Gaining The Extra Edge: CB Antoine Winfield

Posted by Mike Wobschall on July 1, 2010 – 10:34 am

#5 – CB Lito Sheppard
#4 – WR Bernard Berrian
#3 – CB Antoine Winfield

We’ve already identified CB Lito Sheppard and WR Bernard Berrian as players (not including obvious stars such as Jared Allen or Brett Favre) who hold the key to the Vikings gaining the extra edge in 2010. Today we go back to the well to select another CB as #3 on our list – Antoine Winfield.

The 5-9, 180-pound defensive playmaker may often be the smallest player on the field, but he also frequently makes the biggest impact for the Vikings defense. He’s known as one of the surest-tackling defenders in the NFL and he also has a knack for the big play. Winfield has registered 15 regular season and playoff INTs and 7 fumble recoveries (FRs) since joining the Vikings in 2004. During the 2006-2008 seasons, #26 helped the Vikings lead the NFL with 15 defensive TDs, 9 INTs and 6 FRs, with Winfield contributing 2 INTs for TDs, a FR for TD, a forced fumble that resulted in a another TD and he also became the 1st Viking to return a blocked FG for a TD, which counts as a special teams score but doesn’t add to the defensive total of 15.

In 2009, Winfield earned his 2nd consecutive Pro Bowl berth. But his season was also impacted by a foot injury he suffered against the Baltimore Ravens in Week 6. Winfield was able to make it back for a critical Week 14 win against the Cincinnati Bengals – perhaps the best game of the season for Winfield – but it was clear the foot injury negatively impacted Winfield for the remainder of the season.

It’s Winfield’s penchant for the big play and also the fact that he enters 2010 off an injury riddled 2009 season that lands him at #3 in this series. The Vikings defense has been a steadily improving and outstanding group under Head Coach Brad Childress and assistant head coach/defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier, but in order for that trend to continue the club will need Winfield to return to his Pro Bowl and playmaking form.

Adding to the importance of Winfield regaining his form is the fact that fellow starting CB Cedric Griffin is also coming back from injury. If Winfield can nail down his starting CB spot, a deep CB stable that includes Asher Allen, Benny Sapp and Lito Sheppard should be able to stem the tide until Griffin is able to return to the lineup.

A healthy and effective Winfield will spark the Vikings defense and give the club that extra edge for 2010.

Posted in All, Mike Wobschall | 30 Comments »

30 Responses to “Gaining The Extra Edge: CB Antoine Winfield”

  1. By Rogerthevikefan on Jul 1, 2010 | Reply

    Winfield is truly the best tackleing cb in the leage when healty he is also one of the hardest hitters on the vikes so if healty expect lots of forced fumbles. Plus he can help cook and allen with his exp. So no matter what he will help us get better because knowlege is golden.

  2. By Shea on Jul 1, 2010 | Reply

    Antoine’s only issue is when he’s in man coverage. Our safeties need to get deep and vertical fast and help him out when he gets beat on go routes.

  3. By FAVRE4EVER on Jul 1, 2010 | Reply

    With the addition of Sheppard i think winfield and other db’s will pick their game up. Now if we could address the problem at offensive guard. Favre is gonna need better protection. We should make a move on Patriots probowl guard Logan Mankins. He just stated he wants to be traded and if Favre can see vikings are willing to make this move to protect him i’m sure we’d have a quicker answer on his return

  4. By Rob on Jul 1, 2010 | Reply

    I agree with Rodger. Winfeild is the hardest hitting CB in the league when healthy. The guy is just fundamentally sound. Plus the he is a class act. In ’08 he came up with countless big plays. One huge play against the Saints if I remember correctly. Antoine is a game changer. When the Vikes have an Impact player like Winfield playing at 100% I feel much more at ease with our pass defense. We’ve made good strides to beef up our CB stable in the off season. Hopefully this year they can make the impact we need them to, and get us to the Super Bowl.

  5. By Malte on Jul 1, 2010 | Reply

    I like how Antonie Winfield is able to step into the box, and tackle a running back, like he was a linebacker. He is one of the cornerbacks in this league i would prefore not to be hitted by :) If he steps his game up to what we know he can do (like against the bengals, packers, and like he did against saints in 08) he will be very very good. But he must not have a game like against the panters, but then again, he was still injuried back then. I hope we get Antonie like we know him. Small little guy, with a hit harder than a rock. He will make plays this year ! Go # 26 :)

  6. By MGR4FUN on Jul 1, 2010 | Reply

    when they made the cornerback mold out popped #26 … antione represents what purple football is all about … a complete football player and a man of character on and off the field … #26 needed the off season to get healthy and return to 100% by sept 9th … antione is the perfect example for our two young men allen and cross to observe and follow in his path … wasnt too long ago that other teams just never came at antione and so they went after #23 over and over again til guess what #23 got pretty darn good … sheppard will hold down that side til #23 can return to 100% and he will but no need to rush that rehab now with lito there … this used to be a rather thin and some said weak position for the purple “however” that was never said about #26 antione winfield … now with some gr8 front office work and some even better coachin the present group of corners are most definately a major strength in both experience and youth as well as some very extrordinarily talented athletes led by #26 mr antione windield … i for one will make sure all my grandchildren know all about #26 mr antione winfield just as they will know about #22 mr paul krause … both men are what one looks for in a hero … and they just let their playin do there talkin

  7. By Pat the Viking on Jul 1, 2010 | Reply

    Winfield a very good CB. Excellent pick for #3, Mike.

    Getting off Topic – I like Logan Mankins – He’ll make a great addition to our OL – but he is a RFA –

    Wondering what will it take……….

    BTW, this is going to be my Monday Monday Mailbag Question

  8. By Fu8ck Da saints on Jul 1, 2010 | Reply

    I hope Antoine can play like he did in 08 against the saints because will need him to make big plays in our revenge game against new orleans…..Drew brees better watch out because the madden curse will take place in the form of knee rehab… karma’s a bit$h aint it greg williams..

  9. By Fu8ck Da saints on Jul 1, 2010 | Reply

    Do we get to take their rings when we fu4k the shi% out of that team and city?

  10. By Rogerthevikefan on Jul 1, 2010 | Reply

    #26 sacks brees fumbles the ball recovered for td. Result concussion and broken ribs for brees. MADDEN CURSE baby!!

  11. By sodkronos on Jul 1, 2010 | Reply

    I’ve liked Antoine shortly after seeing him play in purple. I was thrilled that his contract was extended and i seriously hope he is able to play the rest of his years here. he’s fun to watch and i love the energy he brings to a game. Before Jarred became a Viking Antoine was the only excitement on Defense. An example I would use is when he finally came back last year against CIN and he lit them up all game. Keep it up Antoine!

  12. By CA Norwegian on Jul 1, 2010 | Reply

    I’d prefir it if they’d just break the knees of the guys doing the cheap shots on Brett. Between TE’s, Tahi, Peterson, and Toby — someone should crackback on the knees of the most deserving cheap shooters.

    Thanks AW!! You are great! When we win you are a good part why!

  13. By Fu8ck Da saints on Jul 1, 2010 | Reply

    all admit i liked brees at the start of the 09 season but now he is a fuc4KEN TOOL.

  14. By scott goehring on Jul 1, 2010 | Reply

    I think winfeild is like ronnie lott . They both have that knack for being in the right spot all the time ( in the mix) Ball crazy and the ball bounces right to them . Excellent choice for #3 but even a better choice for #1 “extra edge”AW please stay healthy cuz i think you could be the BIG X -FACTOR.

  15. By Rogerthevikefan on Jul 1, 2010 | Reply

    Winfield doesn’t bring the wood he brings a sledge hammer and no one is safe. AW = pain. it is just that simple

  16. By FAVRE4EVER on Jul 2, 2010 | Reply

    Even Favre can’t work miracles of putting his guts and heart into his backups. Send TJACK and late rounder to Patriots for MANKINS. LETS WIN NOW!!!!!!

  17. By PurplePeopleEater on Jul 2, 2010 | Reply

    I have to disagree with this choice for the “Gaining the Extra Edge” selection. It seems that Winfield is far too obvious of a playmaker, which is why everyone loves him so much in here. Yes he was injured for much of the year, and he probably wasn’t fully recovered by the end of the season, but he was still making a big impact before it was over. It’s just way too hard to say that a Pro-Bowl selection is going to be that Diamond in the Rough that we’re looking for in this column.

  18. By GoVikes on Jul 2, 2010 | Reply

    hey farve4ever logan mankins would be a great player to ad but why would bill billicheck want TJack?

  19. By matt on Jul 2, 2010 | Reply

    that would be a steal if the vikings could somehow get mankins for jackson and a late draft pick

  20. By itsthevikesyear on Jul 2, 2010 | Reply

    The Patriots would laugh at that deal lol and so am I. He would be a good pickup but the Vikes would have to do better than that.

  21. By The Pillager on Jul 2, 2010 | Reply

    PurplePeopleEater – i have to agree with you that this is a weak pick – come on Mike you could do better….diamond in the rough?? on top of that – we have now discussed 3 of 5 choices and 2 have been CB’s???? you could of at least used one choice for the CB’s in general – i would have much rather seen a O lineman here or more deserving Ray Edwards…the guy is coming off a great year – signed an extension and with the Jared getting double teamed, the Williams brothers stuffing up the middle it is essential that Edwards/Robison and hopefully Everson Griffen put heat on opposing QB’s – if i am not mistake Edwards really helped us win the playoff game in Dallas….

  22. By 4eversteve on Jul 2, 2010 | Reply

    The Injury to Winfield foot was more of a problem than he was willing to let on and was a big reason he continue to struggle in man coverage the rest of last season although they play mostly cover-two scheme when he was on island and left by himself to cover receivers. Routes that forced him to stop and go or redirect quickly gave him a lot of problems, lets hope that quarterbacks in the league under estimate Winfield ability to cover people this year. He is faster than they think and still has a lot in the tank.

  23. By Jermaine on Jul 2, 2010 | Reply

    He is one of the leagues most under rated corner back. Glad that he’s a Viking

  24. By FAVRE4EVER on Jul 3, 2010 | Reply

    Hey Go Vikes, just trying to find a way to get some value out of t-jack. All i’m saying is i think we could finally make some kind of move to establish this team is serious about winning this year. If Pats don’t want t-jack then see what it would take. That guard position needs to be addressed and Mankins would be huge!!Not to get off topic. Winfield rocks.

  25. By Fran on Jul 3, 2010 | Reply

    Viks + Mankins: SB

  26. By Fran on Jul 3, 2010 | Reply

    Vikes + Mankins: SB

  27. By marcus on Jul 3, 2010 | Reply

    you think the vikes will add depth at the FS or SS slot before the season start? and if so do you think going after Atari bigby would be a good pick up for the team…he is a free agents that was productive with 49 tackles 4 ints last year(plus he’s a 5 yr vet) which help also

  28. By Viking Husker on Jul 5, 2010 | Reply

    Winfield raises the bar for the rest of the defensive backs. He hits hard, they have to step it up or they look soft.

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