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Jameis Winston has dismal debut for Buccaneers

TAMPA, Fla. -- One of the main reasons the Tampa Bay Buccaneers selected Jameis Winston with the first overall pick was because they thought he was the most NFL-ready quarterback in the draft.

Think again. Winston didn’t look anything close to ready in his debut, a 42-14 loss to the Tennessee Titans. To make matters worse, he was totally outplayed by Marcus Mariota, the second overall pick in the draft.

Mariota, you may recall, was the one whose NFL readiness was being questioned in the months leading into the draft. The knock was that Mariota played in a spread offense at Oregon and that it would take time -- maybe years -- for him to become a good NFL quarterback.

But Mariota was ready right from the start Sunday. He threw four touchdown passes in the first half.

Winston, who played in a pro-style offense at Florida State, was supposed to make a smooth transition to the NFL. He didn't. It started with Winston's first pass and didn't get much better.

"Jameis didn't play well," Bucs coach Lovie Smith said. "That's what he'll tell you."

Winston's first throw was picked off by Coty Sensabaugh and returned 26 yards for a Tennessee touchdown.

"That first drive killed us," Winston said.

Winston also had a pass intercepted by linebacker Deiontrez Mount that led to a Tennessee touchdown late in the first half.

Winston wasn't pressured on either interception. He never looked comfortable as he completed 16 of 33 passes for 210 yards and two touchdowns and was sacked four times. It just goes to show that what people think in the draft process isn't always true.

Winston needs to have a short memory. He needs to put this disaster behind him in a hurry and get ready for the New Orleans Saints next Sunday. If there isn't sudden improvement, it's going to be a long season for the Bucs.

"The thing is, we’re going to bounce back," Winston said. "It's just one game. It's something to learn from. We will get better. I will perform better."

Winston said the loss won't shake his confidence.

"Confidence has never been a thing for me," Winston said. "I'm always going to be confident. It's just one game. I always can bounce back. This is not the end of the world. We have to get better and keep improving."