Bucs weigh in on Jameis Winston's comments about winning mindset

TAMPA, Fla. -- Following his team's 38-10 season-ending loss to the Carolina Panthers Sunday, an emotional Jameis Winston said Tampa Bay Buccaneers coaches cared more than some players.

A day later, Winston wasn't backing down from his statement, reiterating that the club needs a winning mindset.

While his teammates didn't necessarily agree with their rookie quarterback, head coach Lovie Smith understood Winston's comments.

"I haven't seen all of what you said, but I know probably the way Jameis started off is by talking about what he can do better next year," Smith said. "And as he came to me that's how our conversation went: 'Coach, what can I do better, what do I need to do better, how do you see me and where do you see me?'

"Being a leader is a challenge," Smith said. "It is a challenge to everybody to raise their standard -- players, coaches, everybody in the organization. I assume that's what Jameis said."

The Bucs lost their last four games to finish 6-10. Following Sunday's loss, Winston unloaded.

"If our coaches weren't on our butt, we wouldn't have won six games," he said. "I guarantee you there are some of our coaches that want it more than some of our players. And that is the bad part. Our coaches want it. They want it. I guarantee you they are up there working hours; [they] don't even get to see their families. So I'm not here to talk about coaches. I know our coaches want it.

"We need to get our guys to put in the work like our coaches put in and that's how you are going to be successful."

Cornerback Alterraun Verner didn't hear Winston's remarks. While he didn't agree with the rookie, he said the team had to improve.

"I don't think it's like that at all," Verner said of coaches caring more than the players. "But at the end of the day, when you are losing and you're not where you want to be, everybody has got to do some soul searching, everybody has got to dig deep down and try to figure out what they can do better to try to get this team over the hump. So I mean, just from a losing standpoint, that's what you've got to do."

Winston said he didn't question the players' desires. He just doesn't want to have the feeling of not making the playoffs again.

"I know everyone on this team wants to win. It's just the way that you do it," Winston said. "It's about preparation and having that mindset of I want to win at all costs. That has to be developed and that has to be molded.

"It starts with actions," Winston said. "We have to have a good offseason. ... If we are really serious about winning here [and] if we're serious about changing the culture, we will dedicate ourselves in the offseason so we can be successful."