Saturday, September 21, 2013
Winston sees flaws after big win
By David M. Hale
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- Rain drenched the field, and the opposition did little to inspire much enthusiasm, so after Florida State finished its 54-6 dismantling of Bethune-Cookman, about the only highlight worth savoring was that first, dizzying touchdown throw from Jameis Winston.
Most everything came easily for Florida State on Saturday, but this one was tough. The snap came and the pass rush was instantly in Winston's face. He shrugged off two defenders, rolled to his left, and he delivered a bullet to Kelvin Benjamin for the score.
It was a play few quarterbacks could make, and Winston is dreading seeing it again on film.
FSU might have won easily, but QB Jameis Winston knows he made his share of mistakes.
"That's going to be a negative in the film room," Winston said. "It was supposed to be a hot [route], but it was so clear, I was like, 'Oh man, this is going to be a touchdown.' I didn't even think about the hot."
After three games in which Winston has made virtually everything look easy, this is where the redshirt freshman quarterback finds flaws. The opportunities for big plays are so vast, he can't help but get greedy.
It has happened a few times in the past two weeks. He ignored open receivers underneath looking for a receiver downfield on his lone interception of the season against Nevada. He was blind to better options for short gains on a handful of throws Saturday, too, finishing just 10-of-19 for 148 yards against an FCS foe -- nearly doubling his season total of incompletions.
In almost every instance, the misfires were a matter of wanting more than the defense was offering.
"I've got to calm down and focus," Winston said, "Be needy, not greedy."
It's not that Fisher was particularly upset with the outcome of Winston's touchdown throw. Once the play broke down, the freshman QB did all he could to keep it alive, and he delivered a perfect throw on the run.
It's just that, if Winston had read the play properly and executed as he was taught, all that magic wouldn't have been necessary.
"He knew it, but he just wanted to throw the touchdown," Fisher said.
The praise for Winston has been universal through three games, and rightfully so. Florida State won all three games easily, with Winston relaxing on the sideline early in the fourth quarter of each, and his stat line looks nearly flawless.
If anything, it has been too easy.
"I understand because he's a playmaker and he wants to make plays," tailback Devonta Freeman said. "I want to make plays. So if he does get greedy on a play, he's going to make it up. I don't ever get on him."
But Winston's happy to critique himself. Dressed in a shirt and tie after a game in which he'd barely seen the field in the second half, he offered his usual smiles but few platitudes about his own game.
Bigger, better opponents await, and even if the flaws have been few and far between, Winston knows they're there.
"I probably came out and took [Bethune-Cookman] for granted," Winston said. "That was my fault. I was greedy. I was very greedy. That's why having Coach Fisher is good. He easily gets you out of that. I snapped out of that fast."