Sources in New Orleans Saints report that James Winston starts quarterback in the first week

Sources in New Orleans Saints report that James Winston starts quarterback in the first week

Meteri, Los Angeles – James Winston He officially got his second chance.

Sources told ESPN’s Adam Shifter Friday that Winston, 27, will be the New Orleans Saints quarterback starting in week one when they host the Green Bay Packers.

It will be Winston’s first start since the Tampa Bay Buccaneers decided to move from him after the 2019 season. It will be an opportunity for the former Heisman Cup winner and 2015 first draft pick to revive his career after being derailed by turnarounds in Tampa.

Meanwhile, the Saints will try to prove they can remain competitive in the playoffs in the wake of Drew Brees’ retirement. It will be the first time in 16 years that someone other than Brees has entered the season as a QB starter in New Orleans.

“I’d love to carry that torch from him,” Winston said earlier this year when he was talking about how much it meant to spend last season as Bryce’s backup. “I would like to be able to provide the excitement, joy, and resilience he gave this city.”

Winston got this chance by outperforming his fellow backup saints Tsum Hill In the pre-season. The two split first-team representatives evenly during training camp and their first two cross matches. But Winston made the decision easier with a dynamic performance in Monday night’s win over the Jacksonville Jaguars – he completed 9 of 10 passes for 123 yards and two deep touches for the receiver. Marquis Callaway.

Hill, 31, went all out to become a full-time player early in the season after going 3-1 as a rookie last year while filling in for the injured Preys. Hill reduced his weight and tailored his off-season workouts to specifically fit QB’s situation. But it seems likely that the Saints will now want to continue using Hill’s versatility as a QB/RB/WR/TE reading option after he’s been so special in that role for the past three years.

Winston went to 28-42 as a start with the Buccaneers from 2015-2019, completing 61.3% of his passes with 19,737 yards, 121 touchdowns and 88 interceptions. He showed some dynamic highs and lows during that time – especially in 2019 in his first year under coach Bruce Aryan. That year, Winston led the league with 5,109 yards, but he also became the first quarterback in NFL history to throw at least 30 touchdown passes and 30 interceptions in the same season.

Turnovers were the biggest hurdle for Winston, with the league’s highest total counting 111 from 2015 to 2019.

But Winston has made decision-making a priority for the past two years. He said that was the number one thing he learned from Brees – focusing on the right decision in every moment rather than trying to force a big outcome.

So far, this approach appears to be paying off. Intercepts have been a rarity for Winston for the past four weeks in practice, although he has one that has bounced off the receiver’s hand. Lil Jordan Humphrey On a slightly covered deep ball in the season opener.

Winston initially signed a one-year deal with the Saints in 2020 worth just $1.1 million plus incentives – precisely because he wanted to learn under Payton, Bryce and offensive coordinator Pete Carmichael Jr.

He signed another one-year deal this year worth a guaranteed $5.5 million — plus another $7 million in potential stimulus that he now has a better chance of accessing.

Winston’s start in New Orleans’ second pre-season game was his first-ever start for the Saints as there was no pre-season last year. Next, he acknowledged how special this opportunity was for him.

“I was just grateful,” said Winston. “These opportunities don’t come often. A whole year of not starting a football match.” “That’s what I said in our team prayer, like, ‘Lord, thank you for this opportunity.’…He’s the one who did it, the Lord did it for me. And I missed it man. I missed going there and leading the group. That’s fun. This is fun stuff.”

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