-There are some players on the Buccaneers roster *coughs* Lavonte David, that have waited an extraordinarily long time for what will happen on Saturday night. Then there are others, like rookie safety Antoine Winfield Jr. who will play in a playoff game in his first year in the league.
"It's a blessing, especially hearing from guys like Lavonte [David] who have been on the team for nine years and this is his first playoffs," said Winfield. "I'm definitely not taking anything for granted because it's hard to get here. Everybody's good in the NFL and so I'm just blessed that I have the opportunity to be in the playoffs my first year."
Winfield Jr. has had a tremendous impact on the defense in just his first year. He finished with 3.0 sacks as a safety, two of which included forced fumbles as well as an interception and 94 total tackles. He's not the only first-year player that has seen significant work, and significant impact, either. Right tackle Tristan Wirfs had the daunting task of protecting one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time thrust upon him with no offseason or preseason game to speak of. Wirfs went up against some of the league's best pass rushing talent early and throughout the course of the season. Yet, he former Iowa Hawkeye let up just one sack all season. And like his rookie Big Ten counterpart, will be enjoying the fruits of his labor in the postseason in just his first year.
"I think a lot of guys just said, 'Don't take it for granted,'" said Wirfs. "Like Lavonte [David], he's been in the league for nine years and [has] never been to the playoffs, so being able to go to the playoffs your first year – just make the most of it. Go out there and don't hold [anything] back. There is no reason to. I think that's been the biggest thing – enjoy it, soak it all in and give it your all."
P.S. They both mentioned Lavonte David. That should tell you just how much this guy means to he team.
On the other end of the spectrum, you have a player who has played in an NFL-record 41 playoff games on your roster in Brady. Head Coach Bruce Arians was asked about his demeanor as he prepares to lead a new team into the postseason.
"It's just even more attention to detail – some things he might've let go and talked [about] on the side, he addresses immediately," said Arians of Brady. "Same with me. I don't accept anything this week at all. If it's a little bit off, if it's two yards off your reception area, you better get in the right spot."
Bucs Tweet of the Day: