TAMPA, Fla. -- Tampa Bay Buccaneers offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter had heard coaches rave about how their quarterbacks could process information in college. But when those players reach the NFL, Koetter saw some of those same quarterbacks struggle.
That has not been the case with Bucs rookie Jameis Winston, who Koetter admits has amazed him this season.
"That was one of the things [FSU coach Jimbo Fisher] told me, 'You're going to be amazed by this guy,' and I'm kind of thinking to myself, 'Yeah, yeah, yeah, I've heard this before,'" Koetter said Wednesday. "Jameis is unbelievable in how quick he can look at a game plan, take it out on the field and just [go through it] on a walk-through -- it really is impressive."
Winston's growth was on display when Tampa Bay played at Philadelphia two weeks ago. During the first couple of series, there were times when the wireless communication system between Koetter and Winston went down. Instead of burning a timeout, the rookie recalled the playlist the team had worked on during the week, noticed the personnel grouping and called the plays without a hitch.
Winston's first completion, a 16-yarder to tight end Cameron Brate, was done without Koetter's help. Winston finished the day with a career-high five touchdown passes.
"That's one thing that has amazed me, and I'm not easily amazed," Koetter continued. "That has really amazed me about how fast he can pick things up. It's not just lip service when he gets up there and talks about learning and getting better. He is really into it and he's a fast learner.
"I don't know if surprised is the right word," Koetter said of Winston's development. "Happy is probably a better word. I'm very happy."
After throwing seven interceptions and six touchdowns in his first four games, Winston threw for 10 touchdowns and three interceptions over the next seven games.
Winston is not ready to heap praise upon himself. There will be time to reflect after the season.
"During the season my goal is just to try to put us in position to win," Winston said Wednesday. "I really don't focus on myself. I focus on this team and what we need to do to be the best we can possibly be."