PFF Tribe Not Buying Devin White Hype

March 29th, 2021

Frown on Bucs ILB beast.

For those who regularly listen to “The Ira Kaufman Podcast,” you have heard Joe say that Bucs linebacker Devin White had three playoff games that were better than Ray Lewis’ postseason debut.

But it seems a sect of Irish dorm room types and frustrated Zoom math teachers who like to gloss themselves as football sophists think White shouldn’t be on a football field half the time.

The tribe, specifically Ian Hartitz, has what he calls the “Jameis Winston All-Star team.” It highlights players who often have some of the best plays you will ever see a player make — and then the very next play make such a dumb@ss play you want to throw the beer vendor off the top deck.

And why would Hartitz put White on such a list? He’s adamant that White is a total sieve in pass protection and way worse in the run game than your eyes tell you.

White caused more havoc than just about any other linebacker when it came to getting after the passer last season, ranking third and first in pressure and sacks among everyone to play the position. Asking him to attack usually brought about good results: Throw in the reality that two of White’s best six games came in the playoffs, and it’s easy to call last season a success while also believing the best is still to come for the 23-year-old talent.

You won’t need to use your toes to count the number of linebackers more physically gifted than White, however this didn’t exactly translate to great coverage ability in 2020. All in all, opposing QBs completed 103 of 122 targets into White’s coverage for 916 yards and four scores, averaging a cool 7.5 yards per attempt along the way. Rallying up to deal with check-downs isn’t always a bad thing for a defense to have to deal with, but the Saints, Rams, Panthers, Packers and Vikings separately managed to complete at least eight passes against White in just 60 minutes of action. Sheesh.

PFF graded White as the NFL’s No. 1 pass-rushing LB of 2020, but the No. 101 and No. 92 player when it came to coverage and run defense ability. Credit to the Buccaneers’ never-ending supply of beasts across the defensive line as well as partner in crime Lavonte David for making the shortcomings in White’s game less of an issue than they might be elsewhere. …

Well, Joe does not discount that White, through much of the regular season, did have one liability. And that was pass coverage. This dramatically improved in the playoffs when White returned from testing positive for The Sickness.

Remember, White’s biggest play of the playoffs was picking off Drew Brees to seal a playoff win. But let’s remember that Sean Payton, the slimy Saints coach, isn’t a moron. He targeted White for a reason (and got burned). Think about it: What special kind of idiot would target a good pass defender late in a tight playoff game?

As for Joe’s comparison of White to Lewis, just to refresh: In Lewis’ first playoff appearance in 2000 (when the Crows won the Super Bowl in Tampa), Lewis averaged 7.75 tackles through four games with two picks (including a pick-six), a fumble recovery and a tackle for loss.

In three playoff games, White averaged 12.6 tackles a game, had two picks, two fumble recoveries and two tackles for loss.

Lewis faced the Broncos led by Gus Frerotte, the Titans and Steve McNair, the Raiders with Rich Gannon and Bobby Hoying, and the Giants with Kerry Collins. White faced the Drew Brees, Aaron Rodgers and Pat Mahomes.

You tell Joe who had the better string of games in his first playoffs experience?

If White continues to play like he did in January and February, like a crazed man with his hair on fire, Joe is fully confident White will be the best linebacker in the game and the next Ray Lewis.

And maybe, just maybe, it will please the Tribe, which believes it invented football and knows more about the game than Bill Belicheat and Bucco Bruce Arians.

35 Responses to “PFF Tribe Not Buying Devin White Hype”

  1. Oxycondoms Says:

    Thankfully football is a team game kudos for licht in constructing a solid defense

  2. Chris Thomas from Heaven Says:

    I’ve been watching football longer than those nerds have been alive. I trust my owns stinkin’ eyeballs

  3. Pewter Power Says:

    Showing up at the end of the season shows the growth compared to how the season started. Playoff Devin White was a top 3 linebacker especially in New Orleans game

  4. Bird Says:

    Crazed man with his hair on fire is right

    That buc super bowl season video was pretty cool. You get to see so many different angles and up close

    White is so fast and strong. If he hit me i wouldnt be able to walk for days. Talk about power.

  5. Dusthty Rhothdes Says:

    He is just coming into his own as an NFL LB as he started his “3rd year” during the playoffs, he is 23 years old…..he is light years better than kwon ever was and is the best NFC LB since Kuechly and will only get better….

  6. Bojim Says:

    Well. Let’s see what they have to say next season.

  7. Bucfanforever Says:

    Devin White Rings: 1 (Super Bowl)
    PFF: 1 ( on their table from when they forgot to use a coaster)

  8. Chris@Apple Roof Cleaning Tampa Says:

    He is a feared Linebacker when it comes to rushing the passer, and hit hard. I have literally seen him throw running backs to the ground before!
    He is only 23 years old, and is only gonna get even better.

  9. Tampabaybucfan Says:


    Let’s see…there are maybe 2-3 LBs per team…..32 teams….let’s say a max of 96 LBs…….& White is what?

    The only analyst with less credibility than PFF is Mark Dominick.

  10. Mitch Says:

    White can be the next great linebacker in Tampa Bay. I just hope he maintains his humility through out his career.

  11. Fernando Says:

    I wipe my you know what with their opinion

  12. WinnipegBucsFan Says:

    Nothing about that pro football focus article is false. Dude was a liability in coverage for most of the season. Tons of room for improvement. No doubt the guy effects the outcome of every game. That is just not consistently a good thing for us. Still a solid player with unmatched potential.

  13. lambchop Says:


    My wife is from the Peg. Nice to know there’s actually a Bucs fan there.

  14. SlyPirate Says:

    Devin White admitted and discussed is poor coverage skills. He’s putting in a lot of work to improve in that area. He’ll get better.

  15. Anonymous Says:

    Just needs to work on coverage and he’s set.

  16. Waterboy Says:

    White was not good in pass coverage during the regular season. Although I would dispute the #’s for run coverage as he made many impact plays on his side. I do think his lack of good pass coverage play is more due to the scheme and his delay in picking up his responsibilities and not his physical abilities. In the playoffs, he turned it up a notch and I have no doubt he will continue to get better in pass coverage! If he doesnt, then I think he could be moved to outside lb and still be an impact player! Inside LB requires a lot more reacting and processing of plays (run vs pass, TE or covering back) and its harder for young players to pick up vs OLB where you are in attack mode from the snap!

  17. SC Bucs Fan Says:

    And, just to be sure, White didn’t kill anyone after the game like Lewis did

  18. AMI_Chris Says:

    It don’t mean a thing if you ain’t got that ring!

  19. Alanbucsfan Says:

    White had 5th most tackles in NFL, 15 Tackles in 1 game vs Packers!!, 9 sacks and I wouldn’t trade him for Bobby Wagner or Khalil Mack.

  20. Buc4evr Says:

    Lol, Hartitz can tell that to Mahommes to make him feel better. In the meantime expect Devin to continue to play in beast mode next season..

  21. Duane Says:

    #45 obviously has room for improvement, but to take anything those guys say seriously is just a waste of time. They dont know what Bowles had going on with the scheme. No one knew for the last 2 months. This is obviously going to be added to all the other sleights White will be aware of come game time next season. The beauty of White’s game, like David, is that Bowles can get really creative and leverage their strengths. If White played in the Washington game, would Heineke even have played the game of his life? I say Hell No!

  22. Mike C Says:

    SC Bucs Fan…… well he didn’t get caught if he did, no matter, most football players get away with murder anyway……

  23. JimmyJack Says:

    I didnt even read this after seeing these boneheads think White is overrated in the run game. You just dont get more foolisher then that.

    The one only point I can buy about Devin in the run stop is that he does get a bit too much praise compared to LVD…..David is just as stout stopping the run. Its the tandem of White and David that makes our second level nearly unreachable for opposing runners .
    Joe thanks for exposing these frauds…..and to all the fans, there are fans like myself who roll their eyes anytime somebody trys to state an argument based off of PFF grades……Just realiz3 that the half of us who are aware that PFF is frauds think that you are a complete schmuck when you use PFF grades like it worthy of consideration………Difference of opinion is great but PFF grades mean nothing so pkease stop trotting them out like it means something.

  24. Drunkinybor Says:

    The Devin White my EYES saw is a Beast. He’s still working on protection. But in the playoffs he was the best all around linebacker I have seen in a long long time. Seems to be more of a Ray Lewis type than Brooks. I expect Devin to be alot better in his 3rd season. Rest of the nrc south is shaking in them boots.

  25. Jaymiss Pick6 Again Says:

    “…..throw the beer vendor off the top deck” Joe…in my sternest voice – the one I use on my kids, “Don’t you dare even think about it!!”

  26. Chris K Says:

    There went their credibility! D.White is the best LB in the league! Period! He’ll be in the running for DPOY next season and there will be a fool or two somewhere that still won’t see his greatness.

  27. SOEbuc Says:

    He’s already looked at like a captain on defense his second year. He did have problems in pass coverage. Why we got the same guys and the same coaches to come back and try to fix all the dents. And yes LVD is the best pass coverage LB in the league next to him.

  28. Alvin Scissors Harper Says:

    92nd as a run stopper? What game is he watching? Better yet, what game is he NOT watching!

  29. David Says:

    It doesn’t seem they are taking in to account that the Bucs secondary, as a whole, played a lot soft coverage the first 3/4 of the season.
    So basically a lot of 0-10 yard stuff was available. White’s job was to come up and tackle.
    During the playoffs it was much tighter.
    Don’t misunderstand, he is also very young and needs to improve.

  30. Buczilla Says:

    PFF is garbage. I wanted Josh Allen, but I’m thrilled to have Devin. Dude is only 23 and you could see a marked improvement in his game last year. Making up stats when you don’t know what the play is, much less Devin’s responsibilities in it, and expecting people to pay you for your nonsense takes balls man!

    Devin’s not as consistently good as Lewis, much less Brooks, but they probably would have hurt folks to have his speed.

  31. HomerSimpsonRocks Says:

    I think both Joe and the PFF guys might be right. He seems like the kind of person who will constantly be working to improve his craft, and I expect those PFF metrics will improve. Having said that, you cannot, CANNOT look at the playoff run he had and how he dominated in the Super Bowl and not be super impressed with him. Absolute savage, and should only improve.

  32. Joe in Michigan Says:

    There are questions still to be answered. White was better in coverage at the end of the year, is that going to continue? Leonard Fournette was good at the end of the year, can he do that for an entire season? Probably the biggest question, for me anyway, is if Sean Murphy-Bunting will be the player he was at the end of last year, or not?

  33. Darin Says:

    Its like betting Joe. Cant rate players with your heart. We love him he’s a Buc. He isnt Ray lewis tho or anywhere close. Drive over to Lakeland if you wana see Ray. Ask anyone but you and White himself and they’ll tell you he’s got plenty to improve. He definitely made plays in tbe playoffs though when it counted. Gota love it

  34. destinjohnny Says:

    makes sure he sees this.
    we need him fired up

  35. Tim Says:

    Oh cool. Mass of morons with their “eye tests” & anecdotes over analytical objective analysis. They credit for his best abilities and the deserved criticism towards his known weak part of his play and you dumbasses turn that into some moaning about your dissatisfaction towards people trying to evaluate players with more depth than your highlight clips?