“One Of The Best Rookies I’ve Ever Been Around”

March 13th, 2021

It’s special when an eight-year NFL veteran speaks out about a rookie without being asked.

That was the case this week with Bucs newly-re-signed linebacker Kevin Minter throwing some love at 22-year-old Bucs Super Bowl hero safety Antoine Winfield, Jr.

Somewhat lost in the Bucs’ dream season was Winfield answering the bell for 20 games and making a major impact. He wasn’t in the Pro Bowl conversation, but no moment was too big for him and Joe suspects Winfield is the kind of player who will make a huge leap in Year 2 of his career.

Minter certainly thinks so. Winfield came up during Minter’s chat this week on KGME-AM in Phoenix.

No Super Bowl discussion is complete without a mention of Winfield’s famous peace sign in the face of Tyreek “Cheetah” Hill.

“If you know [Winfield], he’s not that type of guy,” Minter said of Winfield flashing the deuces.

“First of all, he’s one of the best rookies I’ve ever been around. I mean, he just wanted to get better. He was already smart; you know he’s a football kid because of his dad [being an NFL player]. He came here and worked every day and just was constantly asking questions, stayed up under the vets. There’s a reason why coach made sure he started the first game, you know what I mean, and all the way through.”

And to think Winfield was the Bucs’ second-best rookie. Wow!

Just imagine if the Bucs nail the draft again this year with two more plug-and-play studs.

36 Responses to ““One Of The Best Rookies I’ve Ever Been Around””

  1. Chris Thomas from Heaven Says:

    The CITS is gonna being rockin’ in 2021. Unity in the community

  2. Bojim Says:

    Man the Bucs picked well. The peace sign was so cool.

  3. Winny Testaverde Says:

    The young man saved two ball games ( Giants, Falcons: Round 1 ) and ultimately the season when he stripped Jared Cook in the playoffs. The clip of him and AW Sr. embracing after the Super Bowl will darn near bring a tear to a fella’s eye.

  4. ModHairKen Says:

    Wirfs and Winfield in the same draft. Imagine that. Jason Licht. Give the man credit.

  5. Miller5252 Says:

    That needs to be apart of the next Super Bowl statue. Winfield and the peace out B….!!!

  6. Alvin Scissors Harper Says:

    I questioned the pick at the time with some good RBs still there. Great pick Mr. Licht and I will admit I was clearly wrong on that one and many more. Licht is no longer Bud Licht or Licht my Balls. He is a pretty darn good GM and has done a hell of a job the last 3 or 4 years. Damn shame we wasted that #1 pick with Jay Miss. I still think Marcus will turn out to have a better career.

  7. Stanglassman Says:

    No more short and slow comments.

  8. Roster Says:

    He missed the NFCCG vs the Packers. 19 games.

  9. cmurda Says:

    So lucky to have this dude on our team. The image of deuces flashed in Hill’s grill will forever stay with me as one of the happiest moments of my life. Even as the penalty flag was coming out, we all knew that it was celebration time. Iconic. That aside, Winfield Jr is a manbeast and I’d like to thank the 10 or so teams in front of us in the 2nd round that whiffed on A Dubs.

  10. bradybucs Says:

    What i’ve never seen discussed is this…

    Were the Bucs targeting Grant Delpit the higher rated safety from LSU who got taken by Cleveland the pick before the Bucs picked Winfield???

    I think if Cleveland doesnt take Delpit that the Bucs do instead of Winfield. Joe?

    I dont think Licht was ever asked that. He would probably say they had Winfield on their board and not admit they had Delpit higher. I think the Browns did us a huge favor.

  11. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    There is absolutely no way Licht would admit to wanting another player…..never.

    Antoine Winfield Jr. is a first round talent……he and Devin White & Vita Vea will be a big part of a Championship Buccaneer defense for years to come.

  12. Anonymous Says:

    Winfield was excellent. The battle in training ca.l to see who the two starting safeties will be will be interesting. Winfield is our best overall safety. Whitehead the best strong safety, Edwards likely our best free safety. One of these guys won’t be starting. Winfield might be switching to strong safety if Edwards can prove more valuable than Whitehead.

  13. TampaTown Says:

    I already bought a shirt with him flashing the ✌🏻 at Hill… but I think we need with the same picture or just him saying “ Go for 2 ✌🏻“

  14. Chris L Says:

    You should see the GMFB segment a couple days ago with Nate burleson falling him a guaranteed fUTURE HOFer. Too early to say but that is quite a lot of praise. Nate played with his father and even before the draft last year he said whoever gets antoine Winfield jr will get the steal of the draft.

  15. DBS Says:

    I bought the shirt too. Hope lots of fans did.

  16. Joe in Michigan Says:

    I remember reading a draft magazine last year, and they had Winfield’s 40 time as a 4.8 (it must’ve been a typo, supposed to be 4.48). I thought damn, that’s slow for a guy his size. So happy the Bucs took him, his Dad was one of my
    non-Buc favorite players.

  17. WiscoJoe Says:

    I’m all about plug and play rookies but where would they plug and play them? This roster has no weakness

  18. SOEbuc Says:

    I remember seeing pics of him on Bucs.com coming into OTA totally ripped. Always in the perfect tackling position. That’s good NFL DB genes.

  19. Oneilbuc Says:

    I thought drafting him was a bad pick because of his size. But I was wrong about him . I’m glad we got him he prayed me wrong. I see a Earl Thomas type so far .

  20. gp Says:

    The pic of him giving the peace sign to Hill is now my desktop wallpaper!

  21. David Says:

    Don’t jump on me because I think he was awesome, but all the safeties let receivers get over top of them way too much.
    But just like Dean and SMB, they’re all young and learning and were getting better and better.


  22. BertoRican Says:

    Already got his jersey! I hope he’s a lifetime Buc with a long Hall of Fame Career!

  23. BuucccNASTY Says:

    The crazy thing is ( especially if we resign Shaq), WE HAVE NO WEAKNESS! I mean that in a sense of roster construction, and if you don’t believe me just look at our roster last year (we won the f@$*iN Super Bowl!). What this means as far as draft tho is the draft becomes completely free to take value (AKA Best Talent Available) which is what Licht and Arians have done flawlessly the last few years and look how it has worked out. There is ALWAYS talent, especially in the top 100 players drafted. But the reasons steals happen every year is teams get mixed into the emotion of NEED!!! When you can glide through a slouew of talent and pick the best looking ones not blinded by the fear of NEED you get so much more value. Let’s pray we get Shaq back and bust this Bi$&H wiiiiide open!

  24. Bucthis Says:

    We do NEED younger pass rushers. JPP/ Shaq won’t be around forever at the market prices. We need rookie contract guys not too mention QB of the future. We don’t need them to start right away but learning from the best while we still have them.

  25. Pickgrin Says:

    “Just imagine if the Bucs nail the draft again this year with two more plug-and-play studs.”

    Ok great – but where are you going to ‘plug and play’ a rookie on this squad?

    Unless Shaq walks and we draft an edge rusher 1st rd – ok maybe then…. or an early injury to a starter….

    But otherwise – what position would a rookie even have a prayer of starting at?

    Kick Returner is about all I can come up with……..

    What a great “problem” to have. Its BPA all the way on draft day.

  26. MRRR Says:

    We have no weaknesses is assuming we can sign everyone
    . If not, that’s where we will need “plug and play”. If we can sign everyone then we start drafting for depth. Probably should start at running back and defensive line. Go Bucs.

  27. Seattle Buc is back in TB Says:

    Overall Winfield is very good and will only get better, Whitehead really brings the wood as an agressive downhill SS. Legit group over all

  28. Bird Says:

    He is becoming one of my favorite players very quickly

    Super physical for a guy of his “smaller” frame size

  29. BilLBob11 Says:

    Im so glad you all are good with lichts picks im sure he feels so much better knowing that yall are good with him,sure it keeps him up at night……tsssss

  30. Oneilbuc Says:

    Bucthis I a 💯% agree with you on that ain’t nothing wrong with preparing for the future at the same time going all in on winning another superbowl this year. We have to sustain success in the coming years . That’s what I want for this franchise !!! I don’t want to go back to losing every year !!!

  31. Oneilbuc Says:

    And yeah I hope they draft another quarterback this year so we can keep building the offensive line and the defensive line . And I still think that Kyle Trask can be the steal of the draft. What about Trey Simonson from Ohio state I think he may be a good runningback . When the next quarterback comes in I hope the coaching staff design a playbook around what he does best like Andy Reid does with his quarterbacks. I don’t remember him not being able to develop a quarterback .

  32. The Red Mirage Says:

    I just ordered my Duces T-shirt. GO BUCS SB LVI here we come!!

  33. Anonymous Says:

    Nice to hear from Mr Thomas.

    Unity indeed.

  34. firethecannons Says:

    remember the Falcons game in the endzone and Winfield flew alongside Ridley to knock the ball away from what was to be a sure touchdown. It was as if he airborne.

  35. Trey Long Says:

    Wirfs was literally amazing. Winfield right up there.
    Talk about collecting talent. Then Brady Gronk AB Fournette, Shady on top. Once they got that bulldozer going, good night Irene. Gives me chills.

  36. SufferingSince76 Says:

    Gotta agree with Oneilbuc on Kyle Trask. He’s got great size, good skills and will probably be around for a while on draft night.