Jameis Winston 'blessed' to be named Saints' starting quarterback
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New Orleans Saints quarterback Jameis Winston started his press conference thanking to all the first responders who are on the ground in the wake of Hurricane Ida that struck New Orleans. "First of all, I've got something on my heart," Winston said when he opened his first news conference since being chosen as New Orleans' starter, per ESPN.
"I want to say thank you to all the first responders in New Orleans and all the people on the ground right now and all the grassroots organizations [working] to help our city be resilient. ... We're with you. We're gonna represent you." The Tampa Bay Buccaners moved on from Winston after the 2019 season and Winston spent last season as the third-string quarterback on the Saints roster.
Now, Winston is set to once again be a starter in the NFL. "It felt great [to be named the starter]," Winston said. "It's just fun, it's a blessing to have the opportunity to lead the pack. I'm just grateful for it. It's been more than a year removed for me having an opportunity, and I'm not taking anything for granted.
And I'm just blessed and grateful. "And I'm grateful to my teammates for pushing me, I'm grateful to Taysom for pushing me."
Winston prepared for the Green Bay Packers
The Saints won't have an easy job in Week 1 since they are set to take on the Packers but Winston is determined to put on a big performance and lead his team to a win.
"We're preparing for the Green Bay Packers," Winston said. "We've got a lot of stuff going on, but we've got to be consistent in our day-to-day preparation. We cannot lose focus and go out there ready to play and give our best efforts." The Saints practiced in Dallas after Hurricane Ida struck New Orleans and they will play their Week 1 game against the Packers in Jacksonville.
"I think it's more difficult for the people that's actually going through a lot right now. We were blessed by this organization to relocate us to Dallas," said Winston, whose Dream Forever Foundation delivered supplies this week to first responders, including food, water, generators, gas and roofing materials.
"We've gotta represent them, we're feeding off them. They're persevering and they're being resilient right now, and we have to do the same. There's a lot of people that are in way more difficult situations than we are. "We're blessed, we get to go out and play a game that we love.
The majority of us, we have our families with us. And we're just praying that everyone else's families are safe and secure in New Orleans. But the objective is to bring some excitement to the people of New Orleans by going out there and winning football game. I think that will do a lot."