Devin White And Pass Coverage

November 13th, 2020

Bucs DC Todd Bowles.

Joe wrote the following after Sunday night’s Seal-Clubbing by the Saints and it is relevant here as well.

Bucs inside linebacker Devin White is excellent against the run, inconsistent (though better) blitzing the quarterback and still struggles in pass coverage.

Don’t tell that to Bucs defensive coordiantor Todd Bowles. When asked Thursday night in his weekly presser about White’s coverage abilities, Bowles defended the young linebacker and claims he’s actually good in pass coverage.

Why is that?

Well, Bowles has concluded this because quarterbacks don’t target White in pass plays, Bowles said.

“Well, he’s where he’s supposed to be,” Bowles said of White’s pass defense. “Obviously, the ball has to come to him for him to make… plays right now. Devin continually works on his pass coverage just like everybody else.

“He’s not bad at it – he’s very good at it, actually. He’s in the right spots, so if you don’t get a lot of balls thrown your way, that means you’re in the right spot and they’re not really looking that way. I’m happy with his coverage.”

You can be in the right spot but that doesn’t mean you are in position to make a play or defend a pass. To Joe, those are two fully different things.

If White can just be average against the pass, he would be an awesome, well-rounded linebacker. He’s not there yet. Doesn’t mean he can’t be. He just needs work.

28 Responses to “Devin White And Pass Coverage”

  1. Destinjohnny Says:

    Boles has had some good games
    But he has been out schemed quite a bit too

  2. D1 Says:

    Joe those are 2 things. 1, Being in the right spot so no one passes to that area and 2 what you have added …..making plays or defending a pass. Can’t defend a pass that’s not thrown.

    Coverage wise, JPP and Shaq are getting raped out there but we want to talk about white. C’mon Man!

  3. LostinPA Says:

    Excellent against the pass. You guys are slipping. Also, you promised two podcasts a week. The weekend don’t count guys, in listen to you in the car during the week. I’m not listen on Mondays to a podcast released on Saturday about a game that was played on Sunday. I know more about than you do by then.

  4. Steven007 Says:

    I guess he’s so excellent against the past that he struggles against it, haha. Yes obvious error. Aside from that Bowles is wrong. Last Sunday during that mess of a game I actually watched White primarily for several plays and saw him targeted. And he was way off the mark. It’s his one flaw as a player at this point. With his speed he should be able to improve but he’s not there yet.

  5. Alanbucsfan Says:

    Devin White’s effectiveness is directly related to DLine performance.
    If Bucs are stopping run and putting pressure on opposing QB, White has splash plays . If not, his talent is wasted.

  6. SOEbuc Says:

    The receiver’s are more where they’re suppose to be.

  7. Defense Rules Says:

    @D1 … “Coverage wise, JPP and Shaq are getting raped out there”.

    Wow D1, you need to unpack that. I see the 2 of them falling back into coverage quite a bit, but more times than not they’re rushing the passer. I doubt they’re playing man coverage on anyone when they do fall into coverage; more likely zone. I’d think their goal there (in zone?) is more to limit yardage as opposed to true pass defense. But that’s just a guess obviously. Would love to hear your perspective.

  8. Robert Says:

    anyone watching the games knows better.

    Actually, everything that has come out of the coaches mouths this week has been pure BS.

    can’t expect the players to man up until the coaches do.

    they preach accountability, they need to act it.

  9. DaBucsFan Says:

    Love Devin White
    Go Bucs….

  10. Robert Says:

    and if he’s where he is supposed to be…..well then they have him in the wrong place! about 3-5 yards to close to LOS.

  11. Defense Rules Says:

    Joe, when I look at PFR’s Advanced Defense stats on White, it shows him with being targeted 47 times with 39 completions (83% average). That works out to a 8.4 Yds/Tgt and 10.1 Yds/Cmp for a total of 393 yds surrendered. Those numbers (in 9 games) are all higher (per game average) than what he averaged last year as a rookie in 13 games.

    Also noticed though that he’s blitzed an average of almost 7 times/game this year (slightly less last year). He’s been more productive along those lines (5 sacks, etc), but I wonder if it might be costing him in terms of pass coverage responsibilities, and thus effectiveness in pass defense.

  12. Steven007 Says:

    DR, those numbers jibe with what I’m actually seeing. He almost always gives up the reception typically to a tight end. He usually tackles them but it’s usually a seven or eight yard gain.

  13. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Listened to Bowles, Brady & Leftwich’s pressers……..They are absolute masters at saying nothing…
    Especially Leftwich……”we just trying to put our players in a position to do well & win ball games”…….
    Brady “we just have to work harder”
    Bowles “it depends on the game plan”

    I mean….a life in politics is waiting for these guys.

  14. Tampabuscsbro Says:

    D! they are edges, it’s understandable they would get destroyed in coverage. It’s not understandable when your interior linebacker that can do everything else almost perfectly cannot cover to the point where the dude behind him on the depth chart is better at coverage then he is.

  15. gotbbucs Says:

    He’s awful in coverage, but based on Bowles coverage schemes the last couple weeks, I’m not amazed that he thinks White is doing well.

    10 yard cushions on 4 yard sticks? Who in the world, beyond Mike Smith, thinks that is the right approach?

    What happened to this guy lately? How do you come out against Aaron Rodgers and play your corners up and press, then you go against Drew Brees, who is notorious for carving up zones,……and you play zone 10 yards deep?

    Anybody still concerned about any of our coaches getting interviews after the season can rest easy. Highschool coaches have more sense than these guys.

  16. Defense Rules Says:

    Tampabuscsbro … I’m still not sure what to make of Devin White’s stats this year. Compared him to the Steelers’ Devin Bush & seeing quite a difference. Bush is being targeted about 4.5 times/game (as opposed to White’s 5.2 times/game), but Bush’s coverage is apparently much better (63.6% completions vs White’s 83% completions). Yds/completion is almost identical, but Bush’s Yds/Target is about 20% lower. Bush blitzes about 5.5 times/game (less than White), but only gets about half as many tackles/game.

    Leads me to believe that the Bucs vs Steelers defensive schemes call for the ILBs to be used very differently, even though both (purportedly) run a 3-4 defense.

  17. Bucamania Says:

    White is good on coverage. And so is JPP. LOL

    Yeah, play more soft zone Todd.

  18. Duthsty Rhothdes Says:

    JPP and Barrett are so horrible in coverage; I know you have to mix it up and zone blitz etc but why not line JPP up over the guard and rush him inside and bring in a guy that can actually cover on the outside. Devin White is a monster when he blitzes and a sure tackling machine and his angles the most of the time are right on….it was a great call by bowels when he had JPP cover the flats on that zone blitz in saints game but jpp didnt get both hands ona sure TD…that was a game changing missed INT

  19. Admiral Redbeard Says:

    Bottom line is, we have the speed to run tight man to man coverage, but we aren’t doing it. Our D-line and blitzing backers have been getting good pressure, but as was obvious in the A’ints game, the receivers were wide open to complete passes to.

  20. Defense Rules Says:

    Admiral Redbeard … Todd Bowles’ gamble is that our blitzers can disrupt enough plays often enough to make it worthwhile. He’s gambling IOW … BIG TIME. But in the process it looks like he’s also giving first priority to stopping the run (even while throwing the kitchen sink at the QB). So we’ve excellent at the first priority (we’re still #1 in Rushing Yardage Allowed), AND we’re still #1 in blitzing (43.5%) and in the number of blitzes (160) thus far.

    BUT … our pass defense is slipping steadily over the past few games. We’re now #14 in Pass Yardage Allowed based on being #21 in Pass Attempts against us (who wants to run against the #1 rush defense?). On the good news side though, we’re #3 in INTs with 14 thus far, and #2 in turnovers with 16 on the season.

    Personally I think that losing Vita Vea has had a much bigger impact on game plans than anyone’s admitting. It all starts in the trenches IMO, and losing a beast like Vea hurts. We don’t seem to be getting the pass rush now that we did before he went down. This team is only as good as its’ defense IMO, and unless something changes, I see us as a middle-of-the-pack defense by year’s end (we’ve already slipped to #9 after our last 2 games).

  21. Bobby M. Says:

    Coverage wise…he seems to be where he should however he positions himself poorly at times. I think he’s still learning that being a freak athlete in college doesn’t afford you the same margin of error in the pros. Technique is crucial to execution.

  22. Will Says:

    I’ve noticed that when White has the back out of the backfield he gets confused as to if the back is starting to block or going out in a route. Part of it is that teams are using his aggressiveness and speed against him with delaying the back. White thinks the back is staying in so he starts to run to get the sack, back runs by him. He notices and gives chase but he’s gonna give up the completion for yardage. In zone Bowles is correct he’s in the right spot in the zone but just does a poor job of realizing a man is in his zone and doesn’t plaster to the man until the guy leaves his zone. Actually it seems like that’s a problem the entire defense has had.

  23. Duthsty Rhothdes Says:

    DR; totally agree with your points, you want to watch a DC gamble check out a Florida Gators game; grantham holy crap or his players are not smart enough to run his system yet

  24. Pewter Power Says:

    Check ya sheet Shaq has more pbu’s than Devin white. Coaching staff is so delusional and I guess now we also have to pretend white doesn’t get targeted like Dean does.

  25. 813bucboi Says:

    c’mon bowles…you gotta do better…

    GO BUCS!!!!

  26. Hodad Says:

    One of the reasons Brooks is in the HOF is because of his interception numbers. Remember our S.B. run? The second game of the season that year we won with an interception by Brooks. We ended the S.B. with a pick by Brooks. White will never be considered great until he starts getting his hands on some picks.

  27. BucEmUp Says:

    soft zone equals a loss against even the worst teams, ask Jameis.At least he would have thrown 3 tds with those 3 ints last Sunday. This league is rigged, it has to be! No team as talented as us goes out agaisnt a division oponent on prime time and craps all over themselves like that and makes it look intentional.


  28. #1bucfan Says:

    At least white is around his guy when he is covering. I mean white is right there just needs to make a play. Can’t say the same with others guys. We see other WR. running wide open with not a soul around. White is not there yet but at least he is not letting his guy be wide open. White is so close he just has to make a play