CHAD: Buccaneers destined for greatness

SHARE CHAD: Buccaneers destined for greatness

If Jameis Winston has a healthy supply of soft drinks and seafood at the training table, the Buccaneers could go 10-5-1. | AP

It is time to choose my NFL Team of Destiny, aka How Stupid Can One Man Be in Public, and I refuse to make an error again.

They say you learn from your mistakes; alas, I prefer to learn from other people’s mistakes. So there’s a good chance that I will never learn to stay away from rookie quarterbacks.

Indeed, last season I hitched my wagon to Johnny Manziel, and he drove the darn thing to a package store.

This season I will turn to a young man I have occasionally vilified, the embattled and evolving Jameis Winston. Yes, beleaguered Slouch readers, your 2015 Team of Destiny will be the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

The NFL will be so much easier for Winston than college was. At Florida State, he had to worry about class load, inappropriate conduct toward females, shoplifting exit routes and handcuff etiquette. With the Buccaneers, he will be able to just concentrate on game film.

Sure, he faced a sexual-assault allegation, but no charges were filed and the school cleared him of violating the student conduct code.

So exactly what else stains his resume and character?

υ He might’ve stolen some soda out of a Burger King and he might’ve stolen some crab legs out of a Publix. These are capital crimes? Heck, when I was in college, I used to steal USA Todays so no one else would have to read them.

υ He was briefly detained by campus police for firing a BB gun at squirrels. Please. George Washington once cut down a cherry tree; you tell me whose juvenile actions hurt the ecosystem and the environment more, GW’s or Winston’s?

υ He made some unfortunate, somewhat vulgar comments about women while giving an impromptu speech in FSU’s Student Union. Uh, Donald Trump does this on an almost daily basis, and a year or so from now he might be converting 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue into luxury condos.

(Column Intermission: Jets quarterback Geno Smith was punched by a teammate last month, sidelining him six to 10 weeks. How come no one on the Bears ever thought of this?)

Beyond his occasional off-the-turf misstep, Winston shows extraordinary on-the-turf skills.

He has tremendous all-field vision, maybe the best since Leonardo DiCaprio staked out West Hollywood’s Sky Bar in the late 1990s trolling for models.

He commands the huddle, with authority and attention to detail not witnessed since Henry Ford barked out orders to his Model T assembly workers in 1913.

He throws a tight spiral, perhaps the purest I’ve seen since David nailed Goliath slinging that sublime stone in 1020 B.C.

Anyhow, Tampa Bay is overdue for some NFL glad tidings. The Buccaneers have not won a playoff game since the 2002 season, which produced the franchise’s only Super Bowl title in its only Super Bowl appearance in its 39-year history.

The Buccaneers have had the worst record each of the last four seasons in the NFC South, compiling a 17-47 mark. Their starting quarterbacks over that time have been Josh McCown, Josh Freeman, Josh Johnson — that’s right, three Joshes! — and Mike Glennon, who throws the ball better than your average Josh but not as well as your average Y.A. or Troy.

As my Team of Destiny, I’m not asking the Buccaneers to do much. You don’t even need a winning record to win the NFC South; the Panthers did it last year. So how hard can it be for Tampa Bay to go from 2-14 to 7-8-1? Heck, if Winston minds his P’s and Q’s and has a healthy supply of soft drinks and seafood at the training table, the Buccaneers could go 10-5-1.

Besides, I believe Buccaneers coach Lovie Smith deserves a top-shelf quarterback after spending his last five seasons in Chicago with Jay Cutler misfiring passes off his back foot.

(By the way, I wish Manziel well. If he stays off the sauce, maybe he can provide the fine denizens of Cleveland with the championship LeBron might never give them.)

Ask The Slouch

Q. In an unprecedented move, the Redskins have decided to send season-ticket holders breaking news — via the team’s mobile app — well before telling the media. What day this week will they be informing ticket holders that the team has been mathematically eliminated from the playoffs? (Spencer Coleman; Rockville, Md.)

A. Pay the man, Shirley.

Q. Republicans are having trouble figuring out what to call the “kids’ table” debate — undercard, junior varsity, etc. Since the point is to make the event sound more interesting and meaningful than it is, why not call it the First Four? (Ervin Stembol; Alexandria, Va.)

A. Pay the man, Shirley.

Q. Our NFL fantasy draft is approaching — have you heard of any publications or online sites that offer advice? (Mike Okubo; Chicago)

A. Pay the man, Shirley.

Q. If Nixon had destroyed the Watergate tapes, how many games would he have been suspended? (Philip R. Hochberg; Washington, D.C.)

A. Pay the man, Shirley.

You, too, can enter the $1.25 Ask The Slouch Cash Giveaway. Just email and, if your question is used, you win $1.25 in cash!

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