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Is Jameis Winston Worth the Trouble?

Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston rolls out to pass late in the second half of an NCAA college football game against Notre Dame in Tallahassee, Fla., Saturday, Oct. 18, 2014. Florida State won 31-27. (AP Photo/Mark Wallheiser)
Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston rolls out to pass late in the second half of an NCAA college football game against Notre Dame in Tallahassee, Fla., Saturday, Oct. 18, 2014. Florida State won 31-27. (AP Photo/Mark Wallheiser)

 

(Sports Illustrated) – Don Brown had just spent an hour inside the Boston College defensive film room, dissecting the performance of Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston in their Nov. 22 game in Tallahassee. Brown, 59, has been a college defensive coordinator or a head coach since 1984. He’s been in charge of defenses in the ACC and the Big East for the past six years. Basically, Brown, who coined the “Be a dude” mantra that has popularized Steve Addazio’s program on the recruiting trails, has coached and defended a bunch of dudes in his time.

Brown’s frustration was apparent as he pointed out the array of coverage and pressure packages the Eagles threw at the 2013 Heisman Trophy winner. They didn’t beat themselves that day: just one blown coverage, a few missed tackles and containment problems here and there. Jameis Winston beat them. The 20-year-old redshirt sophomore completed 22 of 32 passes for 281 yards, one touchdown and one interception in a 20–17 victory. It was another close call for the Seminoles, who have won 27 straight games since Winston became the starter in 2013—the last four by five points or less.

But there’s one more play Brown wants to review on his desktop computer before he calls it a night. “Let me see if I can pull it up for you,” he says. “It’s worth seeing.” With help from a coaching intern (football coaches always need assistance with technology), he calls up a play from BC’s 2013 matchup with the ’Noles, Winston’s fourth collegiate start.

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