Buccaneers player move is creating a monster on defense

Antoine Winfield Jr., Tampa Bay Buccaneers, (Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images)
Antoine Winfield Jr., Tampa Bay Buccaneers, (Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images) /

The decision to move Antoine Winfield Jr. into the slot for some reps is paying off in a massive way for the Buccaneers on defense.

The Buccaneers defense was beyond great last night. You have to hand it to Todd Bowles; he had a game plan in mind for that matchup, and the team played it to perfection.

Only giving up three points was the best showing by the Buccaneer defense since Week 7 of the 2021 season against the Chicago Bears, and there are plenty of arguments to make that this performance was even better.

Every player fit into their role like a glove. Guys stepped up and made big plays. The substitutions were limited, but they worked when shifted.

Everything worked together as it was supposed to, and the whole unit was improved to an even greater degree by an inspiring performance from defensive back Antoine Winfield Jr.

Winfield was initially drafted by the Buccaneers to play safety, a position he is damn good at already, but this summer has seen Winfield move into the slot from time to time.

This versatility is starting to become much more common in the modern NFL, and the Bucs were wise to use one of their best defensive players in such a way.

Winfield balled out the whole game. Seven tackles, one pass defended, and one interception doesn’t even tell the whole story. The young defender was all over the field for Tampa, essentially putting the game on ice with his interception, and blowing up plays left and right.

We got a pretty great view into where Winfield projects to be this season based on his early reps in this experimental new role, and if it worked that well against a talented receiver like CeeDee Lamb, Bucs fans can rest assured that they have an even bigger monster on defense than they originally thought.

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