Bull Rush: Conditioning A Must For Reliable Stylez

January 13th, 2010
stevewhiteBy STEVE WHITE
JoeBucsFan.com analyst

Steve White spent every season of the Tony Dungy era playing defensive end for the Bucs. He’s spent countless hours in the film room with the likes of Warren Sapp, Rod Marinelli and more. Joe is humbled to have White, also a published author and blogger, as part of the JoeBucsFan.com team. Below is White’s weekly Bull Rush column that breaks down all things defense. It’s simply a can’t-miss read for the hardcore Bucs fan.

Over the next few weeks I will profile every Bucs defensive lineman, starters first, and break down their strengths and weaknesses, as well as how I see them fitting in next season.

First up: right defensive end Greg (Stylez) White


White is by far our best all around defensive lineman. He led the team in sacks with 6 1/2 even though he wasn’t a full time starter until we traded away Gaines Adams. He also probably led the team by a long shot in hurries, barely missing on a bunch of sacks this year. But he also is very good against the run, particularly on playing head up on a tight end and defeating the block. He finished up with 43 tackles, ninth best on the team and second best on the defensive line.

White has great get-off, which allows him to pressure offensive tackles immediately. He also has some very good hands moves to get him free to sack the quarterback. About midway through the season, he added a pretty good spin move into his arsenal to go along with his hump move as counters off of his speed rush. He also has very good football instincts and rarely gets sucked in on trick plays.

He plays strong and his strength is deceptive. But you see him getting really good push on his bull rushes. White also showed some versatility after Coach Morris started running the defense, showing that he could pass rush out of a two-point stance and gets some pretty good pass drops on zone-blitz calls.


The one major weakness I see in White’s game is conditioning.

Now I am not saying he is lazy because I don’t know his practice habits, but I am saying that he gets blowed too quickly.

I realize that going into the season he thought he would be a backup playing limited snaps, mostly on third down, but you always have to prepare to be the starter because you never know when your opportunity will come. Above and beyond that, being in condition allows you to make more plays. If you can stay in the game you have more opportunities. When you are in the game, if you are winded, then you can’t pass rush to your full potential.

There were times during games when White had opportunities to get pressure on the quarterback but was just too tired to really get off the ball like he normally does and work a move. When you look at the top sack guys in the league, the one thing you notice is they hardly if ever come out of the game. If White wants to join that elite group, he is going to have to push his cardio harder than ever this off season and keep it going all next year.

A smaller quibble in my opinion is that I never really saw White take over as a leader on the field this year even though he was obviously our bell cow up front. Now I don’t think everybody is suited to giving emotional speeches and all that, so that’s not really what I am talking about. What I mean is when we finally started making plays on defense towards the end of the year he is a guy who I would have loved to be the one to keep everyone hyped up. Especially when it was another guy who came up big.

Not saying he did it all the time, but I didn’t like seeing him just running off the field or going back to the huddle without at least celebrating with his teammates a little. Perhaps he was conserving energy, which I can understand, but sometimes emotion can give you energy you didn’t think you had.

The Future

There aren’t many guys on the defensive line who I would say are definitely safe this off season, but I think White is one of them.

I believe he has a year remaining on his contract and while he might not get the big time extension he is looking for yet, if he does what he needs to do he will probably cash in for 2011.

White showed this season that he can be a major contributor on this defense and really get after the quarterback. He also showed himself to be reliable and consistent, which is the true measure of a players worth in my opinion.

Of all the places we need to fill holes this offseason, I don’t think right defensive end is one of those spots. And if White can get in the best shape of his life this offseasaon and stay healthy next year, I think the best is yet to come in his career.

12 Responses to “Bull Rush: Conditioning A Must For Reliable Stylez”

  1. Paul Wiezorek Says:

    Nice insight.

  2. sgw94 Says:

    @Paul Glad you enjoyed it

  3. DRB Says:


    do we have a defensive end on this roster who is comparable to Greg Spires?

    He was a solid, consistent player against the run and pass for quite a while.

  4. sgw94 Says:


    I don’t think so but its not necessarily a knock on the guys we have, at least not all of them. Spires was a very very physical defensive end and he was dominant against the run. I don’t think we have anybody like that right now, Wilkerson is closest but not quite there. On the other hand I would say Wilkerson is probably a little bit better at one on one pass rush than Spires too so you take the good with the bad. But other than Wilkerson I don’t think there is anybody even close.

  5. cheese Says:

    Think you went easy on Stylez for being out of shape. Allegedly it was a tough camp, and he wasn’t banged up that he coudln’t run. Plus he had that great preseason game. The dude just let himself go if you ask me. BS if you ask me.

  6. JDouble Says:

    I like Crowder. He’s young and has looked promising in my opinion. Anyone know if he was a one year contract? Or do we have him locked down for a few years?

  7. Sander Says:

    Football Outsiders agrees with you on White getting a lot of pressure, which they measured in the form of hits (which they define as the amount of times someone hit the QB right after a pass, just missing on a sack). He has 12 QB hits, which is relatively high.


    Interestingly, it also notes Geno Hayes as the (tied) leader in QB hits for 4-3 linebackers.

    If anyone has access to their database maybe they could look up some of the more detailed/interesting stats.

  8. sgw94 Says:


    But is that your opinion or do you know it to be fact? I deal with facts, and if you want somebody throwing around accusations you are reading the wrong guy.

  9. sgw94 Says:


    I actually think that 12 number is low for White. I would have it more towards 15. And that’s with him not even starting at the beginning of the year. He had something like 3 just in the last game against Atlanta

  10. Larry Says:

    Steve, in your opinion how would the Defensive Tackles benefit playing next to Ndamukong Suh or Gerald McCoy?

  11. sgw94 Says:

    You know Larry just the other day I decided to do a little looking around because I had a hunch. Turns out the last time a defensive tackle had double digit sacks was 2006. Know who that guy was? Warren Sapp. Turns out that defensive tackles for the most part have not been big sack guys here of late, and honestly I don’t think either guy is the next Sapp because Suh doesn’t have the moves and McCoy doesn’t have his speed. I think our ends will benefit from having an inside push but I don’t know how much either guy will help at least in their first couple of years when they are still learning how to play at the next level. The defensive tackles next to them probably wouldn’t benefit a whole lot because they would be nose tackles not really expected to be big time pass rushers.

  12. Cody Says:

    For a while I was of the thinking that the Bucs should do whatever posible to get ahold of Suh but I’ve been watching highlights of both Suh and McCoy on youtube, which I understand isn’t as good as going through an entire game film, but anyway it’s all I’ve got. I’ve caught hell for saying this on other message boards but I’m actually starting to beleive that the Bucs may have McCoy ahead of Suh on their draft board. McCoy has IMO a much faster first step and has at least twice the arsenal of pass rush moves that Suh has. Suh I think has been able to rely on a bull rush and brute strenth while in college but I don’t think he’ll be able to get away with that vs. big NFL guards. Add to that the fact that Suh is a 5th year senior and it’s no wonder he’s stronger than the guys he’s up against. I still think Suh’s a fine DT but I think McCoy is a more natural 3-Tech and fits the Tampa 2 scheme better. JMO.