Last year, Jameis Winston led the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to their first winning season (9-7) since 2010. This year, Winston wants to take the next step. He wants to win the NFC South and make the playoffs.

And he’s working to make that happen.

“He definitely seized the leadership. This is definitely his team now,” Tampa Bay Times sportswriter Greg Auman said on CBS Sports Radio’s After Hours with Amy Lawrence. “Maybe that first year (he) was a little apprehensive as a rookie, still kind of yielding to the veteran players in the locker room. But last year, this was very much his team.”



Winston has thrown for 4,000 yards in back-to-back seasons. Last year, he threw for 28 touchdowns and 18 interceptions. This year, he wants more of the former and fewer of the latter.

“He’s a guy that’s at the center of every huddle,” Auman said. “He’s certainly their emotional leader, a very good motivational guy. It’s hard to command authority when you’re 23 years old and most of the guys in the locker room have much more experience than you do, but this is his team, definitely. I think there’s other leaders on this team, but he’s a guy that’s going to fire them up, he’s a guy that’s going to inspire people, and now has had enough success where I think he’s helping them get free agents that want to play with a young quarterback that’s on the rise.”

Tampa Bay’s initial opener against Miami was suspended due to Hurricane Irma. The Bucs will open the season this Sunday at home against Chicago (0-1) at 1 p.m. ET.

Listen Live