Bucs Safeties Coach Gets Props

December 15th, 2021

Bucs safeties coach Nick Rapone.

A classy Bucs assistant coach who largely stands in the shadows had sunlight shined on him this week by the folks at The 33rd Team.

Peter Engler decided to highlight seven NFL assistants who are getting the job done with limited resources. And one is Bucs safeties coach Nick Rapone.

Why is Engler showing Rapone the love? Well, Engler notes Rapone has had to work around injuries and missed time by his safeties and his group has held its own..

Buccaneers Safeties Coach Nick Rapone

2021 Cap Hit Ranking: 29th for DBs
Notable Players: Antoine Winfield Jr, Jordan Whitehead

Only two division leaders have a four-game lead on their next-closest foe — the league’s two Bays, Green and Tampa. Despite bringing back everyone and their mother from last season’s Super Bowl edition, Tampa Bay has been forced to shuffle around their secondary with every major contributor missing time. With key third safety Mike Edwards now suspended for committing federal offenses, the load will fall even more on a pair of mid-round rookie contract players in Jordan Whitehead and Antoine Winfield Jr. Regardless, this defense has been incredibly opportunistic, registering the fourth-most interceptions in the league (including 6 by safeties) and allowing the lowest yards per reception in the league — one of only two teams under the 10.0 mark.

The safeties have been excellent in primary coverage, allowing the 3rd-lowest EPA allowed/pass and 8th-lowest pass yards allowed per coverage snap, both especially important for a Tampa team that faces more passes than anybody else. Nick Rapone was a longtime college and HS coach before being tabbed in 2013 to lead a young Patrick Peterson in Arizona. Tampa managed to grab him back from the college ranks in 2019 and he has continued to excel.

What helps Rapone is experience and depth. An assistant can sure look good when he has quality on his depth chart. His four safeties could start at any time and there is little dropoff.

When Jordan Whitehead and Antoine Winfield were dinged up earlier this year, Mike Edwards filled in quite nicely.

Engler does have a point. Rapone is able to mix and match because he has talented guys. Still, getting a new starter ready nearly every week is a challenge. So Rapone is certainly getting the job done.

17 Responses to “Bucs Safeties Coach Gets Props”

  1. Listnfrmafar Says:

    They play 30 yds back no wonder they’re not allowing TD’s. Winfield is great and text book tackler not sure about Whitehead. Let’s face it, if the front seven don’t get to the QB we all have seen the results. I wouldn’t be blowing any smoke up the arses of any D coach quite yet.

  2. SteveK Says:

    Winfield and vita Vea might be the best 1-2 punch from their draft, the best defenders from their respective draft classes too?

    So impressed with AWJr’s tackling, awareness, and ability to play bigger than his size. Joe has said it before and I agree he is a more stout Ronde Barber.

  3. SteveK Says:

    We’ve come a long way since Coach Sheridan offered out free Coca-Cola to fans to come talk improvements at OBP.

  4. Perimeter Blocker Says:

    I’m glad to see him get recognition. Assistants often are overlooked and under appreciated. They create families (position) within the family (team) that create life long bonds…

  5. Joe in Michigan Says:

    Mr. Rapone could’ve been Jerry Stiller’s (may he rest in peace) stunt man.

  6. Scotty in Fat Antonio Says:

    Any reason why we signed a punter to the practice squad? Besides Pinion being eradicate throughout the season, are there other issues going on to include Covid?

  7. Listnfrmafar Says:

    Perimeter, I dropped a tear reading your post.

  8. Sampson Says:

    You all seeing all the negative press the Bucs are getting? The amout of the NFL is fixed and the Bills were screwed out of a win is unreal.
    That said, loving what I am seeing with Winfield the guy is flying around doing his best to make plays.

  9. SOEbuc Says:

    JUST HEARD WHITEHEAD WAS AT LEAST ON THE FIELD!!!!!!!!!! Don’t know what type of shape he’s in or if he was even practicing, but that is huge!!!!!!!

  10. Greg Says:

    listnfrmafar = troll. Did you kicked off the New England sites? You seem to have a lot of time on your hands.

  11. Scotty in Fat Antonio Says:

    From Greg Auman: Bradley Pinion is watching from sidelines and new practice squad punter Sterling Hofrichter is working during special-teams work today.

  12. SOEbuc Says:

    Bummer Joe. Why’d you delete my post??? It’s whatever.

  13. SOEbuc Says:

    Lol. Never mind different article I didn’t get knocked out of.

  14. SB Says:

    Greg Says:
    December 15th, 2021 at 12:00 pm
    listnfrmafar = troll. Did you kicked off the New England sites? You seem to have a lot of time on your hands


    He/she is the new Ndog.
    I just skip over his posts if I see his name.

  15. Ben green Says:

    Coaching props, roflmao!! Maybe they should make him head coach, cuz yours is a drunken fool. If the bucs get bounced in the divisional, or title game, they should gently as Arians to retire, and hire Josh McDaniels. With all the talent on offense, JM and Brady would be almost unstoppable. Brady doesn’t respect Arians or leftwit. He publicly emasculated them, by shaking them off on national TV. He did so because he doesn’t trust them. Brady would never have done such a thing with the Patriots, because he trusted Josh to put him in the best situation to succeed, no matter if it hurt his passing stats.
    Answer me this bucs fans, when they don’t win the superbowl, do you really want this coaching staff back? Anyone who says yes is either legally blind, or ammonia brained, like Arians

  16. Listnfrmafar Says:

    SB, if you read them you may learn something about football. As far as Ndog, not so I am a Bucs fan and believe they can repeat, just not a fan of the coaching staff. I am still under the belief in this country one can have an opinion though I’m some how some way going to be called a racist for offering one.

  17. Joe in Michigan Says:

    Ben Green: I’d rather have the Bucs front office decisions made by someone smart enough to capitalize their last name.