Skip to main content

Fixing Jameis Winston’s Picks Can’t Be as Simple as LASIK Eye Surgery, Right?

In Thursday’s Hot Clicks: Jameis Winston gets his eyes fixed, how elementary school Justin Herbert predicted his future and more.

Now he can throw picks to guys he sees clear as day

Jameis Winston is getting a fresh start in 2020. He has a new team (the Saints), a new job (backup) and new eyes (repaired with laser beams). 

Winston, speaking reporters Wednesday for the first time since signing with New Orleans, said he decided to undergo LASIK eye surgery in February to fix his nearsightedness and astigmatism and has been pleased with the results. 

“I can read license plates. I can read street signs,” Winston told reporters. “I think the precision in the vision is the biggest difference.”

Winston said his vision was imperfect before, but it wasn’t that bad. Still, he’s seeing significant improvements since the surgery. 

“No blurriness, and I think that’s huge,” Winston said. “Depth perception has increased tremendously and those are the big things. I didn’t have bad eyes, I just had astigmatism. I had certain things that they had to fix to increase the precision and the sharpness of my vision.”

Incredibly, Winston hasn’t really done much to address his vision in the past. 

“He can’t read the scoreboard, but he can see the guys in front of him, so he’s fine,” Bucs coach Bruce Arians said last year. That’s because Winston doesn’t wear contacts, although Arians said he’d sometimes wear goggles in practice. 

Anyone who watched Winston last year would have thought he was half-blind. He threw a league-high 30 interceptions, tied for the seventh-most in an NFL season and the most since Brett Favre’s 29 in 2005. 

But Winston’s eyes can’t be blamed for all those picks (and he hasn’t said that, either, though some media members are wondering how the surgery might improve his game). He’s been dealing with sub-par vision since he was at Florida State, where he threw 10 interceptions in his first season and 18 in his last. Even in the NFL, his reputation may be as a turnover machine but his interception totals in his first four seasons were 15, 18, 11 and 14. That’s a still a lot of picks—especially 14 in just nine starts in 2018—but it’s not 30. 

Thirty interceptions is an insane number. It’s possible improved vision would help that number come down a bit, although it’s not going to magically fix him. Maybe the combination of better eyes and learning behind Drew Brees will help Jameis become a quality starter. Or maybe he’ll just be able to see cornerbacks grinning when he throws up a duck. 

The best of SI

If the NFL keeps saying the season will go on as usual, why are league employees taking pay cuts? ... How elite athletes are dealing with the psychological toll of the pandemic. ... Why the NFL expanding its deal with Amazon is bad news for fans.

Around the sports world

They’re playing baseball in Taiwan and 48-year-old Manny Ramirez says he wants to play. ... ESPN is going to let fantasy football players deploy Taysom Hill at tight end. ... Baseball Hall of Famer Andre Dawson now owns a funeral home and spoke about how difficult that is right now. ... Victor Cruz says he’s “haunted” by that photo the Giants receivers took on the boat. ... Ken Burns isn’t happy that ESPN looped in Michael Jordan’s production company for The Last Dance. ... John Smoltz shared a few great stories about playing golf with his teammates.

It’s almost as if he wanted to help out the owners by making a gesture that might give the league some good PR if people don’t think too hard about it

Way to instill confidence in the team

Favorite team: Chargers football

The dog’s reaction is the best

After making just 68% of his field goals last year?

Not sports

A 66-million-year-old fossil of a badger like animal challenges scientists’ ideas about prehistoric mammals. ... Beer and soda production is being negatively impacted by the decreased demand for gasoline. ... A driver in Michigan was busted going 180 mph on a lockdown-emptied highway. ... Due to the pandemic, Georgia teens no long need to pass a road test to get a driver’s license. They just need a parent to say it’s cool

It’s equal parts disturbing and cute

Even his fake teeth were jacked up

Anne Hathaway made a big mistake when she auditioned for The Dark Knight Rises

A good song

Email with any feedback or follow me on Twitter for approximately one half-decent baseball joke per week. Bookmark this page to see previous editions of Hot Clicks and find the newest edition every day. By popular request I’ve made a Spotify playlist of the music featured here. Visit our Extra Mustard page throughout each day for more offbeat sports stories.