Simply The Best

July 14th, 2021

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He’s not Tampa Bay’s most important player, not by a longshot, but you can make a compelling case he’s the best player working out of One Buc Place.

At the tender age of 23, Devin White has already made quite a mark as a pro. He enjoyed a monster postseason in helping the Bucs to a championship and there’s no telling what White will do for an encore in Year 3.

Devin White

“He’s an old-school player; he loves to play the game,” says Todd Bowles. “Mentally, he reminds me of a younger Ray Lewis — not physically, because Ray was one of the greatest I’ve ever seen play the game. But mentally, just the energy he brings per play and he’s working toward just getting guys around him to gravitate and make plays. He has that type of energy.”

Bowles has never been accused of hyperbole and it’s easy to see why he’s so bullish on the No. 5 overall pick in the 2019 draft.

White was placed on the reserve/COVID -19 list before the opening-round playoff game at Washington, but he returned with a vengeance — 11 tackles and an interception in New Orleans, 15 tackles and a fumble recovery at Lambeau and 12 stops and an interception in the Super Bowl victory against the Chiefs.

That trifecta capped a bravura season for White, who registered 140 tackles, 9 sacks, 15 tackles for loss and 16 QB hits. Those are startling numbers for any defensive player.

When you consider White rarely comes off the edge, his production is even more impressive.

Hall Of Fame Endorsement

“Devin White is the best inside linebacker in the game today,” says Hall of Fame coach Bill Cowher. “Why? He’s got speed, he’s got instincts and he’s relentless as he goes to the football.”

That about sums it up pretty well.

One guy who can do without Cowher’s comments is Jon Gruden. For Chucky, No. 45 is The Man Who Got Away.

Entering the 2019 draft, White had every reason to believe he’d be chosen by the Silver and Black with the fourth pick. The Raiders showed a lot of interest in him as the Dick Butkus Award winner coming out of LSU and Gruden’s defense needed an impact linebacker.

But at the finish line, the Raiders spit the bit. They bypassed White and drafted Clemson defensive end Clelin Farrell, who may be a good player someday.

White’s already beyond good. In fact, he wasted no time telling Buc fans what to expect.

“On the field, they’re gonna get a versatile linebacker that’s able to go sideline to sideline, able to drop in coverage and a guy who can get down and dirty in the trenches,” White said at his introductory news conference. “Just a guy you don’t have to take off the field, who’s gonna play with relentless effort, a high motor and has the passion for the game.”

Sure does.

11 Responses to “Simply The Best”

  1. Razor Ramone Says:

    Great job Ira. I’m assuming you’re working on the book you’ve been editing and that’s the reason for lack of pod casts. Hope all is well.

  2. Leighroy Says:

    Interesting anecdote about White/Raiders.

    Gruden had to have been spitting at someone in the Raiders organization last year after White blew up Carr on 4th down! You know the play. Dude had 3 sacks and a forced fumble to boot, against the team that apparently snubbed him. But hey, enjoy your future maybe good player someday instead Chuckie!

  3. Winny Testaverde Says:

    Probably my favorite non-playoff play of the season, Leighroy! It was perfect…nearly bowled Gruden over to boot. I live in Las Vegas and was slated to go to that game. Chunky is already wearing thin on the locals. Him and Mayock try and get cute with their picks ( and have pretty much botched every pick they received for the Mack and Amari Cooper
    trades). Happy to have White…and happy to have Arians after flirting with a Gruden return.

  4. Bucs Bro Says:

    Just like Gruden’s drafts here, by passed good players in the draft with bust.

    Being in Vegas for that game was amazing! Buc fans took over the city that weekend.

  5. john spiliotopoulos Says:

    Another great article Ira.

  6. Jeebs the Honey Bear Says:

    For most of his first 2 years, Devin was a liability in coverage, which has become perhaps the most important role for MLB in today’s NFL with the emphasis on the passing game. He was steadily improving in the pass rush and “splash play” department, more effectively using his speed by harnessing his instincts. Once he came back from Covid, everything clicked for him. If he can continue to improve in coverage, he will quickly ascend to one of the best LB in the game. I’m excited for year 3 for the young pro! Go Bucs!!

  7. Jersey buc Says:

    Gruden blew a draft. Us long time buc fans know all about that.

  8. orlbucfan Says:

    White has 3 great coaches: Bowles, his LB guy, and LVD54. He better be scary good this year.

  9. JimbobBucsFan Says:

    Another great article, Sage! JBF is very fortunate to have you on board.

    There were some fans who were all over Licht for drafting White at five. “We coud’ve had ________ !” [fill in the blank]. (Of course “hindsight is better than foresight” now.)

    I looked up the word “bravura” on the Web. A nuanced articulation, indeed! 😊

    Go Bucs! Super Bowl Champs!

  10. Buczilla Says:

    “Mentally, he reminds me of a younger Ray Lewis — not physically, because Ray was one of the greatest I’ve ever seen play the game.”

    I think that the physicality part of this was a thinly veiled challenge to Devin since his combine numbers are better than all of Rays outside of bench press.

  11. Jason From Jamrock Says:

    Another gift from Jon Gruden.
    Thank you sir!