Sunday will not only be week one of the NFL season but the first of back to back weeks that Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston will face a former teammate that he shared the locker room with for all of his previous four seasons.
It's common for NFL teams to change about 30% of their roster each off-season. That fact means only a small percentage of players share the same locker room year in & year out. Factor in losing & coaching changes & the percentage gets even smaller. For Winston, that small percentage of teammates that have shared the same locker room with him since he entered the NFL in 2015 took a hit this off-season. Gone from this year's locker room are veteran defensive players, linebacker Kwon Alexander & defensive tackle Gerald McCoy.
Alexander, who like Winston, was drafted by the Buccaneers in 2015, will be leading a new defense when the San Francisco 49ers visit Raymond James Stadium on Sunday at 4:25 pm. And just four days later, Winston will see another familiar face when the team travels to Charlotte next Thursday night to take on McCoy & his new team the Carolina Panthers.
Winston met with the media on Wednesday. He discussed his first challenge, beating his former teammate & his new team. He also expressed the respect he has for the 49ers new middle linebacker. But he also knows, Sunday will be about competition too.
Click below to hear the full interview with Winston