Bucs offensive coordinator Todd Monken has a message for quarterback Jameis Winston: Stop trying so hard.
“The thing is what I’ve seen, irrespective of the physical stuff on the field, let’s not try so hard,” Monken said Thursday, via Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times. “He’s got natural leadership qualities. A toughness about him. Guys want to follow him. It’s OK to fail. He’s human. It’s OK to be hurt. It’s OK to have that side of you. Let’s just go. You don’t have to try so hard. Guys will follow you. Just be yourself.”
Monken said “part” of what he is referring to is Winston’s pregame rah-rah stuff. Winston also has been known to pick fights with opponents.
“I think the best way to put it is that in our league, there’s so much pressure put on the coaches and that one position,” Monken said. “Nobody gets the credit either way for winning or losing than the quarterback or the coaches. That’s fine. That’s the way it is. OK, no one is going to blame Mike Evans for why we haven’t made the playoffs. That’s part of it. We get that. That doesn’t mean we all don’t want to win. I think the main thing is, ‘OK Jameis, be yourself. You don’t have to try so hard. The guys know naturally you’re our leader.’
“When you’re hurt and you’re not winning and you want to so bad. . . . I think you’ve seen it. I don’t have to expand on it.”
Entering his fourth season, and with one Pro Bowl appearance and no postseason games, Winston faces a “prove-it year” as Dan Orlovsky referred to it earlier this week.