Leave it to Jameis Winston to ruin most innocuous play in NFL


By now you’ve seen the video of recently fired Atlanta Falcons coach Arthur Smith telling off Saints head coach Dennis Allen with NSFW language after the Saints dispatched Atlanta, 48-17. Jameis Winston’s audible, which allowed Jamaal Williams to rumble into the end zone for his first touchdown of the season in the final minute, set off a squabble between the two division rivals that may last into next season.

Winston disregarding commands and requests is what’s plagued him since he debuted on the scene. He’s constantly allowing the intrusive thoughts to win, whether it’s throwing interceptions en masse or faking victory formations. Off the field, Winston’s erratic decision making has manifested in the form of him shouting sexually explicit remarks after avoiding charges related to an alleged sexual assault and settled a sexual battery lawsuit while he was a Buccanneer. If he thinks he can get away with something, he’ll violate whatever norms he has to.

Don’t let Winston’s daffy personality distract from how much of an ass he is. Ignoring Dennis Allen’s call is more analogous to the time he suited up and warmed up in full uniform before a contest he was suspended for after standing on a table to shout “Fu*k her in the pu**y!

Winston’s choice to audible a handoff to Williams into the victory formation from the one-yard-line is the type of buffoonery we’ve come to expect from Mr. 30-30. Supporters of Winston’s audible will deflect by pointing to the time left on the scoreboard, but advancing the ball while waving the white flag offensively is tantamount to quarterbacks pretending to slide and then running for extra yardage.

If you’re of the opinion that Winston was well within his rights to do whatever he wants with time remaining on the clock, then injuries in the final seconds of decided games are about to skyrocket. R.I.P to the victory formation. Born in the wake of Herm Edwards’ Miracle in the Meadowlands fumble recovery and touchdown, the victory formation has been standard protocol since the most brutal age of the NFL, so if you want to call it soft, go take it up with multiple generations of NFL legends, coaches or Hall of Fame tight end Shannon Sharpe.

Afterwards, Winston defended himself in one of the most passive-aggressive exchanges with a reporter ever documented.

The irony of Winston’s hubris is that quarterbacks are the most protected class of athlete in America’s most vicious sport and the victory formation is one of those unofficial forms of protection. There’s a reason you don’t see defensive linemen flying over the offensive line or bursting through to flatten defenseless signal callers when the game is out of reach and the clock is running down to zero.

In Week 2 of the 2012 season, Tampa Bay Bucs coach Greg Schiano was berated by Tom Coughlin for blitzing the Giants and other teams in victory formation at the end of regulation. If Schiano was pilloried for violating an unwritten rule about putting players in unnecessary physical harm during a one-score game, imagine if Winston was ground into the turf on the one-yard line leading by 24.

After they roughed up Eli Manning, an anonymous Giants player told Peter King that “if the Bucs keep doing this, they’re risking getting some cheap shots on their own players and maybe risking further injury.”

If Winston wants to open Pandora’s box and rattle the Saints’ cages, he’s more than welcome to. There’s also a good chance he’s not backing up Carr next season. The tensions eventually cooled between the Giants and Bucs when they didn’t wind up on each other’s schedules for three years. By then, Winston was the Bucs number one overall pick. But the minute offenses start taking advantage of unwritten rules that protect their most vulnerable players in an attempt to embarrass the defense, all bets are off.

Follow DJ Dunson on X: @cerebralsportex


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