Lovie Smith calls Jameis Winston 'exceptional' after rookie's 5-TD game

TAMPA, Fla. -- Jameis Winston threw five touchdown passes in routing the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday, but Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Lovie Smith isn't shocked by anything the rookie does anymore.

"I haven't been around a lot of rookie quarterbacks," Smith said Monday. "But I have been around a few -- a few that have done a good job. Jameis is exceptional, though. Nothing is really surprising me that he's doing."

Winston tied the record for passing touchdowns in a game by a rookie during Sunday's victory, matching Matthew Stafford (2009) and Ray Buivid (1937). Winston threw touchdowns to five different receivers on an afternoon when he completed 19 of 29 passes for 246 yards and had a season-high 131.6 passer rating.

"Every day I step on that field, I think it's going to be a special day," Winston said Sunday. "We just turned it up, and we played better than they did from an offensive line standpoint. They took control of that line of scrimmage. When you control the line of scrimmage -- it's hard to beat a team that's controlling the line of scrimmage."

Beyond the touchdown passes, Winston continued to show discipline from the pocket Sunday. He went without an interception for the sixth game this season. He has only thrown two interceptions since tossing four picks in a loss to the Carolina Panthers in Week 4.

"I think you guys have pretty much gotten the same message every time I've talked about Jameis," Smith said. "We see him in more and more situations, and it seems like each week he shows us something we haven't seen. I think it's going to be that way."

If Winston enjoys similar success in the coming weeks, the NFL record for passing touchdowns by a rookie in a season could be within reach. Peyton Manning (1998) and Russell Wilson (2012) both had 26, and Winston has 15 with six games left.

"When you are a football junkie like that and you just are constantly working on making adjustments, acknowledging what has happened, [understanding] what you need to do better, you see results like that," Smith said.