So What’s The Deal With Devin White?

January 11th, 2022


Joe gets asked this a lot on social media and it is a fair question for a guy who many were beginning to think was rounding into the best inside linebacker in the game.

What the hell has happened to Devin White?

Joe thinks it is any number of things. This may sound harsh, but frankly, Joe thinks that White is a little bit lost without Lavonte David alongside him.

Imagine White’s freedom to roam and blitz when he has a monster like David nearby? Joe is pretty sure that White has to cover much more ground with David sidelined, and it is showing.

Yesterday when asked about White, Super Bowl-winning coach Bucco Bruce Arians didn’t exactly deny White is affected by David’s absences, among other things.

“Just part of the way the game is being played with all that perimeter stuff,” Arians said. “He’s a sideline-to-sideline guy, but he’s getting blocked sometimes.

“People are accounting for him a little bit more, and he can play better. I think he would be the first one to tell you. And he might be a little bit pressing with Lavonte [David] out, so we’ll see.”

And he could be playing hurt. His quad and hip were dinged up earlier in the season.

What Arians says makes sense. With Bucs sack king Shaq Barrett out (he’s good against the run) and Jason Pierre-Paul out (who is very stout against the run), teams would be stupid not to try to run outside on the Bucs. Block White and running backs should find a soft zone area on the perimeter.

JPP has been robbed of his pass-rushing skills thanks to his torn rotator cuff. But the guy can still defend the run. The Bucs need him, Shaq and David back in the worst way if the Bucs hope to get past the ground-and-pound Eagles.

62 Responses to “So What’s The Deal With Devin White?”

  1. KingLDavid54 Says:

    Football is a team sport, after all…

  2. Joe Says:

    Football is a team sport, after all…

    Maybe on a high school team in the 1960s when the team ran a wishbone or Wing-T.

  3. Marine Buc Says:

    I just saw the PFF grades. White was ranked #80 out of 88…

    Geeesh. I thought he had a down year but that is pretty bad.

  4. Marine Buc Says:

    If this continues Devin White will change his name to Quincy Black…

  5. Nate1111 Says:

    He must be hurt

  6. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    I’m a huge Devin White supporter & I’m surprised & disappointed in his play.

    I can tell you this……his coaches know exactly what the problem is and won’t discuss.

    I suspect it is lingering injury coupled with LVD’s absence. He hadn’t all of the sudden forgotten how to play…..and I doubt he’s lost his heart.

  7. Cobraboy Says:

    What’s wrong with a wishbone? That was a manly formation and offense 😉

  8. Anonymous Says:

    Quincy Black lol!!

  9. Listnfrmafar Says:

    I know many of you will be pissed when I say this but it’s coaching. White is still young, he shouldn’t be reliant on another player for his success. Why do teams have coaches if they can’t help a player adapt? BA admittedly stated they know he has issues, FIX them. Damn.

  10. Bruce Blahak Says:

    it’s simple, he’s hurt with reduced explosion and quicks…David on the field will be a late xmas present…much needed.

  11. Evolvingbucsfan Says:

    I remember the Rhino formation, that was manly. Talk about wearing down the defense, different animal these days. Our defense gets worn down pretty quick from the early long drives, gotta tighten that up soon, get well JPP, Barret, LVD.

  12. PassingThru Says:


    I played against high school teams that either ran the Veer or the ‘Bone. Great system if you coach a less disciplined team of gifted athletes.

    White is looking more like a complementary piece for LVD. A couple of things stand out: he’s less decisive without LVD which is probably a factor in those sloppy or missed tackles, and he has trouble shedding blockers. I’m sure there’s more to it than that, he’s probably in a psychological funk at this point.

  13. Listnfrmafar Says:

    Speaking of coaches, heard this morning Chicago wants to interview with Bowles & BL. So last Friday BL, Miami wants to interview them and now Chicago. How is this NOT a distraction. I can hear it now, Cameron, Brady & Gronk have a vet day off and Byron is on an interview with Todd in Chicago can your run the offense today? Hey Vita, can you run the defensive practice today Todd is on an interview?

  14. John Olmstead Says:

    He is hurt and it is not being disclosed.

  15. Hodad Says:

    I don’t remember Ray Lewis, or any other great LB falling off the grid when they lost a team mate. If White is a little lost as you say Joe without David, than the problem is worse than I thought. What a lame excuse for the 5th pick in the draft that he’s lost without David. I can see his rookie year, but now? He’s supposed to be the lead dog on this defence, not a lost puppy. I don’t buy the he’s hurt excuse either. A lot of eyebrows were raised when he was picked so high because he was a LB. Unless he turns it around, those naysayers appear to be right.

  16. R.O. Says:

    Is DW45 wearing the radio helmet and now have to do the communicating? Wasnt LVD54 doing that before? Is DW having to think too much with LVD out?

  17. Cbell96825 Says:

    He’s hurt and if he isn’t then what the hell is going on bc this isn’t the guy we drafted at 5 overall. I cant count one splash play he’s made in the last 10 weeks maybe longer. Jumping on players instead of running through them, missed tackles getting stiffied by amer abdullah come on.

  18. Joe Says:

    I just saw the PFF grades.

    Trust Joe on this: NFL movers and shakers believe those dumb grades are the source of high comedy. Like going to YouTube to watch old Sam Kinison videos. Joe has yet to meet an NFL suit or scout or coach that puts an ounce of value into those things.

  19. Joe Says:

    What’s wrong with a wishbone? That was a manly formation and offense 😉

    Joe is still triggered by having to defend that offense.

    As a little kid, love watching Billy Sims destroy people taking pitches in the wishbone.

  20. '74 Bucs fan Says:

    Great question R.O. Joe – can you investigate?

  21. Tackleblockwin Says:

    I’m going to go ahead and predict that White balls out in playoffs. He has been a little bit banged up. I think in the back of his mind he didn’t want to risk further injury by going full throttle when the playoffs were already locked up a few weeks ago. Once the playoffs start Sunday, the D White we know will show up.

  22. Bojim Says:

    Ya. Billy Sims!

  23. Chris@Apple Roof Cleaning Tampa Says:

    I loved the Wishbone too!
    IMHO, what is going on with Devin White is, with LaVonte David out, they are scheming to take him out of the plays by doubling him.

  24. Beeej Says:

    Sam Kinison’s first album was GOLD! Sadly, he started going off the rails after that.

  25. Lamarcus Says:

    You guys said JPP was a liability and Tyron should start over. That was ridiculous then, and even more ridiculous now. We need JPP every game every play possible.

  26. Mike Says:

    You’re only as good as the man to your side. He needs his teammates.

  27. LakelandSteve Says:

    I don’t believe Devin White has lost the ability to play great football like he did at the end of last season and through the playoffs. I think you can blame part of it on Lavonte being out. Minter does not have the speed to stay with most backs out of the backfield and a lot of tight ends, so White is having to account for that. But, I believe the hip injury and quad are still affecting him or he has some other type of injury we are not being told about. Not only is he getting blocked more often and not coming off the block but he seems to have lost that burst of speed he normally has. I imagine when the season is over the truth will come out with what he has been dealing with.

  28. Bird Says:

    He has missed tackles this year but lets be honest last year too
    Missed way to many sacks this year that he did not last year

    The problem this year – guys running past him. With his speed , you can tell that injury is an issue.

    Only way to resolve , lavonte needs to play 😂

  29. David Says:

    Makes sense. I thought that for a while. LVD missing seems to have caused White to have to cover more ground between the pass and run. Minter is good in the middle but doesn’t have the speed to go outside the tackles in either direction.

    Hopefully Shaq and JPP can help make a big difference

  30. Thisisouryear!!! Says:

    White had a huge game against the AINTS and then David went down. He’ll be back to form for the playoffs if David is healthy. I like White, but David is still the key to this defense. He’s been amazing since he got here and he still is today. I’ve loved watching his career.

  31. Erik Hesson - Fine Artist - City of St Pete - Founder of Says:

    To be completely honest, Lavonte David is pretty much the best LB in the game over the last 10 years.

    Him being out is affecting White in a huge way. Same thing last time David was out for a couple weeks last year or the season before… White had a huge dropoff in quality of play and productivity both stints he has been in there without David.

    Also, he’s prob not 100% healthy, even if he is 95% healthy, you feel me

  32. tampabayallday Says:

    He’s not even on Shelton Quarles level yet. Shame.

  33. PassingThru Says:

    Billy Sims?

    Remember that old Oklahoma backfield of Sims, Elvis Peacock, and Kenny King running the ‘Bone? They were damn near unstoppable.

  34. Joe Says:

    Sam Kinison’s first album was GOLD! Sadly, he started going off the rails after that.

    Sam Kinison is the only comedian past, present or possibly future that had a Good Friday joke. And it was hysterical. 🙂

  35. SB Says:

    Nobody is pissed at you Listn because nobody cares what you have to say.
    The fact that you blame a coaching staff that took a losing franchise to Back to Back Playoffs, a SuperBowl, and a Divisional title we haven’t had in 14 years just illustrates your stupidity.
    The more you type the more people over-look you. Keep ’em coming.

  36. Joe Says:

    Remember that old Oklahoma backfield of Sims, Elvis Peacock, and Kenny King running the ‘Bone? They were damn near unstoppable.

    That wasn’t football. That was artwork. It was beautiful!

    Didn’t Oklahoma back then *average* 50 points a game?

  37. SB Says:

    @ Joe……….” Hell?!, Hell?! I was married two phukin years!!! Hell is a daycamp!!

  38. geno711 Says:

    Listnfrmafar Says:
    January 11th, 2022 at 9:18 am
    I know many of you will be pissed when I say this but it’s coaching. White is still young, he shouldn’t be reliant on another player for his success.

    Maybe Listnfrmafar. Maybe the inside linebacker coaching is subpar. But if you are saying that the rest of the coaching is subpar, then how did younger inexperienced guys like Wirfs, Cappa, Stinnie, Godwin, Grayson, Miller, Rojo, Shaq Barrett, Davis, Vea, Winfield, etc magically figure things out. They all became good or great with the Arians staff that started with the Bucs in 2019.

  39. geno711 Says:


    Even more impressive than 50 points a game.

    As a senior in 1974, Arians was the starting quarterback in a wishbone offense. He rushed for 243 yards and eleven touchdowns. Arians held the Virginia Tech school record for most QB rushing touchdowns in a season with 11 all the way until 2016. When he did throw, his yards per completion was 18 yards per completion as he had 952 yards in only 53 completions.

  40. Beeej Says:


  41. HomerSimpsonRocks Says:

    I hate to say it but I think he’s the next Kwon Alexander, OJ Howard, Jameis Winston. Great potential and physical ability but something is lacking and they’ll never live up to the hype.

  42. Ash Says:

    He wasn’t playing that well when David wasnt hurt this season so not really buying it he just looks like he has taking steps back he isn’t recognizing play concepts very well or recognizing them too late and is getting blocked out of the play he does look very confused out there doesn’t know when to throttle down when he blitzes and runs by the QB gets sidestepped too easily his game is looking really bad. Year three you don’t want to see any of that but here we are he definitely has the physical tools but seems like he is lagging mentally.

  43. PassingThru Says:


    It was a beautiful thing to watch, and yes it sure felt like 50.

    To me, they were the legit national champions rather than ‘Bama.

  44. Darin Says:

    Think what coach meant was White would be the first to tell us he’s the best linebacker in the game. Oh yeah he has. Step your game up D

  45. Cobraboy Says:

    While not exactly the wishbone, the triple option SMU ran with Eric Dickerson and Craig James, the “Pony Express”, was also an unstoppable thing of beauty.

    And cost SMU the death penalty.

    Too bad the young ‘unable never saw that Era of football.

    And who can forget the excellence of J.C Watts as the trigger man of the Sooners?

  46. Beeej Says:

    I remember those dudes won 39 games Ina row, impressive

  47. stone crab sam Says:

    At least his middle name isn’t ‘toast’:)

  48. Marine Buc Says:

    @ joe

    I understand what you are saying about PFF but what else do we have to go by?

    I’m not going to break down every play and grade each position are you?

    PFF also has several Bucs graded very high including Wirfs, Marpet, Smith and Brady.

    Are those grades wrong too?

  49. Tim R. Says:

    There is no doubt that Devin’s game has been affected by LD’s departure. He has more ground to cover. He may not be 100 percent. There’s no need to worry about his play. His relentless attack will return.soon. He is a great linebacker. If the defense is complete then we will see his performance pick up.

  50. Infomeplease Says:

    Joe, PFF scores aren’t always wrong… TB12 graded out as the highest QB!!
    I do realize it’s hard to put a statistical value on a non skill position player! Probably, a lot of their scores are flawed. How do you put a value on things like determination, awareness, and reaction time.
    I do believe DW played like a top tier linebacker last year during the playoffs!! I also believe that so far this year, DW has played average at best!!
    I’m hopeful for better play from DW in the coming weeks! GO BUCS!!

  51. Rod Munch Says:

    I remember this same nonsense about David a couple of years ago, people were saying he was making plays, etc — meanwhile, I pointed out there was no decline, he was easily, by far, the best player on the defense, all over the field, looked amazing, wasn’t even having an off year, just offenses did what they could to avoid him because he was a beast. The box score warriors, however, claimed he was finished.

    I, of course, as usual, was right.

    Same goes for White.

    There’s nothing wrong with him. We’re missing all the LB’s around him, so the other teams are saying great, take away White and target Minter and Cam Gill instead.

    Also, while I complain about White dropping into zone so much, he’s way more effective running forward, the Bucs defense stiffened up once they started playing a lot more zone. I don’t think people have noticed that trend, but after they started playing zone, stopped giving up huge plays and slowed things down, the defense improved dramatically. If I’m Bowles I’m still not dropping White into zone, I’m dropping someone else and having White rush on every play.

    But, as I said with David when this nonsense was being asked about him, there’s nothing wrong with White, he just needs a healthy team around him so the Bucs can play their actual defense, not some compromise zone to account for all the injuries.

  52. Defense Rules Says:

    HomerSimpsonRocks … ‘I hate to say it but I think he’s the next Kwon Alexander, OJ Howard, Jameis Winston. Great potential and physical ability but something is lacking and they’ll never live up to the hype.’

    Not even close. That ‘something’ which is ‘lacking’ is LVD. White & LVD complement each other perfectly (hasn’t anyone noticed that LVD has been getting a lot more accolades since he & Devin got paired together?).

    Look at White’s tackling numbers this season & you’ll see a noticeable drop-off since the New Orleans game when LVD got hurt. VERY noticeable, even though opponents have been running more on us. I suspect it’s because opposing offenses can focus more on neutralizing White now that LVD, Shaq & JPP have been out of the lineup.

    Been convinced for quite awhile though that he’s also still hurting from his earlier injuries. He doesn’t appear to have that same 2nd-gear burst of speed that he showed last season. His sacks are way down (9 down to 3.5) as are his TFLs (15 down to 8), although his QB Hits are still roughly the same (16 up to 18 this year). Interestingly, despite leading the league in blitzing, he’s only gotten sacks in TWO games (Washington 2 sacks & Buffalo 1.5 sacks). Strange.

  53. Rod Munch Says:

    Why are people such morons that they can’t understand the concept that the other team can also do things.

    Lets say you have Deion Sanders at one corner, Ryan Smith at the other, and your safeties are Chris Conte and Sabby Piscitelli….

    If Sanders isn’t getting you 8 INTs and 4 TDs on the year, the morons here would be saying he’s a bust.

    Meanwhile the other team looks and says, ignore Sanders, target the other 3 slobs.

    Teams can simply choose to run away from White, and to put extra effort into blocking him on blitzes because they know the other guys are scrubs (no, I don’t think Tryon is a scrub, but he’s a rookie).

  54. Ed Says:

    I think his tackling technique is bad, he grabs players with one arm and tries to bring them down. He is out of position on many plays.

    He looks fast to me on the blitzes up the middle, he just doesn’t turn to the quarterback or wrap them up. He thinks he can just run by them and grab them and pull them down.

    He needs to play with more aggression and watch some film of how David tackles.

    It appears that he doesn’t want to be physical enough with blocks. Coaching staff needs to work him harder, he looks like he went soft after winning the SuperBowl. Too much publicity and fan-love, guy needs to make statement with physical play in the playoffs or else ride off as another average linebacker that was overdrafted. Its too early in his career to write him off but if he can’t play one game against a running team like the Eagles and dominate, his game is on the downside.

  55. adam from ny Says:

    hopefully devin isn’t another kwon alexander scenario…

    when kwon was here, even though a later draft pick, kwon came on like a house of fire the first few years…

    then he slowly faded, become a worse player ever year, until he was gone…

    he peaked early in his career…it happens sometimes…

    let’s hope devin isn’t now on his down cycle…

    i saw it with kwon, even pre-injury, so i’m sort of on red alert regarding devin…

    let’s hope he just is slumping a little, because we need him and lavonte to beast out big time come sunday…

    we must contain the run and they are key

  56. adam from ny Says:

    devin is kind of a crazy dude who gets a little ahead of himself sometimes…

    it was very obvious when he was at the podium in past seasons, but he has slowed down some when talking to the media now…

    maybe he needs to slow down a drop or something, so he’s not literally ahead of the play sometimes…sounds a little crazy – but might be true…

    maybe he just hit a wall here at this point in the season, and needs to hurdle it – or maybe he was just going light because it’s a long season and he’s about to totally go nut in the post season…

    sometimes the dude is a machine out there – and we need that vs philly…big time

  57. adam from ny Says:

    or maybe he just is missing his sidekick and mentor next to him

  58. Danny Marrero Says:

    I wonder if he is hurt more than we know because with or without David he has really not looked like the same linebacker that played the last couple years.

  59. Marine Buc Says:

    @ adam

    A comparison to Kwon Alexander?

    Let’s seriously hope not… Devin White is a #5 overall draft pick. Kwon was a fifth rounder.

  60. jerseybuc Says:

    This is exactly why I wanted us to draft Micah Parsons last year. We didn’t have the chance,but were close to maybe snagging him. Many said LB is not a need, but that kid is a hybrid and he is a star. But LB is what makes our D unique. Sideline to sideline LBers are few and far between but it makes guys front and back that much better. I think White has been exposed, much like Kwon was. You simply can’t fly to the ball and not hold your gaps and space. Unless of course you have a HOF player like Derrick Brooks or David as your wing man. I think Devin White is much better than Alexander was, but he has gone off the rails. We can’t afford him to not show up in January. Get off the horse and on the ball 45!

  61. alaskabuc Says:

    I think LVD has been coaching White every play when they are on the field together. White’s football acumen has always been in question. Doesn’t matter how much physical talent he has, he just doesn’t understand the game well enough to succeed without 54 guiding him.

  62. MDFree Says:

    Lavonte David has made a career of making talented linebackers look like All-stars next to him. See Kwon Alexander, Kendall Beckwith, and now Devin White. He’s always been the glue that’s held that unit together, often times to the detriment of his own personal statistics. Crazy how after all these years he’s STILL underrated…I never bought it last year when everyone was ready to crown White as the best lb on this team.