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Jameis Winston will have to earn starting role with Buccaneers

Marcus Mariota Edges Jameis Winston in Monthly NFL Jersey Sales

Jameis Winston may have been the first pick of the NFL Draft, but the Buccaneers are going to make him earn the starting quarterback job in Tampa.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers made a decided move to the future by drafting Jameis Winston with the first overall pick of the 2015 NFL Draft and many assumed that it meant the future would start in Week 1, with Winston behind center as the team's starting quarterback. However, Bucs coach Lovie Smith has him cutting his teeth like any other rookie in camp.

For Winston, that meant the former Heisman Trophy winner was taking snaps with the second team on Thursday while incumbent quarterback Mike Glennon was working with the first team, according to Paul Yasinskas of ESPN. While that would lead the media and fan base into speculating that Winston is destined for clipboard duty, Smith was also quick to point out that he's just making sure that Winston is earning his spot and that Glennon is getting a fair shake.

"Jameis and everybody else, you've got to earn your position. Jameis is getting his first-team reps," Smith said. "You guys are here on Thursday. There's Wednesday, and he was with the first group then, so don't look too much into that. We just want the guys that we think can play to get reps, and we want them to work with a lot of different combinations. Jameis is right on schedule. We're not disappointed or anything like that."

That's important to the development of Winston long-term, and so far the rookie has been the model of teamwork since being drafted by the Bucs. He's been the first to arrive at practice and he's been working hard at changing the misconceptions in regards to his personality. That includes his acceptance of having to earn his role with the team.

"I never was given anything in my life," Winston said. "The way I was brought up, I always had to earn everything. The main thing is to earn the respect of all these players out here. Just watching Mike and seeing the things he does, I'm trying to peek at everything that he has because he's been doing great."

Of course, there's a lot of time for Winston to cement his role with the team, and given the Bucs investment in him, Jameis Winston will be given every change to earn that job. If he keeps walking the line, saying the right things, and growing on the practice field, he'll do just that.

(h/t ESPN)

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