“Rise With Me”

May 23rd, 2020

Bill Currie Ford general manager Sean Sullivan personally will guide you and give you a special Ira/JoeBucsFan discount. Historic 0%/84-month financing offers end soon!

BY IRA KAUFMAN

One of many attributes that attracted the Bucs to Devin White is his leadership skills.

In addition to his elite speed and impressive instincts, White was chosen by Tampa Bay over intriguing edge rushers in the 2019 draft because of his intangibles.

Judging by his conference call with the media this week, White plans on exerting his authority even more this fall. He knows the best way to do that is to lead by example, especially at the age of 22 with only one year of NFL experience behind him.

White makes no effort to hide his self-confidence, and that’s a plus.

Why should he? He was a star linebacker at LSU and he turned in enough splash plays as a rookie to convince Buc fans they are looking at a future perennial Pro Bowler.

One hallmark of an effective leader is a hunger for more.

“We were the No. 1 rush defense, but that wasn’t good enough,” White said. “We need more takeaways from the front 7.”

The Bucs forced 28 turnovers last year, a respectable total, but Tom Brady is used to playing with stellar defenses. Since Brady became New England’s starter in 2001, the Pats featured a Top 10 scoring defense 16 times — including the past eight in a row.

With Brady Mania at full throttle, it’s easy to forget what White said about a Tampa Bay defense that yielded only 10 touchdowns in the final six weeks.

“This defense, it didn’t play as well as it could play this year and I know next year with coach Todd Bowles we’re going to be even better,” White said after the season finale. “That’s what I can do as a teammate. I can make sure the defense is on point. This year I kind of sat back, especially when the injury came, and then I started finding my way back into that big leadership role.

“Now you know it’s full head, I’m going into year two, it ain’t no more rookie this, rookie that. You go out there and do your job and if you see somebody slacking you make sure you pick them up and bring them along with you.”

Before you accuse White of getting ahead of himself, it’s important to realize the franchise anointed him as a leader from the moment he turned pro. He’s learning what it takes by watching Lavonte David, who also harbors high expectations for this unit.

When the schedule maker sends you to the Superdome in Week 1, there’s no time to ease into prime form. Drew Brees, Michael Thomas and Alvin Kamara will be waiting, along with newcomer Emmanuel Sanders.

“I take away that we grew weekly, I take away that we got a ceiling that’s higher than ever,” White said. “Anybody can come into this defense and they can play very well as long as they stick to what coach wants us to do. That’s the thing I can say man, as long as we got coach Bowles calling the plays, I feel like we’re going to be a tremendous defense.

“With me, I’m going to pick up my game in the offseason. The defense is going to have to come, whoever is going to be here is going to have to rise with me.”

White wasn’t spectacular as a rookie, but he flashed often enough to get this coaching staff excited. His coverage skills improved steadily and Bowles may turn him loose more often on inside blitzes to supplement the pass rush.

“At the end of the day, I play this game to be one of the greatest linebackers ever and be a winner,” White said. “At the end of the day, that’s what it’s all about and I’m bringing everybody with me.”

All aboard.

Ira with his good friend Sean Sullivan, general manager of Bill Currie Ford, Tampa’s first family of ford. Sean will help you personally in any way he can.

17 Responses to ““Rise With Me””

  1. BucTooth Says:

    Devin Whites attitude on striving to be the best is going to be infectious with everyone around him he talks the talk and what iv’e seen so far he’s going to walk the walk. So it was said so it is written.

  2. Bucsfanman Says:

    I’m really looking forward to watching this defense. If this kid can improve upon what he did last year, I think we’ll be in good shape.
    You can sense the excitement.

  3. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Devin White has the potential to be our next Derrick Brooks……with speed.

  4. El Buco Realisto Says:

    @Tampabaybucfan

    I don’t remember any defense that Mr. Brooks was on that gave up 28.1 pts against at anytime in his career!!!!!!!!! Why do the sheep always have to falsely claim, that so-and-so player is the next whatever player on defense from 1997 to 2002???????? How did she-mc93 is the next Sapp work out???????? I have to give Tampabaybucfan credit, he at least got creative and compared an outside linebacker to a middle/interior linebacker!!!!!!!!!!!!! What is next Tampabaybucfan, is Todd bolwes the black Kiffen????????? Do better sheep!!!!!!!!!!!!

    go bucs!!!!!!!!!!!

  5. Rayjay1122 Says:

    ^^^ Another negative comment from the town’s pie hole.

  6. Hodad Says:

    Brooks, nor Sapp turned the Bucs D around in their first year. This kid is one of those building blocks, like Vita Vea. This D is headed in the right direction. Antone who refuses to see that is just being a d*ck.

  7. Mike Johnson Says:

    I think our whole team is heading in the right direction..other than QB.

  8. Barack's Crack Pipe Says:

    Tampabaybucfan Says:
    “Devin White has the potential to be our next Derrick Brooks……with speed.”
    .
    .

    You imply that Brooks didn’t have speed? That’s why he stayed on the field on 3rd and longs. That’s why he was responsible for deep middle, because he could get there. Hell, some draftnicks were projecting him as a safety because of his size and speed.

  9. Knuckle Sandwich Delivery Service Says:

    Yeah mike, the QB play will be abysmal. Look for a new franchise record for interceptions and pick sixes.

    Bias makes you do it, I know. If you could have convinced your buddy to take what he’s making now to be the back up here things would be different. Almost like going to your boss and demanding a $5 raise and settling for 15 cents.

    Makes perfect sense, yeah? No need to worry about our QB.

  10. Buczilla Says:

    Talk is cheap. If White is consistently good for the entire year, then I’ll drink the Kool-Aid. He showed a lot of promise, but not enough to convince me that he is the all world linebacker that Licht and Arians made him out to be before the draft. If he can’t be mentioned in the same breath as Nickerson, then we had no business picking him 5 last year.

  11. Jerry Jones Says:

    I love DW’s attitude and drive. As long as he stays healthy he could potentially be one of greatest to play the position, that’s for sure.

  12. Bruce Blahak Says:

    And to think some Bucs coverage people were against this pick. The guy just scratched the surface with the setbacks he had. Tough as nails too.

  13. Sorryjackchuckiesback Says:

    Love this dude man!!! Nickerson was a big part in the turn around back in the day and white will be now!!

  14. Jason Mclaurin Says:

    Yeah I’m of the mind this kid will be special for Tampa. He looked lost a lot early on but really started finding his way to the football at the end of the season. Turned into a solid tackler but not great yet. I feel he will take a big leap if he can stay healthy. It’s good we have Minter though so we aren’t forced to rely on him just yet. David is our all world vet right now along with Suh and JPP. Vea and White hopefully will turn into the youth on defense. Vea is gaining league wide recognition and hopefully White will earn the same honors this season. I’m guessing Winfield will turn into our young stud of the secondary as well giving us a top talent at all three levels of the defense. Vea, White, and Winfield will turn into our new start tandem on defense if you ask me but guys have to stay healthy, become durable and coaching has to deliver on play calls that these guys can thrive in. They’ve just begun with drafting in the BA era but there’s some first and second round guys this team can build on like White, Wirfs, Winfield and SMB. Dean and Davis have not disappointed either along with Vea and Whitehead who I feel is a rising player this season as well. I’m guessing next season they will be targeting a bonafide superstar who can impact with the team immediately as they the past three drafts. RoJo and White though our the two key guys right now. If those two rise to the next level we have a good young team for years to come possibly a winning institute if Edwards begins to develop just need two good young edge rushers and too good DL for the future. We need guys that can play at a superstar level like other winning teams have

  15. Anonymous Says:

    Agree with Buczilla….White was last the first few games and did progress as the season went on. However, he did not show the ability to shed a block which will be critical if he’s to become a star player. He has a lot of potential but he sure didn’t look worth the #5 pick. Picking up a fumble and returning it is not creating a splash play people…. causing the fumble is the play!! He has speed, has desire and the opportunity to become a dominant force so let’s hope he fulfills the potential.

  16. Anonymous Says:

    Agree with Buczilla….White was better the first few games and did progress as the season went on. However, he did not show the ability to shed a block which will be critical if he’s to become a star player. He has a lot of potential but he sure didn’t look worth the #5 pick. Picking up a fumble and returning it is not creating a splash play people…. causing the fumble is the play!! He has speed, has desire and the opportunity to become a dominant force so let’s hope he fulfills the potential.

  17. Anonymous Says:

    Meant to say better, not last

 

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