Does Jared Lorenzen's 'Bigger Is Better' Mantra Perfectly Suit Jameis Winston?

Brad Gagnon@Brad_Gagnon NFL National ColumnistFebruary 19, 2015

PASADENA, CA - JANUARY 01:  Quarterback Jameis Winston
Jeff Gross/Getty Images

Those who have witnessed this viral artifact were already well aware that former NFL quarterback Jared Lorenzen is undoubtedly a big man. And those who follow him on Twitter know he's a funny guy.

That is why it was no surprise to see Lorenzen poke fun at 2015 NFL draft prospect Jameis Winston, who looked like he was in his third trimester in a "recent" photo (the picture turned out to be a month old):

jared lorenzen @JaredLorenzen22

In honor of #FatTuesday I will play "who looks better?" P.S. The answer is obvious. #biggerisbetter #22 http://t.co/2PXjLl9r5K

But what many of you might not realize is that the big, funny man is also rather smart. Smart enough to be commissioner of the Ultimate Indoor Football League (UIFL) in 2012, and smart enough to be making a broader statement within his tongue-in-cheek jab at Winston.

"If anyone knows what it's like to take a bad picture," Lorenzen told Bleacher Report, "it's me."

He admits he was trying to "have a bit of fun" at Winston's expense but suggested there was in fact more to the quip.

"The kid's incredible," the former Giants and Colts backup said. "He's won the Heisman, he's won a national title; let's lay off the kid a little bit."

In other words, let's stop micro-analyzing this "kid"—who has only been old enough to legally drink for about six weeks—by drawing sweeping conclusions about his proportions based on a single, since explained photograph.

But even if Winston were in fact a little on the hefty side, would that be such a bad thing? Lorenzen doesn't think so.

"Especially the level Jameis is playing at, a couple extra pounds wouldn't hurt him," Lorenzen said. "But I'm sure the NFL doesn't want to hear that; they want the prototypical guys."

I asked Lorenzen if he believes it would hurt Tom Brady or Peyton Manning if they were overweight, since neither is mobile anyway, and his answer was bang-on.

"I think Tom Brady or Peyton Manning with a gut is Ben Roethlisberger, isn't it?"

Now, Lorenzen might be a bit biased. The "Heft Lefty" weighed 320 pounds during his last season with the UIFL's Northern Kentucky River Monsters in 2014. But what he's saying makes a lot of sense.

Winston, like Brady and Manning, is a quarterback who doesn't rely on his mobility. So as long as it doesn't affect his mechanics, a little extra cushion wouldn't hurt. It has indeed worked for Roethlisberger, who has at times been photographed looking quite doughy but has two Super Bowl rings and has made three Pro Bowls.

Notable Quarterback Body Mass Index Totals
Jared Lorenzen38.9
Cam Newton30.0
Matt Stafford29.5
Nick Foles28.9
Andrew Luck28.6
Aaron Rodgers28.6
Ben Roethlisberger28.5
Drew Brees28.3
Russell Wilson28.3
Tony Romo28.1
Jay Cutler28.1
Jameis Winston28.0
Andy Dalton27.6
Teddy Bridgewater27.5
Blake Bortles27.5
Derek Carr27.5
Tom Brady27.4
Colin Kaepernick27.4
Peyton Manning27.3
Carson Palmer27.3
Philip Rivers27.0
Ryan Tannehill26.8
Joe Flacco26.8
Marcus Mariota26.7
Matt Ryan26.6
Eli Manning26.5
Alex Smith25.8
Definition of obesity: Body mass index of 30 or higher.

For good measure, I checked in with two NCAA Division I offensive coordinators who have been coaching, grooming and assessing quarterbacks for more than half a century combined. Bill Cubit from Illinois and Noel Mazzone from UCLA made some interesting points.

"I skew the other way," Cubit said. "I get concerned if a guy does not have some weight because he's going to take a lot of punches. You would want a guy that's a little bit more physical."

Cubit and Mazzone did, however, agree that quarterbacks these days can no longer afford to give up all of their mobility and become statues.

"You gotta be in great shape," said Cubit, who before joining the Fighting Illini coached quarterbacks at Florida, Missouri, Rutgers and Stanford. "It sounds like you can just stand there and throw, but that's not really the way it is. Can you escape? And if you can escape, then you give yourself a chance no matter what your size is."

While Mazzone noted, "you don't want to give up too much mobility," he stated that he focuses primarily on a quarterback's height and provided a refreshingly simple summary of his physical requirements.

"It's a pretty simple game," he said. "Can you complete it from A to B, and do it consistently?"

In other words, if you can pull a Big Ben and evade pressure and move around in the pocket and make all of the throws despite weighing over 240 pounds, then all the power to you.

There's a difference between being chubby and being out of shape, but Lorenzen doesn't think he'd have been any better had he been significantly trimmer.

His real, tongue-removed-from-cheek advice for Winston? Be yourself.

"Through everything he's kind of gone through, he's popped up the other side I think a better guy and a better person for it," Lorenzen said. "What he's gonna go through is a crazy three or four days at the combine and plus all of the extra workouts he's gonna have. And if he's not himself or he's trying to cover up certain things, it'll pop out eventually. It always does."

Lorenzen is a Winston fan, even stating in our conversation that the Florida State product is "the obvious pick" for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers with the No. 1 overall selection.

"You've got yourself a Florida quarterback, staying in the state," he explained. "That helps tickets, that helps everything. He's got a stud receiver over there with [Mike] Evans. ...I would take Jameis over [Marcus] Mariota there. Having said that, I don't think it's as big a gap as everybody thinks it is."

As for Lorenzen himself, when asked if he had any football left in him, the 34-year-old laughed and declared his "fat butt" to be "done." He's selling office technology equipment for a company called Prosource and was recently transferred to his home state of Kentucky in order to help open up an office in Lexington. 

In the strictest sense, Lorenzen has become an armchair quarterback, but his online opinions shouldn't be overlooked. In this case, a simple wisecrack carried a much larger message from a big, funny signal-caller who's been through the wringer currently awaiting Jameis Winston and his peers.

Brad Gagnon has covered the NFL for Bleacher Report since 2012.


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