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Lovie Smith: Defense must keep pressure off Jameis Winston

TAMPA, Fla. -- ESPN's Ron Jaworski is in town Friday for SportsCenter and he laid out his thoughts on what to expect from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this season.

Jaworski suggested the Bucs will rely on a strong running game and a good defense to go with rookie quarterback Jameis Winston. Jaworski also said he expects Winston to get 20 to 22 pass attempts per game. Coach Lovie Smith didn't disagree.

“I’ve had a rookie quarterback before [Kyle Orton in Chicago],’’ Smith said. “You have to take that approach and that’s why we are putting more pressure on the defense to play at a certain level. Our running game, Doug Martin has had an outstanding camp along with Charles Sims. [Offensive coordinator] Dirk Koetter and I have spent a lot of time together and we’re on the same page of how we’re going to win football games.’’

Smith said he’s been pleased with what he has seen out of Winston so far.

“It’s been all good,’’ Smith said. “Keep in mind, he’s a rookie so you have to taper it a little bit. We’ve thrown a lot at him. Mentally, he’s picked things up. He’s become one of the guys. That takes a lot to move into that leadership role as you develop into a leader. But, then, it’s about the play on the field. As a rookie, there will be some down days and we hope a whole lot of ups.’’