The Redskins hope to use experience to their advantage Sunday against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' Jameis Winston, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2015 NFL Draft.
Jameis Winston was the No. 1 overall pick in a loaded 2015 draft class for a reason.
His talent was on full display during* *his two seasons as Florida State's starting quarterback, the first of which ended with Heisman Trophy honors and a National Championship.
In total, Winston, who stands at 6-foot-4 and weighs 231 pounds, threw for nearly 8,000 yards along with 65 touchdowns to 28 interceptions for the Seminoles. He also added seven rushing touchdowns during his two seasons as a starter.
So far this season, he's thrown seven touchdowns in the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' first seven games.
But as a rookie, there's still a steep learning curve. If the Washington Redskins can rattle him on Sunday, then it could make for a long day for the first-year quarterback.
"I think any quarterback you want to obviously get pressure on him, force him into being one dimensional," Redskins head coach Jay Gruden said. "You know the quick games, the screens and play-actions and obviously Doug Martin going at a high level, man, they're tough to stop (if) he's in his comfort zone. If we can make them one dimensional — third-down-and-eights — and if we can get a lead on them, force them to throw the ball and get some pressure, then obviously any quarterback will struggle."
While Winston was selected as the No. 1 overall pick over Marcus Mariota in part because his skillset parlayed well into the professional ranks, he isn't quite as mobile or accurate.
Winston this season has been sacked 11 times and has fumbled three times, although only one was lost.
If the defensive line can get the better push on the offensive line in the trenches, than it could spell trouble for the 21-year-old.
Check out these photos of Jameis Winston, a physical and athletic quarterback out of Florida State University.
"He has a great skillset and obviously he's a young guy, so we're going to have to try to confuse him a little bit," Terrance Knighton said. "He definitely can beat you if you allow him to get in a rhythm and they are able to run the ball. He has two big targets he can throw to, so we just got to make him uncomfortable in the pocket all game."
Linebacker Ryan Kerrigan, who is tied for the team lead in sacks with 3.5, said the team can keep Winston on his toes by hiding their plans for the offense pre-snap.
"You have to do a good job of disguising blitzes, disguising coverages and what not," Kerrigan said. "Try to play with him a little bit mentally. He's a good quarterback and has been through six or five games already, so I'm sure he'll be able to adjust well."
Kerrigan said no matter how young Winston is, the Redskins must be ready for a player that has the talent to change games.
"Really, when you're going up against a No. 1 overall pick, he is that No. 1 overall pick for a reason," Kerrigan said. "He's got a tremendous skill set. Dude can move around well in the pocket and he's got a hell of an arm. We got a challenge ahead of us no matter how old he is."