Just because the Tampa Bay Buccaneers made a head coaching change entering 2019 doesn't mean they'll also make a quarterback change.
A day after announcing Bruce Arians as Dirk Koetter's replacement and reportedly compensating the Arizona Cardinals in the process, the new man in charge of the Bucs indicated that Jameis Winston is all but guaranteed to return as the starter in Tampa Bay.
Appearing on "The Rich Eisen Show" Wednesday, Arians was asked whether he trusted not only Winston's arm but his character, and the two-time Coach of the Year honoree expressed nothing but support for the team's former No. 1 overall draft pick.
"I've known him for a long time," Arians told Eisen. "We all make mistakes. He's made his. I've made mine. I feel like I've got a great feel for him, his excitement for the game. His willingness to work is unbelievable. He's in the office at 5 o'clock in the morning. And so, yeah, I have no qualms about that."
Winston, of course, had a troubled 2018. On the field, he was uneven in the fourth season of his NFL career, swapping starts with veteran journeyman Ryan Fitzpatrick and finishing with just 19 touchdowns to 14 interceptions in a 5-11 last-place season. Off the field, he received a three-game suspension for violating the league's personal conduct policy — a punishment stemming from a November 2017 investigation into groping allegations made against Winston by a female Uber driver.