Bucs Co-Defensive Coordinator Explains Devin White Can Be Too Aggressive

May 3rd, 2022

Bucs co-DC Larry Foote.

Back at the Pro Bowl in late-January in Las Vegas, Joe remembers Devin White saying he didn’t have a season that lived up to his normal high standards, in part because he was likely trying to do too much to compensate for so many injuries in the secondary.

Bucs co-defensive coordinator Larry Foote sure seemed to confirm that when he spoke about White this morning at One Buc Palace. And Foote didn’t fault White for his passion. Just that he needs to lasso it.

“Playing linebacker sometimes you want to make more plays,” Foote said. “That will get you in trouble sometimes. [White] just has to calm down.

“I always remind him, ‘You’ve got the goods.’ He’s not a slow linebacker like I was. He’s going to make his plays, he just has to trust the defense. Sometimes you might have a quiet game. It might be a couple of games. But you just have to stick to the process.

“He is going to make his plays. You stay healthy and play 17 games you are going to make a ton of plays.”

Foote also mentioned he preached to White that his nine sacks in 2020 are more fluke than a pattern.

“I told Devin, like two years ago when he had like nine sacks, ‘That is not the norm. Do not count on that. That is not the norm. Three-to-four, that should be your range. Anything [more] than that, that’s great.'”

It seems Foote often has to order White to dial things back to play disciplined football.

“I have to fight that,” Foote said. “‘You are not getting 9 1/2 sacks as an off-the-ball backer.’ I have to fight that. Those guys only need to play team ball. We are after a ring.”

Foote also noted that the Bucs’ defense will thrive based on its success playing assignment football.

Here Joe thought the reason the Bucs drafted White No. 5 overall was to blitz early and often. Joe isn’t sure why exactly the Bucs wouldn’t want White to blitz and blast the quarterback, especially since it appears the Bucs will otherwise have to lean on a pair of young guys for quarterback pressures, Joe Tryon-Shoyinka and Logan Hall. And backup Anthony Nelson had more sacks than Tryon-Shoyinka and just as many quarterback hits last year.

None of those guys is Ndamukong Suh or Jason Pierre-Paul in their prime and healthy.

30 Responses to “Bucs Co-Defensive Coordinator Explains Devin White Can Be Too Aggressive”

  1. Ufcguy32 Says:

    I’m not a coach but that explanation doesn’t sit well with me. How are you gonna not play to his strengths? This team needs the qb on the ground. That mentality is stupid. Use him and adjust. Isn’t that what great coaches do? Put your scheme to fit the players not the other way around.

  2. Dusthty Rhothdes Says:

    UFcguy right; seems that it would help the defense to have 45 move around and come off the edge or wherevr he is most disruptive and then use LVD as more of the mike backer

  3. GOB Says:

    One of the bucs biggest problems on D last year, was way too much freelancing. I agree with Foote. It can’t continue. @Ufcguy, the reason the bucs D struggled against the Rams was not dedicating enough players to coverage. Stafford eats the blitz for lunch, and struggles when asked to throw against 7.

  4. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Teams schemed for Devin White last year……they are picking up his blitzes better……I still think he will get to the QB……and he has the speed to track down anyone…..
    Devin WHite 4.42 not that’s some speed for a LB….

  5. PassingThru Says:

    GOB is correct, Stafford ate the Bucs early on those blitz calls, then the Buc defense played coverage and did a decent job. That inexplicable blitz call is what led to the Cooper Kupp reception that broke Tampa Bay’s back. Don’t blitz Stafford, he can find the open man. Stafford has trouble reading coverage after the snap, you’re doing him a big favor by presenting him with an open receiver.

    I don’t know about DWhite trying to do too much, I’ll give the coach the benefit of the doubt. I thought he was just misdiagnosing plays and taking bad angles. That and the fact that he has trouble shedding blocks.

  6. Dooley Says:

    It’s true and he’s fast so when he bites hard & wrong he’s way out of position. Over pursuit is a real thing.

  7. HC Grover Says:

    Need new coach. This seems passive. He wants White to tiptoe through the tulips.

  8. kg4life Says:

    When a team has talented LB such as Devin White the go to is to blitz him often, however, teams where able to block the Bucs blitz’s for the most part. It’s time for the Bucs to rely on their front seven and play more fundamental football. All that blitzing came to a head in the divisional game against the Rams.

  9. PassingThru Says:

    note: Too bad there isn’t an edit button. I meant to say that Stafford has trouble reading coverage and finding a receiver after the snap. If you blitz, you’re giving Stafford free money as he’ll quickly find the open man.

  10. DBS Says:

    It was not hard to see how many time White ran past the QB last year.. By the time he realized it the QB ran or the ball was gone.

  11. DavidBigBucFan99 Says:

    Where is it he wants White to tip toe thru the tulips??? Guess you missed where he said for White to play disciplined football. Some guys up here can’t wait to rag on our coaches but not the players yet get all hot in the the pants about some rookie who made a draft video. White plays too undisciplined too many times. He’s not allowing the game to come to him instead he’s too busy trying to be That Guy making big plays and instead puts himself out of the play. The Rams loss was solely on the players and not on Bowles blitz call because on the very play before they allowed Kupp to get out of bounds when they had no time outs. Everybody in the stadium knew he was going to try to go out of bounds to stop the clock and the PLAYERS not the coaches let him. They tackle him in bounds the clock winds down and the Rams never kick the field goal.

  12. Rod Munch Says:

    I don’t understand this idiocy. White is great when he’s running forward, and he’s not that great when he’s backpedalling. Simple solution, don’t have him backpedalling and ALWAYS have him rushing the QB, and in the process blowing up the other teams running game if they hand it off. Literally every play should be White rushing the passer. How they don’t understand that, how they don’t get that from watching him play, I just don’t get it. If you have a special talent, use it in a way that is special.

  13. Umm? Says:

    How’s that? You say getting a lot of sacks should be refrained from? I’m DEFINITELY NOT liking how this coach is terming things to the players.

    It’s Not what you say in a time like that. It’s how you say it! And it would be easy for a young man to NOT read between the lines and lose heart…

    Hey I get he needs to dial it back to get a better balance but……..

    I DON’T like how this man is saying it At All!

  14. Umm? Says:

    I’m wondering if Whites Regression last year has anything to do with this Particular coach??? HMMMMM…..

  15. PSL Bob Says:

    JPP and JTS put up similar and not so stellar rookie numbers. JPP had 4.5 sacks his rookie season, JTS 4.0. JPP had 8 QB hits, JTS 10. JPP had 7 TFL, JTS 5. JPP had 25 solo tackles and 5 assists, JTS had 21 and 8. The only major discrepancy during their rookie seasons is that JPP had 2 forced fumbles and 2 fumble recoveries, while JTS had none. Those can be game changers. But, overall I’d say JPP didn’t exactly set the world on fire as a rookie. So. lets give JTS a chance to see how he develops into his NFL role.

  16. SB~LV Says:

    .10 football brain and it ain’t getting any smarter

  17. Alanbucsfan Says:

    When the slot corner (SMB) is blitzing from Polk County as Sapp put it and you leave your free safety one-on-one with their best receiver – either the players didn’t execute the call correctly or it was a bad call- bottom line Stafford is great against blitz and this was ignored when calling the play- the coaching call did not put the players in best situation to succeed.

  18. Anonymous Says:

    I think all the coach is really saying is that it got in White’s head, he was pushing too hard to get sacks and getting run out of plays.

  19. Brandon Says:

    My biggest problem with White was that when be played hurt, he unnecessarily took on blocks be couldn’t beat and was routinely pushed out of plays. He shouldn’t have been out there.

  20. Goatfarmer Says:

    I’m afraid he’s thinking about his next contract instead about simply doing his job and winning games.

    Diva White? I hope not.

  21. Defense Rules Says:

    Ufcguy32 … ‘I’m not a coach but that explanation doesn’t sit well with me. How are you gonna not play to his strengths?’

    Foote’s played the position at a very high level for 13 years & he’s worked with White continuously for 3 years. Devin might be well-advised to listen to him.

    I think he’s telling White to ‘play to his strengths’; to be aggressive BUT to play ‘under control’. And he needs to do that by trusting the rest of the defense to do THEIR jobs. Like even Devin reasoned, he was ‘trying to do too much to compensate for so many injuries in the secondary’.

    Foote’s also right in that 2020’s 9 sacks is an anomaly for a ILB. White played in 15 games that season, and had sacks in 5 games … 3 against the Raiders, 3 against the Falcons, and 1 each against the Packers, Giants & Lions. They mostly came in ‘clumps’ IOW, and he had ZERO sacks in any of our 5 losses. He also blitzed 91 times that season (6.1 blitzes/game) but ended up with only 20 pressures total (9 sacks, 3 QB Hurries, 8 QB Knockdowns). The sack total was impressive, but those represented half of White’s total pressures on the year for a lot of blitzing.

  22. Defense Rules Says:

    Umm? … ‘I’m wondering if Whites Regression last year has anything to do with this Particular coach??? ‘

    White admittedly got fewer sacks last season (only 3.5 sacks as opposed to 9), he actually did better in several other ways. For one, he blitzed almost 50% more (133 in 2021 vs 91 in 2020), and ended up with over 50% more QB pressures (31 in 2021 vs 20 in 2020). Got a lot more QB Hits, but a lot fewer sacks too (wonder if that means he’s lost a step in his old age?).

    I wouldn’t blame it on Larry Foote though. Sounds like he’s the one who’s trying to get Devin to play a bit more ‘under control’.

  23. Rod Munch Says:

    White was fine last year when he was rushing the passer. Those who say he ‘regressed’ are dopes who look at box scores and nothing else. Last year, after all the injuries to in the secondary, Bowles started to play a lot more zone than in the past, and if you’re playing zone, it means White is backpedaling and playing in space, which isn’t his game. Playing zone did help with the injuries however, so it’s hard to hold that against Bowles. Then when the secondary was finally getting healthy, you had David and Shaq and JPP all injured – White was literally the only starter on the field, and guess what, if the NFL isn’t afraid of other plays, they will scheme you out of games. Teams just avoided running at White in some cases, in others they keyed on him for blocks.

    With all that said, when White was allowed to rush the passer last year, he looked great. He was explosive and disruptive, but it just didn’t happen that nearly as much as previously.

    I gave the excuses that with all the injuries things had to be changed up, but they should go back to the 2020 defense if everyone is healthy.

  24. SB~LV Says:

    The is a video of coach Foote addressing DW , interesting. There are also interesting interviews with a few other defensive assistants, more information than one usually gets from guarded coach speak .

  25. steele Says:

    Misdiagnosing plays, being out of position, overpursuit, biting on reads, bad angles, freelancing, etc. etc. These are all things that discipline and coaching should address. Strenously.

  26. Esteban85 Says:

    Thank you Steele!
    So much more than just rushing the quarterback. He is not a pass rusher and if he was every down, offenses would scheme up and block him. He doesn’t disengage and bench press blocks as well as he should so if he is predictable he will be handled. I think Larry is talking about anticipation of the game which is really important in every sport especially with an off ball linebacker. Is he thinking too much or not enough? I’m going with the latter.

  27. Umm? Says:

    Hold on there munch,
    YEAH I believe he did indeed regress….

    You’re a bit self righteous aren’t you. I’m gonna answer that for you. Yes you are. Let’s see, how about you explain exactly how he progressed. In fact, how about you explain how he towed the line to his previous year? Can you do that for us with facts instead of your special point of view?

    AND TO BE CLEAR, this is for Mr self righteous munch “only” calling those without your “special point of view” names is pretty crappy. You need answer my direct insertion. Nobody else. So how did he improve bud?

    Whether he was up against it or not!
    His own coach insinuates he’s not moving forward.

    I and others feel like he took a step back whether you like it or not.

    Last years performance from him certainly isn’t what I would call “getting better than he was the year before! Be careful not to pick and choose your stats BTW… Good luck with that homework!

  28. Pick6 Says:

    Not sure what people are up in arms about, it’s called freelancing and it dissolves gameplans. If you are using your amazing athleticism to just vacate your assignment faster, you’re helping the wrong team. For sure they should send him a lot but a great offensive play caller (and there are many out there these days) can exploit that tendency to devastating effect if it’s overused

  29. buccaroooooooo Says:

    perfect LB coach for White

  30. Tim Says:

    Co- Defensive Coordinator? What could go wrong.