“I Want To Go Out There And Tackle”

August 23rd, 2022

Hungry Pro Bowler.

Joe is deep in the dog days of preseason and little is fun other than it being much better than the 5-plus months without real football.

Injuries pile up along with clichés, in addition to the seemingly inevitable and somewhat annoying Tom Brady drama.

Also bubbling up are top defensive players’ desires to do what they do best, play physical football. Pro Bowl safety Antoine Winfield Jr., turned 24 last week and he’s been one of the more consistent and impressive performers in training camp. But the Bucs haven’t let him play in preseason yet and real tackling is frowned upon in practice — even joint practices.

That’s got Winfield drooling for action, so he explained today after practice. “I want to go out there and tackle,” Winfield said passionately when asked about his interest in preseason action.

He’s hungry to play Saturday in Indianapolis and Joe can’t blame him. It’s hard to be great at full-speed tackling without a green light to do just that in practice.

The Bucs have been training Winfield a lot at nickel cornerback this summer. They’re not saying it, but Joe knows a big part is Todd Bowles wants to use Winfield more as a blitzer.

Consider what safeties coach Nick Rapone said back in 2019. “In our system, the No. 1 person that blitzes is the nickel. … Our nickels have to blitz. Our nickels have to play man-to-man. …”

Winfield has been a successful pass rusher in his limited opportunities, and Joe suspects the Bucs want more juice on the blitz because of uncertainty in the edge rush department.

29 Responses to ““I Want To Go Out There And Tackle””

  1. tampafishman Says:

    I am concerned that with our schedule and depleted offensive line, we may stink it up, especially early. So, who are we going to blame? The line? The coaches? The Glazers?

  2. SB~LV Says:

    None of the starters and their backups should play!
    Risk – reward is zip

  3. J Ghotier Says:

    Todd Bowles said exactly the same reason today when asked why he’s lining up at Nicke so frequently….he said, “he’s a great blitzer” and “he’s one of our best cover guys”. It’s exactly the reason you and Rapone state.

    Todd did also say he wanted to get him work there to use “for a few games”

    p.s. you just gotta say Coach, “let me play….I’m not just trying to collect an easy paycheck, I ABSOLUTELY and SINCERELY just love playing this game”. AWJ ✌️is the epitome of a Football Player and would play the game for fun just the same. He’s the ultimate Football player and the exact kind of person/player you want on your team. The tough, physical and intelligence only adds to it!

  4. geno711 Says:

    We may start slow but if we get to 13 wins and are healthy than most teams at the end of the year who cares.

  5. david Says:

    I like it. They can afford to do that with Ryan and Edwards back at safety. Besides, the more versatile all the DBs are at the positions they can play, the better

  6. GOB Says:

    I always loved the physical part of the game. Sounds like Winfield does too. I believe Logan Ryan will make the entire group better.

  7. Bojim Says:

    Brady has been to the SB with lesser teams. Betcha he does it again.

  8. BucsfanFred Says:

    No important starters! No Hall(s)! No Brady! No White! No Hicks! No JTS! No Winfield!
    Maybe first quarter for Hainsey and Goedeke.

  9. D-Rok Says:

    Hitting? Who said hitting? I love to watch a good form tackle almost as much I did back in the day performing them.

    Simply from a fan perspective, bring back the good clean hitting. As one of my coaches used to say (who was an NFL O-Lineman who played in the Ice Bowl) – KNOCK THEIR BLOCKS OFF! And if that doesn’t work, knock ’em out of their cleats.

    Love me some Winfield Jr. I would pick him to be on the team, if I was Da Coach.

    GO BUCS!!!

  10. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Our starters need to play some….we don’t want them playing against Dallas without playing any football.

    You can’t fear injury so much that you jeopardize condition.

  11. steele Says:

    Exactly where are we now?

    A few months back, the main issue was defense and pass rush. That remains a question mark. The Suh/JPP hole remains and, no Hicks alone does not address it and “comfortable Carl” doesn’t, either. Hall completely raw, JTS may have improved, but still not finishing. Secondary? Logan Ryan and Keanu Neal, good additions, but the rest of the unit has a lot to prove.

    All of these problems have been completely superceded by the total disaster on OL that they seem happy to ignore, because they love their in-house options.

    What happens when the offensive goes 3-and-out frequently? Your worst nightmare. Brady gets busted up, frustrated, he sits on the bench pissed off.

    Defense will once again be on the field way too much, get tired, get worked.
    Talent level isn’t good enough to carry the team.

  12. steele Says:

    Bojim, I don’t think that is true. Brady’s SB Pats teams were better than what this one is at the moment. Coaching? I’ll take Belichick, Scarnecchia, Weis, McDaniels, Crennel etc. over Bowles/Leftwich. The seasons in which the Pats rosters sagged in quality, they were ousted in the playoffs.

  13. D-Rok Says:

    Isn’t today cut-down day?

  14. Defense Rules Says:

    D-Rok … ‘KNOCK THEIR BLOCKS OFF! And if that doesn’t work, knock ’em out of their cleats’.

    Used to love John Lynch’s bone-crushing tackles. As I recall, he used to preach tackling ‘through a player’ (aiming on the other side of the ball-carrier & just running right through him). You could hear his tackles sitting anywhere in the stadium.

    Cut-down day is the 30th I believe, so we still have another week. I’m still thinking that we’ll add 2 OLinemen to our final roster before all is said & done (ones who aren’t on the current roster of course). Camp meat is fine during training camp, but when the season starts that doesn’t cut it. It only takes 1 weak link to get Brady killed.

  15. AbucAway Says:

    Yes, please! We loudly encourage you and wish you much success in this endeavor.

    Although, it certainly seems to be more difficult as all tackles now have to go through a check down of acceptable tackles that can be made without drawing a flag.

  16. D-Rok Says:

    Agree, DR. We lost 2 O-linemen; therefore, logic dictates we need 2 more. Loved watching me some Lynch and Lott – style of hitting/tackling.

    Ahhh, memories.

  17. Infomeplease Says:

    Won’t be long now!! Real fa, fa, fa, football!! Hitting and all!!!! Go Bucs!!

  18. DrunkinYbor Says:

    I get the cross training… But I would love if he had one focus not 2 and times that route tree he would need to know. Did anyone ask Lynch to play corner? Just asking for a buddy

  19. Chris Tucker@Apple Roof Cleaning Tampa Says:

    I may be wrong, but was it not a safety blitz that left Cooper Cupp nearly wide open against the Rams ?
    I still have not gotten completely over that loss, since we had been blitzing Stafford all day, and it had not been working.
    I hated to see our season end like that, especially after we battled so hard, to get back into the game.

    Another Poster commented on John Lynch, and how hard he hit. I totally agree, and you could always tell when Lynch hit someone at the stadium, because you could hear it!

    I tell my Grandson that they just do not make football players like Mike Alstott and John Lynch anymore, and that’s the truth.

  20. Red-sparrow Says:

    Joe is annoyed at the Brady “drama”, yet Joe perpetuates that non story for clicks on his site. Can’t have it both ways Joe….

  21. steele Says:

    ChrisTucker, it wasn’t just the blitz calls. Kupp put various individual Bucs defenders on skates, made them look ridiculous. The entire team, especially every one of those guys, we know who there are, should have been burning for revenge starting with the night of the loss, then hitting the film room and practice facility, and circling the date of the rematch.

  22. NCBucfan Says:

    They keep changing the tackling rules much more, and pretty soon woman will be able to play QB and the other skill positions. Don’t get me wrong, I still love the game, but I will never love a defense more than the late 90s early 2000s Bucs D!!!

  23. Red-sparrow Says:

    Oh and as a side note Joe, where the heck is the latest podcast!? Last one is a week old…. Step your game up Joe, step it up.

  24. SB Says:

    My son is the same way!. His first HS game is this Saturday and they have already given him time off in practice because he is hitting too hard.
    We are playing the State Champs in game one so I don’t hold a lot of “hope” ‘God forbid’ But Looking forward to some Live football!!

  25. GOB Says:

    The next time they play the Rams, someone needs to put Cupp on notice. IDC if it draws a personal foul, so be it. You can’t let one guy wreck the game. Too many of these guys are afraid to get fined. One good de-cleater is all it takes. I’m not advocating injuring the guy, just a clean God fearing hit. Ronnie Lott, Rodney Harrison, and John Lynch wouldn’t stand for the way he punked the bucs.

  26. steele Says:

    Thanks GOB. That is exactly the ticket. Plus completely shutting him down for an entire game. It is really too bad modern rules shackle defenses. I’d like to transport Kupp to previous era. Good night.

  27. Goatfarmer Says:

    I know this might sound crazy to Todd, but sometimes if you double cover a team’s best receiver you can shut him down. Let’s double CeeDee Lamb at Dallas. Just for the sake of science.

  28. GOB Says:

    steele, I hate to be the back in my day guy, but I only know one way. My position coach was Jeff Fisher, a disciple of the great Buddy Ryan (God rest his soul) I understand that the game has changed, but you’re right. If Cupp played when I did, at least his head would be on a swivel. The last great hit I saw, was Cam Chancellor’s hit on Edelman in the superbowl. Jules was clearly concussed, but kept bringing it. What a game.

  29. Goatfarmer Says:

    AW2 needs to teach his DB mates how to tackle.