Antoine Winfield Jr is already proving himself as one of the best young safeties in the NFL. He’s a charismatic guy both on and off the field too, equipped with a smile big and bright enough to light up any room and the chatter skills to go with it. As a rookie with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers though, he doesn’t have the same role as what he had when captaining the Minnesota Gophers defense in 2019.
We don’t hear from him much because of that. So when the NFL decided to mic up the Defensive Rookie of the Year candidate last week vs the Raiders, I knew they’d get the footage and quotes they were looking for and an audience ready and willing to consume the content.
And boy did they.
4+ minutes of Antoine Winfield Jr mic’d up, in just one Twitter highlight. Most Twitter users aren’t even allowed to post videos over 2:20. The social media clip includes Winfield calling for his first NFL interception (kind of) and the celebration and sideline chatter that took place afterward. It’s all gold.
What more could you ask for, if you’re the NFL employee who had to put this mic’d up highlight together? It was the easiest job that person has had all week long. You get hype-man Tom Brady screaming at teammates. You get Winfield aweing at one of Tom’s throws and even a “Gronk’s just different, bro” quote.
I knew heading into the draft that Winfield Jr would be an immediate asset, if he went to the right NFL team. It’s fun to see him thriving in Tampa Bay.
Other Gophers Standing Out
Antoine Winfield Jr isn’t the only 2019 Minnesota Gophers draft pick who had a big week 7 in the NFL. On the other side of Tampa Bay’s ball, Tyler Johnson caught his first-career touchdown. It happened to be a record TD pass for Tom Brady, too.
Johnson certainly hasn’t gotten the run that Winfield has, but he’s already proving to be someone Tom can trust in the red-zone. TJ only has 7 catches and 72 yards on the season but 2 of those catches were touchdowns.
Before a knee injury forced Kamal Martin to hit the reset button on his NFL career just before it started, he was getting ready to line up as a starting linebacker for the Green Bay Packers. That reset button pushed Kamal’s debut out to Sunday, when the Packers played in Houston vs the Texans.
He picked up right where he left off before the injury, registering 6 solo tackles, one for a loss. That was good for 3rd-best on the team.
Making NFL GM’s Look Dumb
Week after week after week, 2019 Minnesota Gophers make every GM in the NFL sorry for not drafting them. That list of general managers includes Rick Spielman, who had a better view from the Sid Hartman press box at TCF Bank Stadium than any other executive league-wide.
Eric Strack | Minnesota Sports Fan