"Social media can help you in so many ways from a positive standpoint," Winston said during the Play 60 youth clinic at the Cleveland Browns facility. "I can't control what people put on social media about me, but I can control my actions and what I do."
Winston drew criticism when he posted a picture of himself on Instagram eating crab legs after the draft. When he was in college, he was cited for shoplifting crab legs from a Tallahassee-area grocery store.
He emphasized Friday that what he does will speak more for him than anything that he posts, or that is posted about him.
"It's about my actions," Winston said. "I got to be a quarterback. When I'm off the field, I got to be a quarterback; when I'm on the field, I got to be a quarterback.
"I know people are going to look at me in each and every way. I just smile, man."
Odd phrasing, but the point was clear: Winston said he has to remember he represents himself and his team with his every action.
Winston's on-field success at Florida State included a national championship and the Heisman Trophy. That led him to being the NFL's first overall draft pick.
But his off-field issues led legendary former FSU coach Bobby Bowden to call Winston "an embarrassment" to the university in May. Bowden told Paul Finebaum of SiriusXM radio that Winston made "junior high school decisions ... while he was in college."
Winston was the subject of a sexual assault investigation in which no charges were filed. In April, the alleged victim in the incident filed a civil suit against Winston, who filed a counterclaim saying he did not rape the woman.
Winston was suspended one game at Florida State for yelling an obscene remark while standing on a table in the school cafeteria.
Winston said he doesn't look back.
"I gotta better myself and improve every day as a person," he said.
Nor does he worry about his photo appearing in unflattering ways on social media.
"I really don't pay attention to social media other than what I do," Winston said. "I don't look up myself or anything like that. When I'm socially active, it's because I'm doing something, and I don't really pay attention to that -- outside sources."
He said it's "very easy" to tune out the outside sources.
"You don't look at it," he said. "You don't pay attention to it. I've had a strong mind this whole process. I've been getting hammered for a long time. But the thing is, we keep playing football. I'm blessed to be playing this dream right now, and I think that all of us out here are more worried about success on the field than anyone else that has something negative to say."
Bucs spokesperson Nelson Luis said Winston has not received any individual social media training beyond what other players get.
Duke Preston, Tampa Bay's director of player development, has already spoken with all the rookies about social media and its dangers. The message will be reinforced when training camp starts.
One of Winston's newest teammates, second-round pick Donovan Smith, said Winston is "the most high-spirited guy I've been around" and his passion for the game is "ridiculous."
"All of us are in spotlights," Smith said. "What is it, 1 percent? We're the 1 percent of athletes who make it to the pros. We're going to be scrutinized in our worst times, praised in our best times. It comes with the territory. We just got to live with it."
Winston said he would not useJohnny Manziel's rookie season with the Browns as any kind of reference for what not to do.
"I'm in no point to judge," he said.
ESPN.com's Pat Yasinskas contributed to this report.
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