Minnesota Vikings cornerback Antoine Winfield sat out the majority of the 2011 season with a broken collar bone. The 14 year NFL veteran says he’s ready to go for 2012. He recently sat down for an interview with the Pioneer Press to discuss a multitude of topics, including of course his health.
Here are some of the highlights:
“I’m 100 percent. I think I was cleared the end of March. The last couple of months I’m running around, getting into shape and getting ready for training camp.”
“Fresh?I think I am. Usually, I’m ending up with, like, 90 tackles. Last year, I only had about 30. I’m feeling pretty good.”
“My goal is to play 16 games. I’m not sure if I’ll be outside all 16. I’m sure I’ll play (inside) in the nickel, too.”
On a possible move to safety:
“I’ve played cornerback for so many years, and moving to safety is a totally different technique. I’m usually coming from the side where I have angles to make tackles. Being a safety, I’m looking at that running back eye to eye, a 225-pound, 235-pound running back, there’d be wear and tear. I don’t think the body is ready for that.”
On being a veteran:
“I think I’m the oldest player on the team now. Of course, young guys come and ask me after a play, ‘Which technique did I look good (on)?’ During film study, they sit by me and ask questions, and I answer them.”
On Christian Ponder’s development:
“He looks good. He looks comfortable in the pocket and is making some really good throws. I’m looking for a big season out of him.”
In 14 NFL seasons, Winfield has accumulated 953 tackles, 14 forced fumbles, and 24 interceptions.
For the Vikings secondary to be at it’s best, Winfield will also have to be at his. Of course at 35 years of age, it’s fair to ask how much Winfield realistically has left the tank. Only playing in a handful of games last season should help him to be fresh for the start of 2012, but how long will that last as the season progresses?