On Thursday, about a half hour after the Buccaneers selected Jameis Winston with the first pick of the 2015 NFL Draft, members of the media gathered around a telephone waiting for the quarterback to call.
Winston began his first press conference as a member of the Bucs expressing how happy he was to be a part of the team.
"I was elated," Winston said. "I was very elated. As soon as I got the call, I was just thinking about ways I can serve my teammates, ways that I can make them happy without even stepping on the field yet."
The former Heisman Trophy-winner answered several questions over the next 15 minutes. If there was a theme to what he was saying - it was that he's ready to work.
"I'm just trying to work hard," he said. "I'm just trying to go in, day in and day out, and just throw my body out there, give my teammates everything I've got. Show that I'm willing to sacrifice my body for our team's success."
What else did Winston have to say? His full Q&A can be read below.(On how he plans to win over Tampa Bay fans)
"It's all about working hard. Actions speak so much louder than words. So, for you, sir, I'm just going to work my tail off. That's what any good man in this country would do."(On his reaction to getting the call from General Manager Jason Licht and Head Coach Lovie Smith)
"I was elated. I was very elated. As soon as I got the call, I was just thinking about ways I can serve my teammates, ways that I can make them happy without even stepping on the field yet."**
(On the expectations he has set for himself as he moves from college to the NFL)**
"I'm just trying to work hard. I'm just trying to go in, day in and day out, and just throw my body out there, give my teammates everything I've got. Show that I'm willing to sacrifice my body for our team's success."(On thriving in high-pressure situations as a player)
"I'm blessed; I've been blessed with that my whole life. I like cherishing every moment and I love to make things happen. The reason I'm so confident in that is just because I work hard. My hard work pays off and it's been doing me good so far and I don't plan on stopping."
(On why he believes he will succeed in the NFL when so many quarterback prospects do not)
"One thing I don't do is I don't live in the past and I will not be negative. I'm very optimistic about this situation and I'm very happy that I got a chance. I'm pretty sure that everyone knows what you just said, that statistic (regarding players that don't succeed at the next level), but there's also a lot of quarterbacks in this league that have been there a long time. It's been my dream, my (lifelong) dream, to be a successful quarterback and be a great teammate in the NFL."**
See photos from Jameis Winston's Draft Party in Alabama. (AP Images)
(On his feelings about Tampa Bay receivers Vincent Jackson and Mike Evans)**
"There's two, man! Two of them! Oh my gosh – two 6-5 guys that can make plays after the ball. My friend. Anyone can go out there and throw to those guys, man. It's definitely a blessing to have those guys. I'm looking forward to working with the other weapons as well, with Louis Murphy and even Doug Martin, and just learning my offensive line and just getting in there to work with everybody. This is going to be a great journey and it all starts with hard work and dedication and sacrifices."
(On which Florida State teammate he would choose to bring with him if given a choice)
"That's a hard decision, man. We have so many great people in this draft. We have Ronald Darby and P.J. Williams, we have my two most favorite people in the world with Nick O'Leary and Rashad Greene. And we have the people that take care of me, being my whole offensive line: Josue Matias; Cam Erving – who's probably going to get picked in the first round; Tre Jackson and even Bobby Hart. We have such great players, including Karlos Williams. At Florida State, I've been blessed to play with such great players. It's a very hard decision with me. Obviously I'm closer with P.J. Williams, Ronald Darby, Nick O'Leary and Rashad Greene, but it's just so hard to choose out of one of those guys. I just know all those guys are going to have a great success at the next level and I look forward to hearing their names called."
(On managing the pressure of being a No.1 overall pick)**
"Again, it's just about working hard and serving my teammates. I believe that we have such great men in that organization, in that facility, that can help me become a better player and I can help them become a better player as well. So, not looking back on the negatives, not looking back in the past. I'm only looking forward; I'm only trying to get better every single day. I'm very optimistic with this situation, so pressure is no pressure. I have great teammates, I have great coaches, I have great people involved in this organization. Again, I just have to thank the Glazers for giving me this opportunity and I look forward to taking advantage of it."
(On celebrating the draft at home in Alabama)
"Being with my family, being with the people who have been with me from day one, through everything. Through the pain, through the adversity, through all the naysayers, just being with the people who have always been there. Being able to hold my little brother – I'm doing that right now – being able to kiss my grandmother. Just being with my family, man. It's always good to be with your family."
Check out QB Jameis Winston in EA Sports' Madden NFL video game.
(On whether he considers himself a 'risk')** "Like I said, I can't talk about negatives. I'm so elated to be a Buccaneer and I'm so ready to play. I'm looking forward to earning everything I work for. I can't talk about negative things."(On earning the trust of the community)
"I just work. Like I said, I have to work. Actions speak so much louder than words, or what they may have read, or what they may have heard. It's about your actions. Whatever is in the past is in the past and I just look forward to just gaining everyone's trust, even your trust."
(On Tampa Bay's trust in him given the civil lawsuit that was recently reported)
"Speaking on that, I just want to make sure – I have been cleared six times. I've been cleared six times on that situation. I took that situation so seriously, but at the end of the day I have to keep moving forward. That's why I'm so thankful right now. I'm so thankful to be with my family and I continue to thank the Glazers, continue to thank Mr. Licht and continue to thank Coach Smith for believing in me. Even believing the people that have cleared me the six times I have been cleared. That just takes so much for them and I can't let them down."(On his impressions about the Tampa Bay area)
"Well, it looks like a great family town. I just look forward to spending time with teammates and getting to know everybody, not just the locker room. Getting involved in the community. I have a seven-year-old brother right here in my lap right now and I can't wait to spend time in local elementary schools and I've already been talking to Mr. (Derrick) Brooks about going to his high school (Brooks DeBartolo Collegiate High School) and speaking to those kids. It's going to be so great. This is just not a draft pick; this is about affecting people in the community and being a great young man. I really would want Tampa, the city of Tampa, to help build me and to help me become a better young man and become someone that they would want in their community."