"We have to kind of tell him when to leave,'' coach Lovie Smith said Thursday.
Winston wasn't at Thursday's organized team activity because he is attending the NFL Players Association's Rookie Premiere event in Los Angeles. But the No. 1 overall draft pick already has done his work for the week.
Smith said Winston took double the amount of reps he usually would in Wednesday's session to make up for Thursday. Winston turned in his best day of practice so far, Smith said.
"For him, there's been a lot of individual work, but having a chance this week to go against our best defense and things like that [has been good],'' Smith said. "We have a long ways to go. But we like where he is right now.''
Teammates have talked about how Winston rarely is seen without his playbook.
"He gets better every day,'' tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins said. "He's picking up the offense very fast.''
Smith also said he's seen daily progress from Winston.
"I've seen marked improvement, like it should be,'' Smith said. "He's showing more and more comfort in the pocket. There's a lot you ask a rookie to do, but Jameis is picking it all up, just like we thought he would. Right on schedule.''
Thursday's practice was the only one Winston will miss, and he will return to the team next week. Smith said the Bucs haven't held back with Winston.
"He didn't have his training wheels on or anything like that,'' Smith said. "We're kind of throwing him out there and he's handling just about everything we've asked him to do.''