Bucs' Winston builds bond with receviers

Image 1 of 3

Jameis Winston is the Bucs' leader on the field. Off it, he's become a brother to his teammates. 

Winston spent most of the offseason building a strong bond with the guys that hold his success in their hands, the wide receivers.

"Off the field we are really close," said Adam Humphries. "It's always good. It relates on the field, just having that good connection with him. Trying to be reliable and just give him good targets to throw to."

Dirk Koetter is seeing the work that Winston and his receiving corps put in, now play out in training camp.

"He's a passionate guy about football," said Koetter. "That passion, he tries to get it to rub off on the guys around him. I think if you ask the other guys, it does. It does rub off on them."

Winston stays in constant contact with his wide receivers often, sending them texts and motivational video clips. One of their favorites came from Denzel Washington's 2011 commencement speech at the University of Pennsylvania.

The theme was about falling forward and not back. Washington said, "You never see a U-haul behind a hearse."

"So always fall forward," said Winston. "I'm always trying to get the guys to just mentally be prepared."

"Mentally, we've got to be there because when you're tired, you've got to be able to focus because that's the difference between winning and losing football games."

"It always fires me up especially during the offseason to get a text from your teammates," said Humphries. "You just start thinking about the season and what that can bring. A lot to look forward to."

Winston and his receiving corps have gotten to know each other so well they're beginning to think alike. It takes just a look from Mike Evans to Winston for the two to alter the play.

"Yeah, we had two plays like that today," said Evans. "We knew where it was going to be 'man coverage' or was going to be 'zone coverage'.  We knew and then we hooked up."

Extra work in the offseason has Winston and receivers ready to take their game to another level.