Winston seeks to stay ‘Mellow in the madness,’

Published 11:14 am Thursday, September 22, 2022

By John DeShazier

The New Orleans Saints

Jameis Winston called it remaining “mellow in the madness,” and he said he didn’t do enough of it against Tampa Bay in in the New Orleans Saints’ 20-10 loss.

Subscribe to our free email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

“I will do a better job of staying mellow in the madness,” he said Wednesday during his weekly session with the media.

“(It’s) preparation. Just staying there. Building triggers to not really get too high or too low.”

The New Orleans Saints quarterback will have his next opportunity to apply his method Sunday against the Carolina Panthers (0-2) at Bank of America Field in Charlotte, N.C.

Dating to last season, the Panthers have lost nine consecutive games. But the Saints (1-1) are coming off one in which interceptions on three consecutive fourth-quarter possessions swung the outcome. Winston said impatience was a major factor on two of them.

“That was the big thing,” he said. “The one to (receiver) Jarvis (Landry, resulting in a 68-yard return for a touchdown) was impatient – I have a check-down right over the middle. And the one to (tight end) Juwan (Johnson, resulting in a short-field field goal), that was impatient. I had another check-down right over the middle.

“The shot to (receiver) Chris (Olave, an interception in the end zone), we can live with those. The corner made a good play, it didn’t give them good field position. But the ones that give them good field position to get points on the board, and one of them ended up in points, we can’t have those.”

Winston’s three interceptions equaled the amount he threw in his first eight starts with the Saints, but he said he felt the offense is close to finding a groove.

“I think every week there’s going to be something that we can work on, but I feel like we’re starting to kind of gather an identity of what some of our guys do best,” he said. “We can start putting that in moving forward.

“The more we get a feel of having all our pieces – we had a big piece last week that wasn’t with us, with (running back) Alvin (Kamara), so much of our offense revolves around him and his unique skill set as well – the more games we get together, the more practices we all get together, it will be beneficial for all of us.”

Winston also was sacked six times against Tampa Bay, raising to 10 the number of times he has been sacked this season, but protection wasn’t the issue.

“I felt it was outstanding, both games,” he said. “When you’ve got to throw the ball a lot, these guys get beads on what you’re doing and they’re able to rush different. I think Tampa has a good defense, I think Atlanta had a good plan for us. But our offensive line is solid. I’ve got to do a better job of getting ball out of my hands and avoiding some of those hits.”

All of that, he said, is part of finding a way to stay mellow in the madness.

“You stick to what gets you through every week – preparation and execution,” Winston said. “Trying to find a way to build on the positives – there were some good things – and eliminate the negatives. When you think about last game, it was one negative, a terrible fourth quarter. Other than that, we took care of the football in the early quarters, but the last quarter, I’ve got to do better from that aspect.”

ON THE MEND: The Saints had a lengthy list of players (nine) on the injury report, but each was listed with a limited participation designation. Notably, Kamara (ribs) was on the field after missing last game with his injury, and cornerback Paulson Adebo (ankle) participated for the first time this season after suffering his injury prior to the last preseason game against the Chargers. Also, receiver Tre’Quan Smith (shoulder) removed the red, non-contact jersey Wednesday after wearing the red jersey last week.

THIS CLOSE: Winston targeted Olave 13 times against Tampa Bay, with five connections for 80 yards. Several were incomplete deep throws. “Just gotta be more accurate,” Winston said. “Just give him a chance to make a play. But we’re going to get that fixed.

“I felt like he won his matchups. I felt I just didn’t get him the ball.”