I'm a hard ass. You can ask my kids. I'm always on them to do better. I'm sure they'll need therapy in the coming years.
But once you know me, you know why I write the articles I do about Jameis. It's because I expect better of him. He's our quarterback. He's the quarterback at Florida State and with that, comes tremendous responsibility.
But part of my angst comes from the fact that we've had enough jokers at the position in recent years. Sure, Ponder and Manuel were near-flawless and handled themselves professionally on and off the field. But we've had plenty of issues with the likes of Xavier Lee and Adrian McPherson. We've also just had a handful of quarterbacks who were perfectly fine players, like Drew Weatherford, but were never going to take us to the next level.
Jameis Winston is so obviously a next level quarterback.
The problem with Winston is that he is so successful on the field that it magnifies the issues he has off the field. And he just can't seem to stay out of his own way. The most recent shoplifting-and-avoiding-the-deputy incident irked me, particularly, because it could have so easily been avoided. BB guns are an example of "youthful ignorance" ... not shoplifting.
Every single incident makes me cringe, but I can bear it because, deep down, Jameis Winston is a good person.
I can't really say he's a good person because of how well he mopped the floors at the YMCA, but you can judge a man by the company he keeps. His teammates adore him and it's for a reason: Jameis supports them with every fiber of his being; he has their back no matter the circumstance. That shows a heart full of compassion. No Seminole will ever forget the exchange that ocurred on the final drive versus Auburn. Yes, Jameis, if you're strong, we're strong.
The problem, however, is that, he is wildly successful on the field, but diametrically different off it. Let's just state the obvious: he has a lot of work to do off the field. The only thing to stand between him and a successful career is... himself. And that must be a world of responsibility on his shoulders. I imagine a lot of his success has come relatively easy for him. He's kind of a prodigy. So, keeping him entertained and on the straight-and-narrow is pretty much a full-time job for Jimbo Fisher. But they've failed.
Famously, Jameis once said "If I ever get the Manziel disease, I want all of you to smack me in the head with your microphones."
Well, it's time. I think we can officially call it. You've suffered from the Manziel disease. Your on-field play is suberb, but your mind-numbingly actions off the field are working against you. What's the solution? Accountability. Jimbo Fisher is a master of it and at this point, we just need to trust that he can hold Jameis Winston accountable. Because if he can, he'll go down as the best quarterback to ever play at Florida State.