around full circle. This is the man that introduced me to the Super Bowl ring, so I definitely want to get one with him."

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