Jameis Winston “didn’t expect” to be removed from the starting lineup.
The 24-year-old quarterback threw four interceptions and was replaced by Ryan Fitzpatrick in the Buccaneers’ 37-34 loss to the Bengals last weekend. Tampa Bay coach Dirk Koetter announced Monday the veteran will start over Winston in the team’s Week 9 matchup with the Panthers.
“One thing about me (is that) I can be honest with myself in terms of playing on the field,” Winston told reporters Thursday (via ESPN). “Turnovers — if you turn the ball over in college, high school — it puts your team in a bad position to win and we need to win as a team. So I can definitely understood why Coach Koetter went with Fitz.”
Winston, who was suspended for the first three games of the season for violating the league’s personal conduct policy, has thrown six touchdowns and 10 picks in four appearances in 2018. He said this was the first time he had ever been benched.
“It’s humbling,” Winston said. “It’s something I can learn from and grow from, and it just adds to the story. Every year my job is to get better and better and right now, I’m not getting the job done. I have been replaced and I’m moving forward.”
The Buccaneers originally selected Winston with the first pick in the 2015 draft. He has completed 61.2 percent of his passes in 49 career games.