Jameis Winston’s three-game suspension stemming from an incident with a female Uber driver that the NFL ruled was in violation of its personal-conduct policy hasn’t changed the way at least one of his Tampa Bay Buccaneers teammates looks at him.

Tight end Cameron Brate calls Winston a friend and continues to view the quarterback as the type of person with whom he is happy to spend time away from the game.

‘All of my experiences, all of my interactions with Jameis have been awesome’

During a recent appearance on the SiriusXM Blitz, co-host Brian Custer asked Brate if he thought Winston was a good guy and good locker-room guy. “I would say one-hundred percent, he is,” Brate told Custer and co-host Brady Quinn. “There’s things in his past that I can’t speak of and, obviously, don’t know what happened, really … with this Uber incident. But for me, all of my experiences, all of my interactions with Jameis have been awesome.

“I’m pretty close with him. We hang out outside of football and everything. I truly do enjoy spending time with him. He’s caring, compassionate and kind of a guy you want to associate yourself with, as far as my experiences with him. I can’t speak too much to what’s going on with everything else, because that’s not really the Jameis that I know. For me, I still love him. I think he’s a great teammate and I think I speak for a lot of guys in the locker room with that sentiment.”

‘It’s unfortunate for us that we’re going to be without him for the first three games’

How will Winston’s suspension impact the Bucs? Brate expects the team will face a major challenge.

“It’s going to be tough,” he said. “I mean, Jameis is the starting quarterback for a reason, he’s the leader of our team. It’s unfortunate for us that we’re going to be without him for the first three games. But luckily we’ve got a guy like Ryan Fitzpatrick, who’s just kind of seen it all in the NFL. We won two games with him starting last year. He’s going to step in and he’s going to do a great job. I think we made some big offseason acquisitions, especially (on the) defensive line.

‘We have guys who are going to step up and put us in a good spot to win some games’

“I mean, it’s not the way we wanted the season to start, without Jameis, but we have guys who are going to step up and put us in a good spot to win some games.”

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