According to reports, Jameis Winston has been a breath of fresh air for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He shakes hands, he shows up to practice early, he’s grasping everything, and he’s being the superstar everybody predicted he would be.

According to reports.

What’s the real story?

“He’s a superstar everybody wants him to be because he’s the first pick,” former Buccaneer and current Fox Sports NFL analyst Ronde Barber said on Tiki and Tierney. “Whether he is all those things or isn’t, the fact is, he’s the No. 1 pick in the NFL Draft, so anything that he does is going to be expounded upon and looked at. But the reality is, he’s a rookie quarterback – and like many rookie quarterbacks, he’s going to go through that learning curve. Just the little bit that I’ve seen him in OTAs and in minicamps, he gives you spectacular, but he also gives you the rookie (mistakes).

“But what I will say about him is he plays with zero fear,” Barber continued. “He’ll let go of any ball. I’ve played against guys that have supreme confidence in themselves and their ability to make plays. He’s one of those guys. You can already see it. He has no fear of letting the ball go.”

The same can be said for Tom Brady – even if his balls are a little under-inflated. What should happen with Deflategate going forward?

“What should happen, in my opinion, is this should all go away,” Barber said. “In my personal opinion, this is a non-story that has turned into an offseason worth of press. If Tom Brady goes down for however many games his suspension is upheld, every other quarterback in the league needs to take the same suspension. I know for a fact that other teams manipulate footballs.

“Now, we can get into the science of this and whether the results were false or whether they made a mistake in the readings or (whether) they made (this) up . . . just to satisfy convicting Tom Brady,” Barber continued. “But to me, this is a non-story. So when they go into his appeal, I’m sure they’re going to come (out) throwing everything at Goodell. And Goodell, if he’s smart, he makes this go away – because Bob Kraft and the New England Patriots completely laid on the sword of Tom Brady, I think. They’re giving up a draft pick (and $1 million) without being proven guilty. . . . To me, this should go away.”

Barber was also asked for his thoughts on the latest plot twist in the Pete Rose saga, a storyline that has endured for more than a quarter of a century.

“He was a great baseball player,” Barber said. “There’s facts, and then there’s opinions. The fact is, Pete Rose was a great baseball player. Now, do you like him personally? Do you agree with some of the things he did as a player or manager? You might have an opinion about that, but to me, it’s about the facts – and the facts are he’s great.”


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