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Antoine Winfield Jr.'s Remarkable 2023 Season, Reaction to Him Not Being Named a Pro Bowl Starter | Brianna's Blitz

An overview of Antoine Winfield Jr.’s stellar campaign in 2023, warranting high praise around the NFL

AWJ Bri's Blitz

Despite producing a sensational season on the gridiron, Tampa Bay Buccaneers' safety Antoine Winfield Jr. was not one of the names on the 2023 NFC Pro Bowl roster. Instead, Winfield was named an alternate (first) after accumulating a career-high in tackles (117), sacks (five), forced fumbles (five), fumble recoveries (four) and passes defensed (12) through 16 games in 2023. He has built an All-Pro resumé in 2023 for the Bucs at free safety and has established himself atop the hierarchy at the position. Winfield plays like his hair is on fire, wreaking havoc week-after-week. Offenses around the NFL are forced to adjust their protections based on where No. 31 is at on the field – a true testament to his prowess. Winfield is a do-it-all phenom, whether dropping into coverage, blitzing, disrupting the run in the box or manning the post. He possesses elite play recognition and takes proficient angles to the ball against the run and pass. Winfield's pursuit leverage, ball-tracking and intensity when striking set him apart.

He has the most sacks by a safety in Bucs' franchise history with 14.0 and is the lone defensive back with 10-plus sacks, five-plus forced fumbles, and five-plus fumble recoveries through their first four seasons (since at least 2000). In addition, Winfield is one of three defensive backs with 5.0-plus sacks, 10-plus takeaways and 350-plus tackles since the start of the 2020 season. He is in rare air and sets the tone on the Bucs' defense.

The fact that Winfield was noticeably left off the Pro Bowl starter roster for the safety position drew candid commentary from players and coaches across the NFL.

"From my standpoint, this guy should be an All-Pro," said Bucs' Defensive Line Coach and Run Game Coordinator Kacy Rodgers. "He should be in the conversation for defensive MVP, and he doesn't make the Pro Bowl. We don't get to decide that, but we know what he means to us. He does it week-in and week-out…he is a true soldier. My hat goes off to him. I honestly think that it is a travesty."

Many others took to social media to voice their frustrations:

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