Devin White Picks His Unsung Defensive Star

March 2nd, 2021

Naming names

So who is Devin White extra proud of?

Just prior the Super Bowl, Joe put the Buccaneers savior linebacker on the spot and asked him to name the member of his defense that fans may not realize is a massive contributor, or to name just a guy who he incredibly respects for his contributions during the 2020 season.

White jumped right in.

“That No. 1 person on our defense, man, there’s a lot of guys, but first I’m going to say Nacho (aka defensive tackle Rakeem Nuñez-Roches),” White said. “He filled in tremendously for Vita [Vea], and it might not always show up on the stat sheet, but he’s been getting it on all year. And I’m very thankful for my guy, man.

“You know, I don’t feel like we took a step back when we lost Vita. I feel like Nacho was still the same impact guy.

“I felt like he held up in the run game. I feel like whatever we called on him to do, he did it. So I gotta give it to my guy Nacho, big No. 56.”

Interesting take by White, and it’s hard to argue with the results. The Bucs’ run defense was No. 1 in the NFL last season in many categories. Nuñez-Roches isn’t the pass rusher Vea is, but he was more than solid this season, playing about half the snaps and making 11 starts for a top defense.

White served up a 1A to Nuñez-Roches, and that was Jamel Dean, citing Dean’s speed, coverage and playmaking ability. Per White, the Bucs don’t beat Green Bay in October without Dean, whose Pick-6 was a turning point in the season.

20 Responses to “Devin White Picks His Unsung Defensive Star”

  1. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Nacho, Stinnie & others will cost us much more to sign……if we are able to bring in our top FAs….we won’t be able to afford many of the backups….that’s where the draft comes in.

  2. SlyPirate Says:

    I wonder if we already have the next Shaq on the team, in Cam Gil? Their size, speed, college production are crazy similar. The young man did sack Mahomes in the Super Bowl.

    Joe, any chance you can get an opinion from players or coaches on Cam?

  3. August 1976 Buc Says:

    The fact of the matter is the Bucs are historically good against the run with Vita and Suh. I have posted this 2 different times. Best in several decades and 4th best against the run since the Merger in 1970. They were #1 against the run in 2020, but they were not the same as 2019 or when for the 7 games Vita played, the first 5 games and the last 2 of 2020. I get D White sticking up for a teamate, and that is fine you know,being a good teammate, But we know the the film does not lie lol. GO BUCS!!!!!

  4. Robert Says:

    Nacho may have stopped the run, but I didn’t see him pushing guys into the QB like VV……now Dean, he looked like he earned the nomination, especially on some big plays.

  5. Joe Says:

    For those asking, Joe often deletes comments early in the thread that zero to do with the subject. Joe’s been doing it for years.

  6. BucDan Says:

    Nacho brings the juice on every play. It used to be that I would be worried as a fan when the second team d-line would rotate in.

    No longer!

    Nacho, Gholston, McClendon all brought that attitude when they were in AND THEY WERE ALL MAKING PLAYS!

    He’s not Vita, but I will agree with Devin that the team didn’t fall off a cliff with Nacho in as the NT replacement.

  7. Tony Says:

    If we lose Suh & Rakeem MAYBE WE CAN BRING SAPP BACK! He can definitely use whatever $$$$ they’d be willing to pay him.😀

  8. Bird Says:

    Devin white is a bad man
    Superstar in the making

  9. FlBoy84 Says:

    Nacho was the guy that immediately came to mind after reading the 2nd line. He stood out prior to the season and filled in well along with McClendon when Vea went down. Also agree @SlyPirate, Gil is a young guy the team is evid high on, though you’d think they’d also add a vet to compete with him to replace Shaq if he leaves. Stinnie needs to drop a little $$ in Cappa’s locker too, as he’s likely not to have seen the extra cash he earned if Cappa stays healthy.

  10. WiscoJoe Says:

    So then where am I supposed to ask about the pod? Just a fan of Ira’s waiting for the 4th episode.

  11. Rob in Land O Lakes Says:

    SlyPirate says: I wonder if we already have the next Shaq on the team, in Cam Gil? Their size, speed, college production are crazy similar. The young man did sack Mahomes in the Super Bowl.

    Joe, any chance you can get an opinion from players or coaches on Cam?”

    Sly, I’m definitely not a Joe, but my nephew did coach Cam Gill in high school. He plays on every special teams unit and if you noticed, Bowles was rotating him into the defense more as the season went on. Even got a 1/2 a sack on Mahomie in SB LIV.

    Right now he’s cheap, coachable and plays special teams which makes him a 2021 keeper. Great kid too from what I here as well.

  12. Cobraboy Says:

    Nuñez-Roches and McLendon filled in well foir Vea. There was not a gaping hole.

    But neither are a Vita Vea, and both are solid on the DL rotation…

  13. DaBux Says:

    Nacho is the perfect rotational guy for Vea. Nothing is lost with him in there and keeping Vita healthy and upright for the long run is critical.

  14. cmurda Says:

    The Nacho callout was spot on from White. He did a great job filling in for Vea. White said “You know, I don’t feel like we took a step back when we lost Vita. I feel like Nacho was still the same impact guy.” I don’t know about that Devin. In fact, I would definitely disagree but Nacho is very valuable and did an admirable job.

  15. Rod Munch Says:

    Nacho isn’t the pass rusher that Vita is? Huh? I mean, yes, he’s just a backup player, and he’s certainly not the run stuffer that Vita is, but as far as the pass rush they’re pretty much in the same ballpark. He’s a guy the Bucs should bring back, assuming he isn’t priced out of coming back. You need depth guys like him – just hopefully Vita can keep himself healthy for once and play more than 45% of the snaps.

  16. bojim Says:

    Yea. We need to keep him. Not a Vea but filled in nicely.

  17. Mr. B Says:

    Nacho may have done a great job filling in for Vea but the edge rushers didn’t make an impact until Vea came back.

  18. Mr. B Says:

    Nacho did a good job filling in but our edge rushers didn’t get home until Vea came back.

  19. Michael Miller Says:

    Devin White is ridiculous he’s like Lawrence Taylor but he’s only been 3 years however he will break the bank I’ve never seen if this was the old days this Tampa Bay team could have been one of the best teams what a way to finish the season they lose game seven and they lose no more and they got like 9 or 10 receivers that’s ridiculous and brown and gronkowski can’t go anywhere because Brown is trouble and Grant won’t play for anybody else so they’ll take three million or something and just two years ago they were getting well Brown turned down 30 million had he not got suspended one day the next day the 30 million dollar contract was in effect that’s the dumbest moving football history financially

  20. View from 132 Says:

    By Buc tradition, Nacho will now begin his career as an injury lawyer, joining Brad Culpepper as “the other defensive tackle”