Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Lovie Smith says team is “comfortable” with who top prospect Jameis Winston is despite off-the-field issues

By SI Wire
April 30, 2015

Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Lovie Smith said he is comfortable with the person that top draft prospect Jameis Winston is several off-field issues while he was at Florida State.

Tampa Bay has the No. 1 overall pick in the 2015 NFL draft and could select Winston.

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“We feel comfortable who Jameis Winston is, what he's done and what we think he will do in the future as much as anything,” Smith told the Tampa Bay Times. "We would not bring in a player that we didn't feel like we could handle or be a productive part of society and our football team. Our research shows that he can do that.”

Winston was accused of sexual assault by a female Florida State student in December 2012. Authorities did not file charges, citing a lack of evidence. He was later cleared by Florida State after a student conduct hearing.

He also was cited for stealing crab legs from a Tallahassee grocery store and was suspended for one game last season when he was seen yelling obscenities in the Florida State student union.

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Smith said before the NFL scouting combine in February that he was comfortable making Winston the face of the franchise.

"Jameis will be the first guy to tell you he hasn't made great choices all the time, but it's a learning process,” Smith said, according to the Tampa Bay Times. "I have looked him in the eye. We've had a chance to get a lot more information, and I'm very comfortable with Jameis if he is the guy.”

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