“That Won’t Be Touched For A Long Time”

May 18th, 2019

Crazy expectations

One of Joe’s offseason goals is to watch Colts games to study how 2018 rookie All-Pro Darius Leonard took over the NFL from the linebacker position.

It’s been a lot of fun.

The quick stat line on Leonard:

He led the league in solo tackles (111) and combined tackles (163), while working in 10 passes defensed, seven sacks and four forced fumbles. And he played in just 15 games.

Now that’s a second-round pick! The guy makes Kwon Alexander look like a JV player.

Lavonte David was very special in his rookie season, too. Playing all 16 games for the NFL’s No. 1-ranked run defense with the Fighting Schiano’s, David ranked 8th in the NFL with 139 combined tackles (112 solo), and added a couple of sacks and five passes defensed in Greg Schiano’s blitz-heavy defense.

David, obviously, has gone on to a couple of Pro Bowls and a strong career.

Joe brings this up because Joe gets loads of questions about what rookie Bucs savior linebacker Devin White will deliver this year. Expectations of White are off the charts because the Bucs defense was so miserable last year and the team is devoid of defensive leadership — and because he was the No. 5 overall pick.

Would White be a failure if he’s only as good as David?

Sadly, and somewhat unfairly, the answer is a resounding yes.

Former Giants Pro Bowl center Shaun O’Hara, the NFL Network analyst, has hope that White will hit the lofty expectations placed on him. During a segment this week, O’Hara said what Leonard accomplished last year “won’t be touched for a long time,” but added that White might get close this year.

Well, if he gets close, he’s sort of in Lavonte David territory. So Joe will put it out to here to the JoeBucsFan commenters. If White has a career like Lavonte David’s, maybe a tiny tick better, will that be good enough?

54 Responses to ““That Won’t Be Touched For A Long Time””

  1. Race to 10 Says:

    At middle linebacker yes he can meet those goals if being compared to weak side linebacker stats. He’s already calling the defense and will be a vocal leader. His stat line isn’t as important as how his play impacts others around him. I just want to see inspired play from the defense

  2. AlteredEgo Say: Your comment is awaiting moderation. Says:

    Yes.. that would have been a good pick.. was it the correct pick and building strategy… well that is different… I think in the big picture JA or EO would pay better dividends. For this roster pressure on the QB would be better than all around running around All Pro LB…. but that ship sailed!

  3. NOSBOS Says:

    Sadly I think that’s somewhat the dumbest assessment I ever read on your page.

  4. NOSBOS Says:

    White won’t reach those marks and we don’t need him too. It’s little bit more challenging when you’re lined up next to guy that has over 500 tackles,20 sacks,10 ints and 10 forced fumbles since 2012.

  5. rrsrq Says:

    I hope the defense is not on the field long enough to reach those stats, I’m hoping for some 3 – outs, for once. If he has impact plays, leads a better defense and plays 16 games without injury or drinking a banned sports drink, I’m good. I do think he will reach the 100 tackles, 3-5 sacks, more passes defended, more INTs and a few FFs. As fas a Leonard being a second round pick, if there was a re-do, he may not be top 5 from last years draft, but he would be top 15 I bet.

  6. Alvin Scissors Harper Says:

    White is going to be an absolute STUD! Don’t worry Joe.

  7. DB55 Says:

    He’ll NO!!!!!! You passed up a defensive end for an ilb that you could have easily grabbed in the 3rd or 4th rounds even 5th

  8. Kenny Says:

    Wow you can turn any positive to a negative.

  9. K2 Says:

    Tom Brady was a 6th round pick. So, if we use your logic…every QB select in a round prior to the sixth round who’s stats aren’t as good as Brady’s is a disappointment.

  10. AlteredEgo Say: Your comment is awaiting moderation. Says:

    VV and Ed Oliver > than White and a gaggle of DB’s…. VV & EO would wreck havoc and kill QBs

  11. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    I think an important point is being missed by comparing White & LVD……how about thinking about the combined stats from the two of them…..I think each linebacker will make the other better……what a duo.

  12. LakeLand Says:

    It depends on the defense. He won’t get nowhere near those numbers in a 3-4 defense!

  13. webster Says:

    I find it hillarious that when darious leonard was drafted last year, people said how he was a “reach.” One publication questioned the pick by saying ronald jones was still on the board and the colts NEEDED a running back. My point is none of the so called draft experts and you arm chair gms have no freaking clue how any of these draft picks will perform. You sound stupid saying the bucs reached or this player was still on the board etc. Shut the he11 up and just watch things play out because you have no clue how any of these prospects will perform. Drafting a Dl at 5 was no gaurantee of success. Look no further than solomon thomas, dante fowler, dion jordan etc. Shut the he11 up crying for a player the bucs didnt pick because you have no clue how said player will perform.

  14. Defense Rules Says:

    Good point TBBF, but I’m guessing that it’ll be lost on Joe. Solo tackles are like sacks to me … cute stat but I much prefer gang-tackling. And besides, Schiano’s defense ‘channeled’ plays towards LVD as I recall, just like Monte’s defense channeled things towards Derrick Brooks from what I’ve read (the weakside LB was expected to make more tackles than the MLB or strong side).

    In other words, I just want to see Devin White ‘play within the defense’. DO YOUR JOB, and do it extremely well. Where we always seem to get into problems is when there’s a ‘weak link’ out there and others have to favor his side to provide extra coverage. Today’s OCs & QBs can undoubtedly spot weaknesses like that almost instantly, and capitalize on them just as quickly. That’s what was so impressive about Dungy’s teams … it was a well-oiled machine where everybody did their jobs, and did them extremely well.

  15. thegregwitul Says:

    If White finishes the season with Lavonte type numbers, it’ll be a step in the right direction. We have to go beyond just raw stats to measure White’s long term value.

    If White is the catalyst on defense that takes this woeful unit back to respectability and into the postseason, the pick will certainly be justified.

    I feel that White can both stuff the stat sheet and be the leader this team needs. I’m looking forward to seeing what he can do in 2019.

  16. #1bucsfan Says:

    @rrsrq well said. I personally think he will be part of the movement to #endthedrought

  17. NOSBOS Says:

    Tampabucfan that is not a comparison. The point being made is Devin will be playing next to an All pro playmaker. Who will continue getting his lion share of production. Therefore making it considerably harder posting those numbers.

  18. Stanglassman Says:

    I don’t talk FF ever But D. Leonard was so good last year I kept him through the bye week, he single handedly won me 2-3 games. It was like having a healthy Gronk in his prime because you were going to double your opponent in that position for sure. I Love watching Leonard play and hope that White can come close to that kinda production.

  19. Buczilla Says:

    If Josh Allen averages 10 sacks a year for the next 7-10 years and White doesn’t have a Hardy Nickerson type impact on the field and in the locker room, then it was a wasted opportunity to address one of our biggest needs.

  20. Eric y Says:

    Lavonte David could be a great player if he uses his whole potential… I think white will be a lot better than David … better rookie numbers and a better career … but if this defense can not pressure the qb then the linebackers will look average … we need dawgs on defense … you hear me? Dawgs … we can’t go thru another year with attitudes like GMC …. we can’t be soft

  21. Buc4evr Says:

    Not worried about White one bit, worried about young DBs and Safeties and of course the soon to be non existent D-line.

  22. Bird Says:

    classic joe here
    I mean this is great stuff.

    Jameis Winston has been a roller coaster of a starting QB. Great plays and really bad plays. Not a whole lot of wins. Ranked somewhere around 20th each year. He was the first overall pick and joe has the biggest hard on for him and Will always call him America’s QB. Views him as the best thing that has ever happened to this franchise. Will always talk up Jameis.

    Yet , unless devin white the number 5 pick puts up Darius Leonard stats he will be a waste of time/ a waste of a pick. Another Lavonte David type player is just not good enough. The same Lavonte who is in record books for sacks and ints in a season. The same Lavonte who hasn’t had any help on defense since being on this team. At least Jameis has the best receiver /tight end group questionably in Nfl

    Devin white hasn’t played one snap yet and joe is already questioning bust. Shame on you. I have never been on Twitter not instagram. Maybe I should so I can send devin white all of your negative chatter. Would love to see him make you uncomfortable. I’m sure when you are around him you act fake as hell.

    You guys (I mean the one joe) are a child who didn’t get his way. We need a few years to see who rises to the top and if the defensive ends you wanted are even legit.

    Keep all the negativity coming.

  23. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Ira still want Peterson?

  24. WhatdaBUCisthis Says:

    NOSBOS Says:
    May 18th, 2019 at 7:21 pm
    Tampabucfan that is not a comparison. The point being made is Devin will be playing next to an All pro playmaker. Who will continue getting his lion share of production. Therefore making it considerably harder posting those numbers.
    Man, big homie I totally agree…
    Just do your job
    Go BUCS

  25. NOSBOS Says:

    Sitting here looking at Haloti Ngata career highlights thinking to myself d$&@,we have one those on our roster and these dudes round here butt hurt over cookies and cream leaving. Blasphemy I tell you. See years ago this organization added an elite DT and a elite LB the fortunes of the organization changed after doing so. The offense will be Greatest Show on Turf like but this team will soon be recognized for its defense yet again.

  26. NOSBOS Says:

    Whatabuc they can’t see it bro. Devin doesn’t need to be Superman playing along side a talent the level of LVD. Then you place an Haloti Gnata clone in front of them and these people are uncertain about how devastating this defense is about to be. I don’t have wait and see it,I already do in my minds eye.

  27. JimmyJack Says:

    White is a Top Five player. You want a great player at Top Five and Lavonte isn’t great. So the answer is no, Joe. Gotta be way more then a tick better then Lavonte David to be enough.

  28. JimmyJack Says:

    Also agree with TBBF that White needs to elevate the play of those around him better. Especially his fellow backers(passrusherss).

    Look at Kwon, our last playcaller. He and David never seemed to be playing in tandem. They looked like they were in their own separate world’s out there…….and maybe sometimes they would run into a play individually.

    If this defense can come together as a team and play more like a cohesive unit everybody will give the credit to Bowles but White will deserve a lot too.

  29. JimmyJack Says:

    I wanna see White in on every play. Don’t care what his tackle stat is. He needs to be there Everytime.

  30. Matt Says:

    This is a dream scenario for Devin White. He will have the gargantuan Vea in front of him eating up blocks and great gap shooting teammate LVD right next to him. After hearing White in interviews I am convinced this should have been THE NUMBER ONE overall pick in the draft. He is easily the best vocal leader in the draft (by a wide margin) paired with freakish athletic ability. This is Ray Lewis 2.0. He will be better than Patrick Willis. The offenses are still evolving and there will be more and more weapons like McCaffery and Kamara coming into the league and players like White will be an absolute necessity in order to defend these attacks.

    Bottomline, If Noah Spence gets double digit sacks then this pick will make Licht look like a genius and I think there’s a good possibility of this happening. I just hope he doesn’t have TOO good of a year to where we can’t afford him and he leaves.

  31. NOSBOS Says:

    https://youtu.be/UEVdcvIyt68- this MOs

  32. DB55 Says:


    The pick was too high, period! Especially with a DE sitting there.

    The question is can a 2nd or 3rd pick perform just as well? And the answer is yes!

    That’s it bro, no more no less. White will have to get 12-14 sacks to be worth the pick. JPP second season he had almost 90 tackles and 16.5 sacks that’s the threshold for White. But but different position, exactly my point.

  33. JA Says:

    Per Someone: “White will become the best linebacker in the NFL within two years.”

    Per Joe: “Will that be good enough?”

    Per me: “Not within the confines of these pages …”

  34. JimmyJack Says:

    DB55 Ray Lewis nor Dion Sanders never got that many sacks in a season. I guess they would not be worth the pick either, huh?

  35. Bird Says:


    Did Butkus, Lewis , Willis , Keukly ever get 12-14 sacks a year ?

    Pretty sure bucs took Gaines Adams at 4. Defensive end. Did he have 12-14 sacks in entire career ?
    You are acting like there was a guy there to get those numbers a year at pick 5
    Josh Allen – let’s see ?


  36. NOSBOS Says:

    55 you know I respect you bro,but in my opinion there is no such thing as too high Pick for “special”. The young man about to eat behind Vea. I know you know the game bro. It is because of that I can’t understand your insinuation that this system is in great need of DE. Simply put it’s not.

  37. NOSBOS Says:

    55 we spoke weeks ago about that hat saints 3/4 from years ago. You know it was Pat Swilling job off the edge to get sacks not Sam Mills in the middle. You know this bro.

  38. Mort Says:

    Every first round quarterback – ever – has been a disappointment.

    Why? Because Tom Brady was a sixth round pick.

    Sounds retarded, doesn’t it. Because it is.

  39. NOSBOS Says:

    Can’t even recall the DEs from saints 3/4 from years ago or the Steelers DEs during Cowher’s tenure. H3ll,who were DEs for the broncos that beat up on cam in Super Bowl??? But ask me about the linebacker Corp I’ll name them all.

  40. WhatdaBUCisthis Says:

    If your a BUCS player… love ya man, if not ship out. BUCS or nothing. With that being said.
    Remember getting our ass kicked by Hardy Nickerson as a Jag. Aarrgghhh lol. Hated him. Then, he bed came a BUCS player… brought that nasty wit him. Loved him.
    Go BUCS

  41. NOSBOS Says:

    DEs are not “the man” in a 3/4. Never have been with a few exceptions Richard Seymour and J.J Watt. Outside of that it’s the outside LBs that get the glory.

  42. WhatdaBUCisthis Says:

    Imo. Licht has been building a 34 defence the last couple drafts. . 34 is about LBers not DE. Noah has nowhere to go but up in this defense. I think he gets it done this year. Spence, David, White, Buchanan so on. My point is, pressure will come from the LBers. Damn… this has to work this year, right? It’s a BUCS life
    Go BUCS

  43. DB55 Says:

    You know what I meant.

  44. Erik Hesson - Fine Artist - City of St Pete (formerly known as 'The Kwon Alexander of Bucs Fans') *Realist, louden, & tmax are the worst posters ever!!! Says:

    Devin White’s stats will be better than those, and add in a few picks for Devin ontop of those….

  45. Rod Munch Says:

    If he’s only as good as one of the best LB’s in football he’s a failure? That’s as ridiculous of a comment as anyone can make. Also David had an amazing year when he was a 1st team all-pro and yet didn’t make the pro-bowl – that’s why pro-bowl’s, since fan voting was introduced, is a completely useless measure. David is a year in and year our All-Pro who gets no respect because the Bucs have sucked for so long – if White is that good, the Bucs made a fantastic selection.

    Meanwhile the idea that drafting the next Gaines Adams or Keith McCants is what you do because the value chart says so is moronic.

  46. Todd Says:


    You need to change your handle to Pavlov.

    I’ll subsequently change mine to PavlovsDog.

    I’m trained now. I’ll admit it. The second I hit the forum, I’m trained to immediately search for Defense Rules to read your take. Always intelligent. Always balanced. Never emotional. Just reasoned.

    Thank you.

  47. passthebuc Says:


    Stop sugar coating it, tell it like it is.

  48. passthebuc Says:


    If it were not for Hump, JW would have ranked #30

  49. Chris K Says:

    I swear it seems this Joe just forgets every time before writing the D.White articles that the Bucs will be running a 3-4 this year and not the 4-3.. The 3-4 is and will always be about LB’s, LB’s and more LB’s… The sacks will be spread out from game to game depending on the game plan and where the blitzes will be coming from. How about we let this man play a few games first before crying about his value at his draft position.

  50. Even 1-15 is a dream Says:

    Unless he is as good and as impactful as Ray Lewis — it’ll be perceived as a bad pick, as will almost all picks and players from this lost era of Bucs football.

    Virtually every move Licht has made ranges between middling and outright foolish. His team’s W-L record shows that. Throw in blowing the call on #1 overall pick with mistake-prone walking red flag JW… spending the capital of a second round pick that you sacrificed a third and fourth for on a kicker who is absolutely terrible… missing on virtually every free agent signing and on all of the high profile ones… it is amazing that someone so totally inept is employed at all.

  51. SenileSenior Says:

    Vea and whoever up front, David and White just behind with whoever and a very speedy (but young) set of whoevers in the backfield, all of this makes an extremely intriguing defense to watch this season.

    With a variety of configurations we can expect to see anywhere from 4 to 7 (maybe even 8) DBs out there at a given time. Who knows?

    I can’t really picture this yet because of my internal 4-3 mindset. But this is what I have gathered we can look forward to this year from all I’ve heard and read about Bowles new defense.

    Speed and aggression are the keywords for our new defense. Maybe it will have something of the old Bucs “swarming to the ball” look too.
    Go Bucs!!!

  52. SenileSenior Says:

    WhatdaBUCisthis Says:
    May 18th, 2019 at 10:11 pm

    With many of the moves Licht has made in the past couple of years I am wondering what the Buc is goin’ on here?

    It sure looks like he somehow knew he had to work around Koetter last year. Did he “conspire” with Bruce Arians to set things up for his takeover this year. Did they have a plan for bringing the 3-4 base to our defense? Could they have foreseen bringing Todd Bowles in also?

    Defies credulity doesn’t it! However, attributing it to an aligning of the stars or to the football gods smiling down upon the Bucs, finally, is not much better of an explanation. *_* 😀
    Go Bucs!!!

  53. Billy_43 Says:

    If he breaks those numbers will everyone whinny baby on her finally STFU?

  54. Brandon Says:

    Using Joe’s words against him here, but David has had a strong career yet has never played on a half decent defense, including one that was on pace to set league futility records last season before Duffner took over. If these words can be used effectively against McCoy and Alexander, why not David? He really isn’t that good, honestly. He’s a pretty good player… but not a leader, not the backbone of a tough defense.