Antoine Winfield Will Still Get His Nose Close To The Line

May 4th, 2023

Future usage explained.

Last year, Joe learned something new about Bucs safety Antoine Winfield, aside from the fact he’s a flat out baller.

He’s prone to concussions.

Winfield suffered multiple concussions last year. More this year and Winfield’s NFL career may be on thin ice.

So this offseason when the Bucs announced Winfield would be moved back to free safety (he played lots of strong safety and nickel last year, which put him in a lot of traffic), it seemed as if the move was made in part to help prevent Winfield’s brains from being scrambled.

Yesterda, speaking to the local pen and mic club at One Bucs Palace, safeties coach Nick Rapone said concussions are not why the Bucs will move Winfield back to free safety.

In fact, expect Winfield to continue being in the mosh pit near the line of scrimmage, Rapone said.

“When you have to play nickel, you have to play man, you have to play zone, you have to work stacks in man. You have to work bunches in man,” Rapone explained. “And that’s why you see most guys in the NFL [at nickel] are corners.

“What we do in practice is adjustments. So it was hard to get Antoine all that work that he needed [to play nickel and safety]. So [he and Todd Bowles] made a decision moving forward, let’s move you back. Let’s take you out of the nickel.”

Rapone added Winfield must be counted on to blitz.

“In base [defense], he’s still going to be up close to the line of scrimmage,” Rapone said. “He’s our best blitzer, by far.”

The concussions are worrisome. More and more NFL players retire at a young age due to concussions (hello, Ali Marpet).

Winfield is on the cusp of his second NFL contract, typically expensive deals for a Pro Bowler like Winfield.

Joe doesn’t think Winfield will retire if he absorbs another concussion or two this fall, but Joe doesn ‘t rule it out. But let’s face it, he already has a ring. Many players only hang around because they are chasing that ring.

31 Responses to “Antoine Winfield Will Still Get His Nose Close To The Line”

  1. Hodad Says:

    Most players hang around for the money. Winfield hasn’t been paid yet. The ring don’t feed the family, the second contract does.

  2. ModHairKen Says:

    Why are concussions being revealed now? Negotiating leverage?

  3. Dooley Says:

    Splitting Winfields’ focus between safety and nickelback didn’t work out all that great in 2022. Rapone also eluded to the fact safeties in this scheme are asked to be able to know the role of both free & strong safety positions, so cross-training Winfield meant he had to juggle the responsibility of 3 different positions on a given rep/drive/game. Pretty sure Winfield’s capable of handling it mentally, but physically that’s got to take a toll over the duration of the season especially dealing with injuries. Good to hear that’s being scrapped and look forward to seeing who in the CB room steps up to fill the nickel position out. ZMac has the athleticism to play the role, I’d be curious to how long it’d take for him to find comfort doing that job.

  4. Goatfarmer Says:

    Leave it to Bloweszo to suboptimize the Bucs best DB and scramble his brain as a bonus. I hope for Antoine’s sake he can keep his head from getting concussed.

  5. Allbuccedup Says:

    Should have drafted a safety day 1 or 2. UDFA hardly make the roster.

  6. Dooley Says:


    Drafted Hayes and got 2 UDFAs who were moderately rated in Izien & Merriweather, and they’ll be competing with Nolan Turner so there’s a good chance at least one of the UDFA safeties makes the team. I figure it’d be whomever can be a good special teamer and learn both safety positions, but it’s likely we carry at least 4 safeties.

  7. Infomeplease Says:

    I see the chiefs signed D. Smith to 9M$. All those who think he’s done…

  8. Joe in Michigan Says:

    Goatfarmer Says:
    May 4th, 2023 at 7:55 am
    Leave it to Bloweszo to suboptimize the Bucs best DB and scramble his brain as a bonus. I hope for Antoine’s sake he can keep his head from getting concussed.
    Todd Bowles is a Head Coach in the NFL. You’re a whiny b!tch on JBF.

  9. Infomeplease Says:

    If Winfield can’t play.. would be a huge loss!! Sounds like a similar situation to Miami’s Tua. Not good, not good at all!!!

  10. Letsbucinggo Says:

    Joe in Michigan Todd Bowles is a head coach in the NFL thats a matter of opinion Bwahwahwahwah!

  11. Cover deuce Says:

    He’s prone to concussions? So you’re a doctor now?

  12. garro Says:

    I really really hate to hear this. Mostly for him but also for the Bucs and the NFL as a whole. This concussion stuff is becoming a big big problem with no simple solution. I dont think the weird new helmets are a total solution.

  13. NutterBuccer Says:

    How many Diagnosed concussions does Winfield actually have? Just curious.

  14. WillieG Says:

    I hope he plays forever with the Bucs BUT, if it means a lifetime of pain and/or depression because of CTE, I hope he never takes another snap.

  15. Dusthty Rhothdes Says:

    Put him in centerfield and let him roam like jose siri does; get another thumper near the line

  16. Marine Buc Says:

    The concussions are very concerning. I hope he can stay healthy enough to earn that second “show me the money” contract.

    I noticed Ali Marpet retired after missing games due to concussions…

    I remember Bill Rominowski telling a story about him leaving the Raiders training facility and just driving around for a few hours because he couldn’t remember where he lived.

    That is some scary stuff.

  17. sasquatch Says:

    If he sustains any more concussions this year, I hope he retires. Also, it’ll be risky to guarantee him a bunch of money next offseason when his contract is up.

  18. Lord Cornelius Says:

    So who is playing nickle lol? Dee Delaney?

  19. BA’s Red Pen Says:

    Concussions are a definite concern for him, hopefully last season was an anomaly. You can’t mess with brain injuries so I really hope he can avoid them going forward. The current players are vastly more educated about concussions than they were in the past and with today’s salaries they can retire early and be set for life.

  20. Ds Says:

    Kinda think they should let him do the stuff he did his first 2 yrs playing a small guy at the line is no bueno

  21. Coburn Says:

    Hodad. I feel you comment just shows how detached the average fan is with just how much these guys make. Yeah rookie deals are far less than second contracts, but he’ll still make 7 mil+ in his rookie deal. It’s very possible to call it a career and not worth about feeding his family. Maybe not if he lives like a lot of other athletes..but he could live better than any middle class person, never work another day in his life, and set his kids up well. In fact if he only spent the principal on a nice Hosur and reliable vehicle it wouldn’t be hard to just live off the interest.

  22. Coburn Says:

    Anyways hopefully he doesn’t have more concussion issues

  23. Miller5252 Says:

    Sounds like he needs that neck thing that Luke wore with the Panthers. It’s suppose to keep blood up in the brain and help prevent getting concussions?? Don’t need him ending up like Luke crying as he’s going off the field not knowing what planet you’re on.

  24. Redeemer Says:

    Could definitely understand if he did retire, if he were to get another. That cash is hard to turn down though. These guys are conditioned to play. Look at Steve Young. The last concussion via Williams on a missed block by the late Lawrence Phillips, put him to sleep for 2 minutes. I had several in Jr. College, and still feel the effects. That’s just highschool and two years at a tiny school. Can’t go outside without shades, even on a cloudy day. I love Winfield’s play. It’d be a shame to lose him, but we often forget that these are mortal men, with their whole lives in front of them.

  25. Redeemer Says:

    Miller There is no help for preventing concussion. The Brain sits in fluid. Think of it like a not quite set jello mold. It crashes through the fluid, And hits the inside of the skull. Had many, not fun. Some are more prone to the after effects than others.

  26. Redeemer Says:

    What’d I say that needs mod?

  27. SufferingSince76 Says:

    Redeemer, my every comment is moderated and I still don’t know why. Sometimes they won’t show for hours.

  28. Joe Says:

    He’s prone to concussions? So you’re a doctor now?

    Don’t have to be a doctor to see that. smh

  29. unbelievable Says:

    I said this all season last year, that I was concerned with how many concussions he had.

    I believe he also had 1 or 2 during his first 2 seasons as well. Would hate to see such a gifted and brilliant young player have his career cut short from this, but I fear that may be where things are headed. Hopefully not though!

  30. Voice of Truth Says:

    That is a horrible thing to read. He is one of our very best players and just might be the best pure tackler in the league.

    Absolutely love this guy and his game. Putting him back to FS is a very wise move, he will likely be an All -Pro soon

  31. westernbuc Says:

    Respect to Marpet but Winfield is a true dawg. He’s hungry and I imagine he’s competing against his own dad with his career. Sometime to watch but I’m not worried yet