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Lovie Smith content with Jameis Winston being a 'game manager'

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Jameis Winston outduels Drew Brees for first victory, game ball (1:40)

ESPN NFL Nation reporters Jeremy Fowler, Pat Yasinskas and Mike Triplett hand out game balls after the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' 26-19 upset over the New Orleans Saints in the Superdome. (1:40)

TAMPA, Fla. -- After Sunday’s victory in New Orleans, Tampa Bay rookie quarterback Jameis Winston referred to himself as a game manager.

Coach Lovie Smith said Monday that he’ll be happy if Winston fills that job description.

“That’s not a bad thing,’’ Smith said. “I think every quarterback should be a good game manager. We’re not going to run the ball 60 times and ask him to only play-action pass. We want to establish the run and from there it opens up everything else. When he’s played 15 years for us here and you ask him that question, I would like for him to say, 'Hey, I’m really managing that game well.' That’s a good thing.’’

Against the Saints, Winston completed 14 of 21 passes for 207 yards while throwing one touchdown pass and running for another score. Those might not be huge numbers, but they are good enough when Smith’s system runs the way it’s supposed to. That was a huge improvement from Week 1 when the Bucs were blown out, 42-14, by Tennessee.

“He won the game,’’ Smith said. “He managed it fairly well. Not fairly well. We wanted to see improvement from last week and we saw that. He had had a good week of practice last week. He prepared to play a better game like our football team did.’’

Winston’s resilience has been something the Bucs have been impressed by all along and Smith said Sunday’s performance was an example of that.

“It was good to see,’’ Smith said. “But Jameis, that’s who he is a little bit. When there’s disappointment, you just assume that a young player it’s overwhelming to him and that’s just not the case. That’s what we’ve seen throughout with him. When he’s had a day that is not as good as he would like, he comes back from it quickly. It’s good to see him do that.’’