The Whitehead Shine — And Why It’s Troubling

August 10th, 2018

With all the positives out of last night’s game, Joe was actually fired up most about rookie safety Jordan Whitehead, the Bucs’ fourth-round pick who happens to be Darrelle Revis’ cousin.

If you tuned out after the starters left the field in Miami, you missed quite a display. Whitehead came out to hit hard — and he did. And best of all, he didn’t get a penalty.

Whitehead’s first crushing blow sent him to the concussion protocol tent on the sidelines but he was back quickly. That means the doctors believed his brain was just fine.

Whitehead finished with two solo tackles and two passes defensed. And he drew Dirk Koetter’s praise during Koetter’s brief postgame news conference.

Watching the intensity in Whitehead’s play immediately had Joe wondering, ‘Why is this kid standing out so much? Shouldn’t someone else in the Bucs’ back-7 be matching his fire?’

Joe’s not calling the Bucs a bunch of loafers and softies, but the question is worth pondering. Koetter has said he wants a “badass” football team. To get there, he might need a couple more defensive players getting after it like Whitehead did last night.

33 Responses to “The Whitehead Shine — And Why It’s Troubling”

  1. BucDan Says:

    Flying to the ball is definitley a quality the safety should have (and any other defender), so I liked what I saw out of him.

    I agree that the first hit looked like a “led with the head to initiate contact” penalty.

    He also looked to be more focused on delivering the hit and not making the tackle. That will need to be coached up. Can’t have that as the last man in the defense.

  2. Greg Says:

    I actually think the rookie corners played extremely well. Can’t remember MJ Stewart or Davis giving up plays. Smith, Elliot, and Chris Conte will never ever ever ever make a play. can someone please explain to me why you would ever take a seven fingered defensive end and move them to the inside? Don’t you have to get more physical going up against guards and centers as opposed to using is range against the tackle? I don’t understand the system.

  3. The Buc Realist Says:

    The Truth is that the rookies should be rotated more often as the pre-season roles on!!!!!! Some of the rookies in limited time have already splashed more than some old starters!!!! The problem comes when joe and the so-called fans are unwilling to see rookie mistakes and insist on an insane do or die season!!!!!!! The real-fans think that the team is building and would love to see the rookies that are splashing get in and make some rookies mistakes but will have a much higher ceiling and be even closer to that badazz team, even if it is next year!!!!!!!!!!!

    If the “real” fans can see it, why can’t joe and the so-called fans????????

    Go Bucs!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. Dapostman Says:

    Hoping the 3 Rooks end up being the second coming of the 1981 49’ers draft class. Ronnie Lott, Eric Wright and Carlton Williamson. I know, I know, I said HOPING!

  5. Lamarcus Says:

    I will be embarrassed to say “wreack havoc” if this continues…..

    1st preseason and still look like 5-11 team out there. Sky isn’t falling but it’s very obvious to me that Koetter conservative offense and Msmith cover “your ass” scheme will get us beat. Poor corners have no chance.

  6. Kobe Faker Says:

    “Like Kobe has said repeatedly, the putrid 2016 draft is the worst draft in the history of this Bucs franchise

    Nowhere Spence
    yippy A
    Ryan griffen smith

    do not deserve to be playing in the NFL”

    Kobe Faker

  7. Pickgrin Says:

    All 3 rookie DBs looked good considering it was their first live plays on an NFL field.

    For a smaller safety – Whitehead sure had no problem bringing the wood on a few tackles which was nice to see.

    It was also nice to see the refs not calling a bunch of ticky tack “helmet contact” penalties. Perhaps the game as we know it is not ruined after all…

  8. reality-is-a-beotch Says:

    don’t worry no way captain blowout softee93 will allow or tolerate any of the defenders playing 4 qtrs or given their all. that’s not the Buccaneer way. A buccaneer man loses quietly with no heart. a buccaneer man’s only goal is another basement title.

  9. Darin Says:

    And he is a good faker, to pass protocol. Pretty sure he was a little concussed after that first hit. His legs didn’t work for a split second. The guy played great. Hopefully Licht nailed some later rounders this time.

  10. AmericasEnabler Says:

    2 tackles and Joe ready to anoint this guy LOL Not sure why Joe is such a apologist. Even saying that there were a lot of positives last night. Well, because there were. –Joe Every major sports outlet is talking about the cake walk Tannehill had last night. Even Gase roasted the bucs saying he was peeling an orange back there hahahaha!

    Talk all you want about corner or safety play but that $hit won’t matter when the QB has all day to let the routes progress. EVERY WR will get open in the NFL if given enough time.

    If you look at the Dolphins dline last night they have Fitz moving constantly.

    I’m convinced Smitty is handcuffing the DLINE coaches not allowing them to stunt, if you ask why I’ll tell you, Kwon is very weak at finding and filling gaps. If you shift, odds are good Kwon will get washed out and you got 10 yard gains as we saw last night.

    BUT some good news. Those draft picks had very decent night.

  11. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Maybe the best way for our coaches to “develop” defensive backs is to draft DBs that don’t need development…..Whitehead may be an example…..I think we have a winner in Justin Evans…..our long-term safety position may be shored up.

  12. Dusthty Rhothdes Says:

    LaMarcus I am with you, the dolphins look like a 2-14 team that may fire their coach halfway thru the season, as in he looks like he has lost that team, but whitehead defintely stuck out, best player on the field was Minkah Fitzpatrick out of anyone

  13. reality-is-a-beotch Says:

    I’m convinced Smitty is handcuffing the DLINE coaches not allowing them to stunt, if you ask why I’ll tell you, Kwon is very weak at finding and filling gaps.

    maybe you should be convinced that softee93 and the rest of his dline mates are purely their for the paychecks. no heart bums led by a doll playing career loser.

  14. Bucamania Says:

    Whitehead was flashing all over the place! I liked what I saw from Carlton Davis and MJ too. Conte on the other hand looked terrible again. Good lord he’s bad. Meanwhile JPP was beating. Anyone else notice OJ easily block Quinn with one arm while Barber scored? Bucs got the right guy.

  15. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    ‘Why is this kid standing out so much? Shouldn’t someone else in the Bucs’ back-7 be matching his fire?’ – J0E

    I don’t know if you noticed, but the back seven was very good last night. MJ Stewart and Carlton Davis were exceptional. So this article is slightly misleading. It infers that the rest of the back seven did not play as good as Whitehead.

    The truth is, the best defensive player on the field was Davis.

  16. 813bucboi Says:

    whitehead and evans should be the starting safeties….point blank period….


  17. Cobraboy Says:

    One tough DB is better than the ~zero~ on the roster last year.

  18. Cobraboy Says:

    I did think DB play was superior to any in the 2017 PS. Rooks played well, even in PS#1.

    Hope springs eternal.

  19. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    FYI, Joe, Carlton Davis had five tackles and two passes defended. Stewart had 3 tackles. Conte had just as many as Whitehead did.

    Javien Elliott had 5 tackles. That kid had two chances at interveptions and dropped both. He knows how to be where the ball is, but he needs some WR coaching.

    As surprising as it is, Ryan Smith had 7 tackles, 1 pass defended and an interception. He may not have looked like he was playing great, but he had the best results of them all. I did not see that coming.

  20. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    813bucboi Says
    “whitehead and evans should be the starting safeties….point blank period…”

    Not based on one game. If he keeps this up through the preseason…maybe.

  21. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    reality-is-a-beotch Says
    “I’m convinced…”

    No one cares what you are convinced of Mister ‘Cancer93’.

    Yes. I know who you are. It;s a shame Joe doesn’t IP ban you.

  22. Erik w/ Clean Athletics Says:


    I say defintely start/play all the Rooks immediately…

    But we shouldn’t do it with the weak mentality of ‘having a rebuilding year’ or another subpar year or whatever… We should start all 3 rookie DB’s and do it with a ‘Let’s Win it All’ mentality, bcuz Whitehead, MJ Stewart, & Carlton Davis are STUDS.

    Whitehead is 100% at least our 2nd best safety.

    And MJ Stewart & Davis are definitely 2 of our Top 3 CB’s…

    Bucs are making a SB run this year, we are SO STACKED EVERYWHERE (except Oline)

  23. Casey Morgan Says:

    The D line was disappointing. But what is worse is our starting linebackers were non-existent. If the play got past the line, it had to be covered by corners and safeties.

  24. 813bucboi Says:


    whitehead and evans have more upside and skills than conte and tandy…..whitehead is better than both this early in his career….the only thing that will make whitehead better is more PT with the 1’s…..

    the goal is to have your BEST 11 on the field right?…..


  25. Gambelero Says:

    Very hard to judge DB play without watching the tape. You can see when a corner gets beat, or when they make a splash play, but how well did they cover and get off blocks and attack the run on other plays?

    A cornerback who makes a lot of tackles is usually doing so because he isn’t covering very well. Ryan Smith should have had 8 tackles. He was cheated of one on the pass interference call because the receiver came down inbounds.

    Our juice with the league showed as well. We got third and fourth string refs. One play the receiver put two hands in the back of our defender, pushed off and caught the ball out of bounds. The ref called it a touchdown. The replay overturned it. Other issues with the clock, setting ball up right, etc.

  26. Bradentonbuc Says:

    Really liked Davis’s effort although against better receivers he would have been lookin like Ryan Smith. Great effort though

  27. Dooshlarue Says:

    I like Whitehead.
    He really gets-ZIT.

    But seriously, the kid looks good.

  28. Buc1987 Says:

    A baller.

  29. DavidBigBucsFan99 Says:

    Our team’s demeanor matches that of our head coach. No fire and no guts, but of course people up here love he’s a “straight shooter” but let McCoy straight shoot snd out come the names no one will say to his face. That right there is a true cabron move reality and others.

  30. AmericasEnabler Says:

    Casey Morgan Says:
    August 10th, 2018 at 11:24 am
    The D line was disappointing. But what is worse is our starting linebackers were non-existent. If the play got past the line, it had to be covered by corners and safeties.

    ^^^Sadly you’re right. Kwon is so fast why not try him at strong side LB? Beckwith would be such a force at MLB. He so strong to the ball and physical. On 3rd and longs swap beckwith for Kwon and 3rd and shorts Kwon gets a breather.

  31. Locked In Says:


    @Realist – go away

  32. SOEbuc Says:

    Didn’t he jump on a fumble also Joe? He has got to shine very bright the rest of preseason to get the starting gig. It was the Dolphins, but he looked 10x better than Conte’s past play and stubborn as Dirk Koetter will pull a Doug Martin and not give the 4th round rookie the start over the vet.

  33. Godeep66 Says:

    He stood out on the field while watching live.