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ROSE BOWL GAME: OREGON v FLORIDA STATE


December 29, 2014


Jameis Winston


PASADENA, CALIFORNIA

JAMEIS WINSTON:  Good morning!

Q.  You've been in this situation before.  What does it feel like?
JAMEIS WINSTON:  We just excited to be back.  What we did last year was last year, this is a new year.  It's going to be on new years, actually so it's going to be a fun time.

Q.  You know what it's like from last year.  This year you've learned what it's like to be back, what perspective does that give you?
JAMEIS WINSTON:  We can do it all.  Last year people challenged us saying we couldn't win a close game but this year we have won a couple close games, so I just gotta give it out to this football team that past two years we've been dominating.

Q.  People don't understand how difficult it is to shuffle positions.  Talk about that.
JAMEIS WINSTON:  Well, Cam is one of the main leaders on the offensive line and the offensive line is pretty old, we got four seniors but I think for them to be able to set Rod Johnson as a true freshman is more important because it shows their true leadership and getting a guy that's coming in fresh to play with them.

Q.  (No microphone.)
JAMEIS WINSTON:  No, it didn't.  We always had a chip on our shoulder because we always trying to go out there and win and play our best.

Q.  Winning an SEC (No microphone.)
JAMEIS WINSTON:  I feel like we were loose the whole season, because we enjoy this game of football and it's more about how we play than more about the win or lose factor but I think we can persevere when we are down and we're able to come back and I think our will to win is very strong.

Q.  (No microphone.)
JAMEIS WINSTON:  Because he's special.  Dalvin has been blessed.

Q.  What's special about him?
JAMEIS WINSTON:  His vision, his speed, he dominates that.  When he has the ball in his hand, he knows how to tote that rock and that's very hard to find.  We got some other packs, Karlos and Mario Pender that can do the same and they allowed Dalvin to come in and take the shine, so I gotta give it to them.

Q.  (No microphone.)
JAMEIS WINSTON:  Well, that's just confidence in my team.  I know they got my back and they know I got their back.  So they follow me.  I'm their leader, and, you know, I think my confidence rubs off on them because I believe we can win anytime in the game.  We've been fortunate that we won every game this season.

Q.  (No microphone.)
JAMEIS WINSTON:¬† I just play football.¬† At the end of the day, both of us are good players on the football field and that's what we focus on.¬† He's a great guy, and I'm a great guy, too, so we just gonna have a great match‑up on the first.

Q.  (No microphone.)
JAMEIS WINSTON:  Well, I can't really control what other people think.  I know who I am.  The guys in the locker room know who I am and people not involved with our family don't know who I am so like I said, perception is reality.

Q.  (No microphone.)
JAMEIS WINSTON:  It doesn't matter.  It's a football game, you know?  At the end of the day, under dogs and people that's favored doesn't matter because at the end of the day both of us gotta lineup.

Q.  What's your timetable for making the NFL team?
JAMEIS WINSTON:  I'm not thinking about that, my timetable is focused on beating Oregon and winning the National Championship.

Q.  (No microphone.)
JAMEIS WINSTON:  I deal with the best secondary in the country.  I face P.J. Williams, Ronald Darby, Jalen Ramsey every day and Tyler Hunter, so we don't worry about that, we just worry about what we do as an offense and how we can excel against their defense.

Q.  What challenges do they present?
JAMEIS WINSTON:  I believe they're the best DBs in the country and when you facing against those guys and they jam your guys up at the line it helps our receivers out and our offense out, because for them to be able to lock down everybody, you know, it's fun.

Q.  (No microphone.)
JAMEIS WINSTON:  You know, it doesn't matter what people want.  We can't give people what they want all the time, but I just gotta give it to this team.  I believe our team is so special, it's hard to go two undefeated regular seasons.  We're so blessed to have a great coach like Coach Fisher that keeps motivating us and that keeps pushing us to the right place.

Q.  Jameis, do you think the country appreciates what you have done, you guys won 29 in a row?
JAMEIS WINSTON:  Like I say, I don't care.  It's not my job to care about what people say about us.  My job is to lead this football team, and what we've done in the past two years has been special, and I think people should recognize that, but at the end of the day, you know, we all end up playing football, we not trying to be celebrities.

Q.  You mentally know that you've got a bulls eye on your back every single game.  With that in mind, how does being undefeated affect that?
JAMEIS WINSTON:  Being undefeated can be difficult at times because everyone is going to bring you their A game, but that's the beauty of football.  When you know you're going to get everyone's best, that means you gotta bring it, too, and that's the special thing about this game is you got 11 brothers compared to baseball having 9, basketball 5, I don't know how many people hockey got but we got 11 brothers coming to war together and I got confidence in my brothers.

Q.  (No microphone.)
JAMEIS WINSTON:  I love both those sports.

Q.  Pick one.
JAMEIS WINSTON:  I can't pick one, honestly I grew up playing both.  During football season I love this game to the day I die and during baseball I'm a baseball guy.

Q.  Did you talk to Marriott at that after winning the Heisman?
JAMEIS WINSTON:  First time I talked to him was down here, I congratulated him and told him great job.

Q.  (No microphone.)  Talk about that relationship and how much of you wants to win a National Championship for him?
JAMEIS WINSTON:  That's what you do it for, for guys like him.  I love Rashad and he's been there for me a lot and he's one of my favorite wide receivers.  We played together last year, so I'm blessed just to have him in my life.  That's what we do it for those seniors on the offensive line, Nick O'Leary, at tight end, you do it for those seniors on defense, trying to send the guys out the right way because young guys like us, we can come back next year, it doesn't matter.  I mean we get a chance to redeem ourselves but for those guys it's their last chance to go out there and do something special.  Rashad has broke all the records, now all he needs is another National Championship.

Q.  (No microphone.)
JAMEIS WINSTON:¬† Well, he's just‑‑ he's an undescribable person.¬† I grew close to him during all of the events we were going through last year and I stayed at his house, I leaned on him, I looked at him as a brother.¬† My family wasn't down there, I don't have an older brother so he was there for me and he's my wide receiver, I wish I had a bigger offensive line, but he was there for me, that's good.

Q.  (No microphone.)
JAMEIS WINSTON:  I really don't look at the negative part of the falling back, I just look at the positive part of we always pulled it off.  That's the only part you can look at because when you having downs in a game, you can't live in the moment, you know, you gotta get better as the game goes on and that's what I believe we do.

Q.¬† If you guys went 5‑7 last year, now you're winning all these games coming back, do you think you would be perceived differently than the one that was‑‑
JAMEIS WINSTON:  Yeah, if we didn't blow out everybody last year and we were winning like we were this year they would call us winners, but since last year, I guess, you know, we got this perception about Florida State coming out there and winning big.  We still winin'.

Q.  Are you guys as good as you were last year?
JAMEIS WINSTON:  I believe we are because of the adversity that we have faced.  Last year we didn't get a chance to face that, other than the National Championship.  You think about it ever since the National Championship we been playing the exact same way so I think it's special that we can go out there and come back and get wins.

Q.  (No microphone.)
JAMEIS WINSTON:  I did.

Q.  Did it carry over, I guess?
JAMEIS WINSTON:  That's what it looks like.  It looks like that.

Q.  Based on all the great teams where does this team rank?
JAMEIS WINSTON:  Oregon?  They're a great team.  We really can't rank teams because you got to bring your A game, you got to think about Louisville's defense, Louisville had a great defense, you got to think about Florida's defense, Florida had a great defense and Oregon has a pretty good defense, too, I think they're probably one of the better offenses we may play but at the end of the day I'm not facing the offense.

Q.  (No microphone.)
JAMEIS WINSTON:¬† Well we know they have a great offense.¬† At the end of the day, we not thinking about‑‑ we gonna leave that to the defense and I got confidence in my defense so it's going to be our job to put points up on the board.

Q.  (No microphone.)
JAMEIS WINSTON:  I don't think we faced anyone similar.  Offensive side we faced Clemson, you know, and if you think about it, they're just like Georgia Tech, they keep that football and they're efficient so the clock is always running.
But defensivewise I don't think we faced anybody like that defensivewise.

Q.  What's going to be the key offensively?
JAMEIS WINSTON:  I can't speak on the defensive behalf but offensively we gotta be patient and score points, keep their offense off the field.

Q.  (No microphone.)
JAMEIS WINSTON:  They're a 10.  I believe they're ready.  I think this four weeks that we had to prepare and to get them on the right track has really advanced us as an offense together, because we needed those guys to come along.  We know they going to be trying to stop Rashad and Nick which is going to be hard but those young guys gotta come up and step up to the challenge.

Q.  (No microphone.)
JAMEIS WINSTON:  No, I don't have any concerns with my team.

Q.  (No microphone.)
JAMEIS WINSTON:  I'm not matching anyone.  I'm playing Florida State football.  My job is to lead my team to victory and his job is to do the same.

Q.  (No microphone.)
JAMEIS WINSTON:  No, because I'm not facing him, I'm facing his defense.  It's going to be a Florida team versus Oregon team not Jameis Winston versus Marcus Mariota at that.

Q.  (No microphone.)
JAMEIS WINSTON:  I don't think we can, because it's a different team.  The young guys, it's going to be their first time playing in this atmosphere and I believe it's going to be a disadvantage for us because there will be more Oregon fans here than anyone so it's going to be an away game for us, but we'll accept the challenge, man, we just want to get out there and play football.

Q.  You're an underdog in this game, is that motivation?
JAMEIS WINSTON:  That's all the motivation we need.

Q.  (No microphone.)
JAMEIS WINSTON:  I mean, I have to agree with Coach.  I believe we're a physical team, too.  It's going to be a great battle, and I can't wait to play in the game.  I'm just ready to play, man!

Q.  (No microphone.)
JAMEIS WINSTON:  I think the best thing about me is getting guys to play to different levels.  I believe I can get any guy on this football team to play at a higher level than what they're capable of.  When your production and your talent are equal, that makes you a great player.

Q.  (No microphone.)
JAMEIS WINSTON:¬† My mental toughness.¬† I believe I have a win‑win mentality and I try to put that in our players.

Q.  (No microphone.)
JAMEIS WINSTON:¬† Well, I grew up Ryan Cunningham, Michael Vick, Donavan McNabb just because their African American quarterbacks but I love Peyton Manning and Tom Brady and Aaron Rogers, even Drew Brees from that aspect, they make their whole organization better, that's what I want to do I want to make our whole team better, not just one player, not just one position, even walk‑ones, I just want to make them better.

Q.  (No microphone.)
JAMEIS WINSTON:  Well I don't call it a, "late season emergence," we just start getting the ball more at the end of the season because of injuries and that guy, he's is so special.  I cannot wait to see what he's going to do over the years, I just love handin' him the ball, sometimes I don't even care if I'm safe to see him run that ball.

Q.  (No microphone.)
JAMEIS WINSTON:  I don't know if Marcus is going to come back next year but Marcus, he's great.  He's a great person.  He's not going to find any trouble, anything like that, I mean, he's just a great person.

Q.  (No microphone.)
JAMEIS WINSTON:  Oh, yeah, I enjoy it.  It's pretty early, but, you know, anytime I can get a chance to give a shout out to my team, talk about this team in general, you know, I love my squad.
I believe we've overcame a lot of adversity and we always managed to find a way to win and any way I can you talk about these guys and how much I love them is a great opportunity for me.

Q.  (No microphone.)
JAMEIS WINSTON:  I love college football because you get to play more football games.  Anytime we get to play more games, I'm down for it.

Q.  (No microphone.)
JAMEIS WINSTON:¬† I talked to him briefly.¬† We had no in‑depth conversation, just chitchat.

Q.  (No microphone.)
JAMEIS WINSTON:  No, I don't text him.

Q.  (No microphone.)
JAMEIS WINSTON:  No, no, it's a football game.  At the end of the day we're going to have to lineup and play against each other, underdog.  If we repeat to win, still no difference, we still gotta play football and that's what we love to do.

Q.  (No microphone.)
JAMEIS WINSTON:  We got enough chips on our shoulder and if you want to add being an underdog to it we don't care about that, but we got a lot of stuff to motivate us to win this game, this is just a semifinal game, we want to get to the National Championship.

Q.  (No microphone.)
JAMEIS WINSTON:  Being patient, keeping the ball out of their offense's hands because we know they're dynamic and playing our game.  I believe if we play Florida State football, I don't turn the football over, we can win that game.

Q.  (No microphone.)
JAMEIS WINSTON:  Well, I don't think I had to.  I believe I did.  You know, that's just learning, learning things every day.  Gotta get better every day, I can't look back in the past.
I gotta keep this streak going, I didn't throw an interception in the Georgia Tech game so I gotta keep this streak goin'.

Q.  (No microphone.)
JAMEIS WINSTON:  It's been great.  We got to go to Disneyland.  Best thing was I got me a smoked turkey leg, it was delicious!  I love that thing, I need to get me another one before I leave!

Q.  Is there anything that you would like people to understand about you that they may not know from a distance?
JAMEIS WINSTON:  I can't get people to like me.  What they read or what they may see, it's them.  I can't control anyone's opinion.  Like I say, my family, this football family, everyone associated with us, they know me and people that have met me and actually talked to me, they know who I am.
I got to let my action speak louder than words because of past things, but, you know, I'm not going to let the past control my future.

Q.  Did you have a chance to talk to Marcus?
JAMEIS WINSTON:  Briefly.

Q.  What did you talk about?
JAMEIS WINSTON:  I just congratulated him, that's all.

Q.  If you could have one attribute that he has, what would it be?
JAMEIS WINSTON:  I mean, he has a lot of attributes, I can't think of one right now.

Q.  Talk about how good this team is, talk about the mental toughness.
JAMEIS WINSTON:  I think it's more of a perseverance, you know, and a will to win.  We got to have mental toughness, too, but if you look in the eyes of these guys and see that they want to win more than anything else and they hate losing, you know this football team.

Q.  (No microphone.)
JAMEIS WINSTON:  That's right, it's definitely Florida State's team.

Q.  You feel relaxed?
JAMEIS WINSTON:  Well, I'm always comfortable in this setting, because I'm here with my team.

Q.  Wish you the best!
JAMEIS WINSTON:  Thank you.

Q.  (No microphone.)
JAMEIS WINSTON:  Rashad is just a great person.  He's a "which I will" laid back guy on the field and he's a chilled, laid back guy off the field.  You can't do nothing but love that guy.  Like I said yesterday, I can't believe he's so under rated as he is because I believe he's one of the best receivers in college football.  He makes my job a lot easier.

Q.  (No microphone.)
JAMEIS WINSTON:  Well, Nick O'Leary is a great player.  He's another intangible that we got on this offense that people try to stop.  So I'm going to anticipate that Oregon is going to try to stop Nick O'Leary, they not going to just let him run all over the field.

Q.  (No microphone.)
JAMEIS WINSTON:  Teams have been trying to bracket Nick and Rashad all year.

Q.  How does he get out?
JAMEIS WINSTON:  You gotta ask Nick that question.

Q.  He doesn't talk a lot.
JAMEIS WINSTON:  I know he doesn't talk allot, that's one of his strong points, but he lets hiss actions speak.

Q.  (No microphone.)
JAMEIS WINSTON:  No, I don't worry about that.

Q.  (No microphone.)
JAMEIS WINSTON:  I don't worry about that.

Q.  Reggie Bush said he thinks you guys are more physical, do you believe that to be true?
JAMEIS WINSTON:  He's on the defensive side of the ball and I believe their defense is very physical and I haven't watched a lot of film on the offense but I believe Oregon has a great team and it's going to be a great battle all around.

Q.  What do you see about their guys scouting them?
JAMEIS WINSTON:  Huge, big defensive line, good secondary backers, even after their loss of their main corner back, I feel that he and 13 are the same, their technique is the same and they're similar to me.  It's just going to be a great game, we got a good offense, they have a good defense, we here to play football, you know?

Q.  (No microphone.)
JAMEIS WINSTON:¬† I think he carries himself the right way and he's fast!¬† I never seen anyone catch him from behind, and his routes are so crisp, his hands are so sure, he has the numbers, too, so I don't‑‑ I mean, I can't‑‑ I'm not an expert but I think he's pretty good.

Q.  (No microphone.)
JAMEIS WINSTON:¬† I think it's going to be a once‑in‑a‑lifetime opportunity to see us play and me personally I'm going to be on the sideline watching Marcus myself so I think it's going to be a fun game.

Q.  (No microphone.)
JAMEIS WINSTON:  I can't tell you that, man!

Q.  What makes him so good?
JAMEIS WINSTON:  I think he's fast, he has great arm talent and he leads.  He's quiet but he gets those guys around him to follow him the right way and he's been winning, and I think that's one thing you gotta judge a quarterback on how much they win, and he leads his team to victory all the time and he's just great.
What I admire him for being so efficient.  As a quarterback to another quarterback, for you to be able to throw 38 touchdowns and only two interceptions that's special, don't matter what offense you're in, don't matter how you do it, that's special.

Q.  (No microphone.)
JAMEIS WINSTON:¬† I mean, I can't really speak on that.¬† I know he's faster than me.¬† I can't talk about the arm‑‑ we probably have the same arm but he has a pretty strong arm.¬† I can't speak on that.

Q.  (No microphone.)
JAMEIS WINSTON:  No, I'm thinking about preparing for Oregon and hopefully beating them and trying to win a national championship.

Q.  (No microphone.)
JAMEIS WINSTON:  I can't really speak on that, even though I'm from Alabama and I would love to play Alabama, but I just want to make it to the national championship and play anybody!
We gotta good Oregon team in front of us so we need to focus on that.

Q.  (No microphone.)
JAMEIS WINSTON:  Don't mean that, you gotta lineup and play football.

Q.  (No microphone.)
JAMEIS WINSTON:  I can't hear you.

Q.  (No microphone.)
JAMEIS WINSTON:  Um, I think it's our will to win.  We do not want to lose and I don't think anyone wants to lose.  I think those guys, we just seem to get closer and closer together and just be like, hey, let's get this job done.  People think we have Ray Lewis halftime speeches but we don't have no speeches, we make our adjustments, we go out there and play facilitate football.  If being behind motivates us to play that way, I don't care!  As long as we get out there and win!  But obviously we can't do that all the time, especially against a great team like Oregon so we got to start off playing Florida State football.

Q.  (No microphone.)
JAMEIS WINSTON:¬† No, I wasn't disappointed, because there were some great players in there, Marcus, Melvin, and Anamarie, those were great guys, I was happy I was in the top‑10, I guess I got some votes, but I was happy I was in there because it was such a prestigious award and Marcus clearly deserved it.¬† I got to give it to those guys.

Q.  Did you watch it on TV?
JAMEIS WINSTON:  Yeah, I watched it.

Q.  (No microphone.)
JAMEIS WINSTON:  I can't hear you.

Q.  (No microphone.)
JAMEIS WINSTON:  I think it's very important to me.  I major in social science and minor in business and in my house, academics was always first, we had the three rules, God, school, life, that was God, school, anything you put your mind to and, and God is definitely number one and school has to be second because one thing about athletics, they don't last for everybody, education does.

Q.  (No microphone.)
JAMEIS WINSTON:  I mean, I loved it, actually, because we get to play more games and that's always fun so I guy that loves football, we get to play more games.

Q.  (No microphone.)
JAMEIS WINSTON:  No, because we get to play more games!

Q.  Another player in your position might be jaded but you come out with a smile on your face.  Why?
JAMEIS WINSTON:  Because it's not really about y'all, it's about this Florida State team, and my job is not to be down on myself.  Why would I be down on myself when I'm a blessed man, I have a great team.  We haven't lost in two years.  So y'all always look at the negative things in life but I look at the positive things in life.  I'm so blessed.  I have a young brother, I have both my parents, my grandma is still living, I have a little sister and I gotta do right for them.  It's more than football sometimes, and people can criticize me and say whatever they want to say about me but I'm a blessed guy.

Q.  Was there ever a time when it was hard for you to keep that attitude?
JAMEIS WINSTON:  Never, never.  I think the negativity and the adversity, it affects my family more, doesn't affect me because some people don't realize this guy has brothers and mom and dad at home so I can take the heat, all of it, but my family, you know, they got a lot of grief, having to talk to my mom and she is cryin' over things that I know I never did something wrong, so that's the hardest thing, just dealing with my family, none of this stuff doesn't bother me.

Q.  (No microphone.)
JAMEIS WINSTON:  No.  Because I love my life!  You gotta love your life.  I'm not him, he's not me.  I gotta live my life and whatever is thrown at me I got to accept it and be a man and do what I do.

Q.  (No microphone.)
JAMEIS WINSTON:  Well, last year we were playing on my birthday so that was a great feeling!  This year, I mean, we in the Rose Bowl it's a beautiful feeling.  It's a great opportunity for all of us.  It's the first year of the playoffs, so that's a new challenge.  You just gotta love it, man, we out here playing football, we get to go back to Dallas, that's how we started off our motto, Dallas to Dallas!  We get to play against a great Oregon team, I don't think we ever played against an Oregon, I don't know our history but, it's special!

Q.  (No microphone.)
JAMEIS WINSTON:  What you talkin' about?

Q.  (No microphone.)
JAMEIS WINSTON:  Oh, I did, I tried to egg him on a little bit because I wanted him to be scared so I could laugh at him.

Q.  (No microphone.)
JAMEIS WINSTON:  No, I wasn't.  We got a lot of big guys that are scared of dogs, little bitty dogs, like this big so it didn't surprise me at all.

Q.  (No microphone.)
JAMEIS WINSTON:  Well, I think I always loved baseball and football equally, you know, but my first sports hero was Ken Griffey, junior.  I just loved watching him play, but also being from Alabama, Bo Jackson was one of my heros and knowing he was from my hometown and Ronald Cunningham was one of my favorite players.
THE MODERATOR:  Thanks, Jameis.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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