Bucs Safety Challenged To Get More Interceptions

The Bucs struck it wealthy within the second-round of the 2020 draft once they chosen Antoine Winfield, Jr. The previous Minnesota Gopher was a starter from day one. He performed an instrumental position in serving to Tampa Bay win Tremendous Bowl LV.

In his rookie season, he began all 16 video games, racking up 94 tackles, three sacks, six passes defended, two pressured fumbles, a fumble restoration and an interception. He adopted it up with a Professional Bowl season final 12 months that included 88 tackles, two sacks, six passes defended, two interceptions, two pressured fumbles and three fumble recoveries – all whereas lacking three video games.

But Bucs safeties coach Nick Rapone mentioned Tuesday that he thinks Winfield is able to rather more, and challenged the third-year professional to intercept extra passes this season.

Bucs FS Antoine Winfield, Jr. and Chiefs WR Tyreek Hill – Photograph by: USA As we speak

“I believe Antoine simply will get higher and higher. That’s the kind of child he’s due to his father and his background. He’s only a blue-collar man,” Rapone mentioned. “The one factor with Winfield the place I challenged him this 12 months is – run-support clever, you’re stunning – and also you’re stunning in quite a lot of areas.

“Let’s begin getting six and 7 interceptions a 12 months. Let’s make that the subsequent step the place you’re going to get six or seven interceptions. The actual good gamers and the very best gamers like to get challenged. So, that’s the problem this 12 months – let’s get six and 7 interceptions. We all know you may blitz, we all know you may deal with. We all know you may cross defend – let’s get the soccer a little bit extra.”

An Ascending Expertise

Winfield made the Professional Bowl final season and the arrow is just pointing up for him. It shouldn’t be lengthy till he’s considered top-of-the-line free safeties within the league if he isn’t already. He’s not solely carried out effectively within the common season, however has proven up when it counts within the playoffs as effectively. In 5 postseason video games, he’s totaled 32 tackles, three tackles for loss, two pressured fumbles and two passes defended. He’s added a sack, an interception and a fumble restoration as effectively.

If Winfield can reply Rapone’s problem, he’ll take his sport to a different degree.