“Nothing That’s Too Big For The Young Man”

September 5th, 2020

Joe can’t wait to sit at Big Storm Brewery in Clearwater next weekend with Bucs fans and Ira Kaufman and watch rookie safety Antoine Winfield, Jr. take on the massive challenge of Drew Brees and the Saints offense.

The No. 45 overall pick is supposed to be an NFL-ready kind of guy, a four-year college player who was groomed for his new career since he was a toddler and his dad was an accomplished NFL cornerback.

Since arriving at One Buc Palace, Joe has heard people across the building rave about Winfield’s maturity and readiness.

So Joe asked safeties coach Nick Rapone if Winfield acts and plays like a rookie.

Straight-shooter Rapone, who Ira Kaufman says reminds him of guys in his Brooklyn neighborhood in the 1950s, didn’t hold back.

“No, he doesn’t. Because if you walk in his shoes, you know, there’s nothing that’s too big for the young man. I mean, he was raised under the bright lights,” Rapone replied. “I’ve never met his father and mother, but they have done a fabulous job. This is a well-grounded young man that understands what the NFL is all about. His dad played 14 years; so he’s just a heck of a kid. And the biggest thing is he’s so grounded. He takes copious notes in the meeting room, he always wants to learn; you only have to tell him once and the second time he’ll correct. And he’s extremely coachable, so, no, he’s way more mature than most rookies would be. Believe me.”

This is all very exciting, but Joe does not have ridiculous expectations for Winfield. In fact, Joe expects Winfield to have a very rough day with the Saints in the Superdome. It might be the worst scenario for a rookie safety Joe can think of. And it’s not like Winfield has a bunch of grizzled veterans around him to lean on.

Regardless, Joe is very excited about what Winfield could look like on the field after he has a good handful of games under him. He sure seems like the kind of rookie who won’t play like one come November.

14 Responses to ““Nothing That’s Too Big For The Young Man””

  1. Casual Observer Says:

    Winfield will thrive with the lBucs. Won’t take long. Outstanding pick.

  2. AlabamaBucsFan Says:

    An interesting interview with Mike Rapone – he later went to say that DC Todd Bowles prefer safeties 5′ 10″ or under as they can play better man to man than a 6’1″ 215 safety.

  3. Dano Says:

    He’s a playmaker on defense. Had injury problems in college so I hope he stays healthy because I think he can be very good.

  4. Jaymiss Pick6 Again Says:

    Tanard Jackson without the “lettuce” problem?

  5. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    I mean, you really can’t ask anything more of a rookie than to be ready…..and you can’t teach genes…..
    Throw him into the fire & see how he does……likely any of our other safeties would get burnt by Brees also….

  6. Destinjohnny Says:

    We passed on two badass backs to get him..
    Then over drafted Vaughn
    So let’s hope he is the real deal

  7. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Darius Guice released……

    So….passing on great backs is sometimes not so bad.

  8. AtticusFlinch Says:

    After watching all his highlight film I was amazed at his instinct at finding the ball. Plays seem to slow down for him as anticipates correctly be it a pass or a run. Keeps one eye on the QB and never seems to get “looked off” despite clear attempts to do so. His ball-hawking Daddy must’ve taught him every trick in the book starting at an early age.

  9. Casual Observer Says:

    Atticus – Great analysis. It what I had seen but couldn’t express it as well. I think it will be great fun to watch his development.

  10. Roy T. Buford Says:

    I don’t drink a lot, especially when watching the Bucs (have had to drink at times afterward, admittedly!) so I never go to bars to watch MY team play…always found it too distracting. To me, nothing better than pre-game shows in the pool and heading to the family room for big screen Bucs ball. The said, I’ve heard Big Storm Brewery is a cool place for food and suds. Will have to try it out when the COVID goes (may be a while).

    “Antoine Winfield, Jr” Sounds like an investment banker’s name. I can’t wait to see him play.

  11. Tampabuscsbro Says:

    Guys so far this is a great pick. of all the other safeties taken with high draft picks Winfield is the only one that is going to be able to play the year.


  12. SOEbuc Says:


    “A very rough day with the Saints in the Superdome.”

    I wouldn’t go that far and it’s not because I’m a huge Bucs fan. It was Todd Bowels that picked the all around best safety to use in his secondary. And an empty Superdome would make me think it was less scary than with a bunch of loud, toothless Cajuns.

    Uh oh. I said a while back I was straight except for the sexiness of Tristan Wirfs but and legs. Dub2 looking very hot in the heat.

  13. SOEbuc Says:

    *Wirfs butt and legs

  14. Bobby Says:

    Hey, if Brady can’t torch him I doubt if Brees will. He’ll be fine.