The Tampa Bay Buccaneers recently finished up their 2022 draft and now look ahead to a grueling offseason. But this article isn’t about this draft, it’s about the 2020 draft, more specifically Antoine Winfield Jr.
The Buccaneers selected Winfield Jr. in the second-round (45th) of the 2020 NFL draft. His presence on the field was known was felt immediately. By the end of his first training camp he had won the starting position as a rookie.
Recently Buccaneers safeties coach Nick Rapone spoke with the media. During that conversation, Winfield Jr. came up and Rapone not only had praise for Winfield Jr., but also layed out a challenge.
“I think Antoine [Winfield Jr.] just gets better and better,” Rapone said. “That’s the type of kid he is because of his father and his background. He’s just a blue-collar guy. The one thing with Winfield where I challenged him this year is – run-support wise, you’re beautiful – and you’re beautiful in a lot of areas – let’s start getting six and seven interceptions a year. Let’s make that the next step where you’re going to get six or seven interceptions. The real good players and the best players love to get challenged. So that’s the challenge this year – let’s get six and seven interceptions. We know you can blitz, we know you can tackle. We know you can pass-defend – let’s get the football a little more.”
Winfield Jr. has all of the tools necessary to not only meet but surpass Rapone’s challenge. He already has a knack for being around the ball and making the big play. The sky is the limit for Winfield Jr., he just has to meet the challenge.
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