MAQB: What Jameis Winston Says He Learned From Drew Brees

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Lots to sort through coming out of the first NFL Sunday, with one game left in Week 1 …

• In the hours ahead of his first start in almost two years, from the Saints’ team hotel on Sunday morning, Jameis Winston had a call to make—to a guy who had maybe as big a hand in the way he’d play hours later as anyone. Drew Brees’s message to his ex-teammate was, as Winston expected it would be, a whole lot more than good luck. Brees reminded Winston to stick with the process. He reminded him not to get himself in over his head. And then, Brees said to Winston, “Go out there and light it up.”

Winston obliged, and in a very interesting way his unorthodox stat line reflected the lessons Brees taught him—to manage the game rather than take it over, to be as opportunistic as he was aggressive. More than anything, Winston said, it was to be efficient, and squeezing five touchdown passes into 148 yards is, if nothing else, that. And it played out that way in large part because Winston let a game controlled by the Saints’ defense and run game to come to him.

“I just trusted the process,” he told me. “I mean, [Sunday] was big from a touchdown perspective but the game was a managing game. I was just managing the game. I was taking what they gave me. I still have to get better and be a little bit more accurate in some areas, but it was a very simple game. Green Bay played a very conservative defense. It was just doing what I needed to do and when shots were there, hitting on them.”

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