Jameis Winston is competing for the No. 2 quarterback job on the New Orleans Saints, as offensive coordinator Pete Carmichael is working on developing the former No. 1 overall pick into an NFL starting quarterback again.
Could Winston be the heir apparent to Drew Brees? That discussion will be brought up once Brees decides to retire, but in the meantime, Carmichael is redeveloping Winston’s game.
He’s already impressed with the Saints newest quarterback.
“Well, I think this, I think he’s a talented football player and he’s done a lot of great things in this league already and we’re excited to have him,” Carmichael said on a conference call with reporters Tuesday. “Just in these meetings that we’ve been having with these virtual meetings, the one thing that stands out to me right away is that he’s sharp, he’s smart, he has asked the right questions.
“And so he has that experience and he’s got the ability, you see him throw the ball down field, he’s got excellent arm strength. So there’s a lot to be excited about and we’re looking forward to working with him.”
Turnovers have plagued the 26-year-old Winston throughout his five-year career in the NFL. He has 88 interceptions and 50 fumbles (losing 23) in 72 career games (111 total turnovers), and the 88 interceptions in his first five seasons are the most for any quarterback that was drafted after 2000. Despite the turnover issues, Winston did make the Pro Bowl in 2015 and threw for over 4,000 yards in his first two seasons.
He still vows on correcting those turnover issues, knowing that was the reason why he’s no longer a starting quarterback.
“Yeah, I think the first thing I would say is that he recognizes it too as well and so that’s the first step,” Carmichael said. “I think that, again, in these meetings and listening to him and hearing him ask questions, he’s obviously a very smart player. But you go back and look at a lot of successful quarterbacks in this league and Jameis is still young. He’s 26 years old. It took some guys that are successful in this league early in their careers maybe didn’t play as well as they’re (capable of).
“It took Drew a couple of years to get going as well. We feel really good about having that player in the building.”