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Thumbs up for Jameis Winston so far

TAMPA, Fla. -- A quick observation of Buccaneers first-round pick Jameis Winston and how he has played through three weeks of training camp.

Winston was efficient in limited action in Monday night’s 25-11 victory against the Cincinnati Bengals.

“I thought Jameis Winston was outstanding with his play,’’ coach Lovie Smith said.

Winston completed 8 of 13 passes for 90 yards and ran for a touchdown before leaving the game early in the second quarter. On his last play, Winston tripped and fell. He limped slightly as he left the field, but Smith said there was no injury.

“It was a tough fall he took there,’’ Smith said. “But that was just a coach’s decision on my part. I thought we saw enough of him. I felt he did some good things. I felt like that was the perfect time to take him out. But if we needed him to play, he would have gone back in the game the next series.’’

Winston was much sharper against the Bengals than he was in the preseason opener against Minnesota. That shouldn’t come as a big surprise because Winston had an excellent week of practice leading into the game.

Winston repeatedly has said his goal is to improve every day. It sounds cliché, but that is exactly what Winston has been doing.

If Winston can play like he did against Cincinnati in the regular season, the Bucs are going to be happy with the first overall pick in the draft. Against the Bengals, the Bucs gave Winston plenty of help with the running game and a defense that forced three first-half turnovers.

That’s the formula Smith followed when he had success in his days in Chicago. If the Bucs can keep the pressure off Winston in the regular season, he could put together a big rookie year.