When Will Antoine Winfield Be Ready?

August 5th, 2020

When will he start?

Joe has high hopes for rookie safety Antoine Winfield, though he has yet to step foot on an NFL field outside of a bowl game.

From everything Joe has read and seen, Winfield is a baller and could be a fixture in the Bucs’ secondary for many years.

Of all the years Winfield could have come out of the University of Minnesota, this year the stars were not aligned for him. The Sickness wiped out the offseason and brought no training camp (at least not until Aug. 17). And no preseason games.

Bucs coach Bucco Bruce Arians said recently that no spring activities means rookies were 400 snaps behind the eight-ball. That’s a lot of catching up to do.

So if Winfield is potentially a starting starter (which he may have been under a normal offseason), his first snap will come against Drew Brees in New Orleans, not some dude who owns a Jimmy John’s franchise in suburban Wheeling.

Because of no offseason, Arians has said no rookies are penciled in as starters (not even first-round pick Tristan Wirfs) and Arians won’t do that until he sees them play.

Tyler Sullivan of CBS Sports thinks Winfield will still battle to start.

Jordan Whitehead likely has one of the starting safety positions locked up in the Buccaneers secondary. He was third on the team in tackles (69) in 2019, Pro Football Focus ranked him second among all safeties in total pressures and also graded him as the second-best pass-rushing safety in the league. It’s the other starting safety spot that is worth some attention. Antoine Winfield Jr., who was selected in the second round of the 2020 draft, will likely get every opportunity to claim that spot. During his final collegiate season at Minnesota, Winfield Jr. totaled seven interceptions, 83 tackles, and three sacks. Mike Edwards and Andrew Adams will be his biggest threat to start out of the gate. Both started at various points in 2019. Edwards totaled 45 tackles and six passes defended, while Adams logged 46 tackles and an interception.

Look, Joe thinks Winfield is going to be a stud. However, given the landscape of the NFL the past six months, Joe isn’t ready to deem Whitfield a starter just yet. He could, but Joe wouldn’t bank on it.

The question for Joe is, how quickly can Winfield get up to speed with the rest of the defense and take over alongside Whitehead?

19 Responses to “When Will Antoine Winfield Be Ready?”

  1. gp Says:

    Unless he’s a total dud in camp, he’ll at least get some snaps game one.
    If he’s a monster in camp, against non other than Tom Brady, he will definitely start.

  2. Clean House Says:

    How’s he going to see them play if they never play?

  3. Clean House Says:

    Nice to see Whitehead getting some PFF props, although Joe hates them. I like the kid and now I see why-

    “#2 is pretty good!”- JW (#2 in NFL TDs last season)

  4. Buccinutz15 Says:

    Should’ve been one of the better training camp battles. Ultimately, I think we’ll see a three man rotation of Whitehead, Edwards, and Winfield depending on the situation.
    I haven’t even seen him play a snap in the league and can already tell you he has better coverage skills than Whitehead. Not discounting Adams, but we signed him off the couch last year. I think Edwards will be way better than last year. He’s pretty solid, but looked lost a few times last year.

  5. Nick2 Says:

    My only question is why did we draft a guy in the 2nd round to replace an injury plagued starter who he himself was known for missing a great deal of his college career because of injury. If you throw out his last year his career was slot of missed games. I hope he can stay healthy because he definitely has talent.

  6. ElBajito43 Says:


  7. ElBajito43 Says:

    Lichtenstein is the worst GM in history of sports and time.

  8. Alstott up the gut Says:

    I really believe the Bucs feel a potential stud fell to them in the second round. They have used a lot of picks on the secondary over the last few drafts, and with the RBs still on the board this past draft, they must really be high on him to go this route. His tape looks like he is a real playmaker, so I am also excited to see how he plays. With all the other storylines this team has, this one may fly under a radar but be so important for the team!

  9. Bucsfanman Says:

    Bajito doing his best Nostradamus impersonation. I guess you were such an avid Minnesota fan that you can make that determination? Considering he hasn’t played a single down of NFL football and all.

    I was looking forward to this battle in camp. Looks like we’ll have to wait even longer to see the kid play.
    Anyway, positions shouldn’t be ‘given’, they need to be EARNED.

  10. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Of cource, it is also possible that either Mike Edwards or Andrew Adams steps up after another year under their belt.

  11. Jason Says:

    Winfield should be a little better off than most rookies just because of his dad (at least the mental side).

  12. AlabamaBucsFan Says:

    The NFL should have allowed one preseason game so teams could have evaluated their players.

  13. rrsrq Says:

    Winfield probably understands film study, leverage and angles better than most because of his pops, then there are those instincts

  14. AlabamaBucsFan Says:

    ElBajito43 Says: “Another TRASH 🗑 LICHT PICK THIS IS GARBAGE”

    What are you smoking? If Winfield was 2 inches taller, he would have been a top 10 player. Despite his height, most teams had Winfield as a first round draft pick and some teams had him as the top safety in the draft.

  15. AlteredEgo Say: Your comment is awaiting moderation. Says:

    Impossible for a rookie DB to be ready without 4 preseason games… he will take much longer to get up to NFL reads…

  16. Bradinator Says:

    I say no way. He’ll get some “spot” duties to get his feet wet. Whitehead is the better play right now. I like him anyway. Adams did well for us. Not sold on Edwards though. He just didn’t show me much. He WILL be a player though. No doubt.

  17. Rayjay1122 Says:

    Elbacrapo43…..new Troll huh? So, if Winfield Jr. Is such a bad pick, how about explaining why instead of just showing ignorance. If you hate the pick then who the he’ll would have been the right pick? Just curious since you seem to be so opinionated and passionately hateful!

  18. PSL Bob Says:

    It’s good not to have to start a rookie at safety. Forget his ball skills. Until he gets a feel for the speed of the NFL game (all new players comment on how fast things go), it’s not a problem for him to play behind one of the more experienced players. Overall, I think the Bucs DBs are going to show great improvement this year.

  19. 74 Bucs Fan Says:

    No preseason games to evaluate talent is a bummer, but that also means less injuries to said talent. Silver lining.