Bucs used smart process with Jameis Winston

TAMPA, Fla. – In naming Jameis Winston as his starting quarterback Friday, Buccaneers coach Lovie Smith mentioned the “process’’ the team used in getting the rookie quarterback ready.

That process was slow and deliberate. But you have to give the Bucs credit for having a plan and sticking to it. Since the moment Winston was drafted, the Bucs wanted him to be their starting quarterback when they open the regular season against Tennessee.

But the Bucs went slowly with Winston, the first overall pick in the draft, during their offseason program. They gave third-year pro Mike Glennon most of the first-team reps.

There was a reason for that. The Bucs didn’t want to overwhelm Winston by immediately putting him with the first team. They wanted to give him a chance to sit back and watch Glennon run through the playbook.

As the offseason program went on, the Bucs gradually started giving Winston some first-team reps.

“I feel strongly about this," Smith said. “We feel like we’ve let Jameis go through a process in the offseason, getting limited reps and working with both groups. We put him in that position, but eventually you have to put them in the lead position and let them go."

With training camp starting Saturday, now is the time to put Winston in that lead position. He already has a firm grasp of the offense and has built some chemistry with wide receivers Mike Evans and Vincent Jackson.

Now he has a full training camp to polish his game. The Bucs took a slow approach with Winston. But, when it counts, the process they used has their rookie quarterback ready to start.