Was Devin White Thinking Too Much Last Year?

September 21st, 2022

Devin White

A point of emphasis for Tampa Bay head coach Todd Bowles yesterday made it sound like Buccaneers savior linebacker Devin White was a little mentally overwhelmed last season.

When the Bucs were riddled with injuries in 2021, and White was playing hurt himself, Bowles broadened White’s responsibilities. Speaking on the Buccaneers Radio Network yesterday, Bowles seemed imply that the expanded leadership role slowed White down.

“We scaled him back last year when everyone got hurt, so he had to do more coverage-wise — when Lavonte got hurt and everybody else got hurt. So he ran the defense last year,” Bowles said, when asked why White has been so productive as a pass rusher in 2022.

“This year we’re back with everybody so we’re turning him loose a little bit more. And he has a knack for getting to the quarterback.”

Bowles has said previously that White was asked to do more in coverage to support cornerbacks like the bottle of cologne, Pierre Desir, as well as Ross Cockrell and Richard Sherman, all of whom are out of the NFL after combining for more than 800 Bucs snaps last season.

But the part about White running the defense affecting his production was a new one for Joe.

Regardless, Joe’s glad White has been unshackled. He’s playing freely and looks more like the guy who dominated in January and February of 2021.

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30 Responses to “Was Devin White Thinking Too Much Last Year?”

  1. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Devin White is an absolute monster……fantastic Buc.

  2. geno711 Says:

    It seems like Devin and Shaq are the two guys on the defense that can consistently be effective on a pass rush. What a difference if you can have two guys that have to be game planed for!

    If those guys don’t get pressure, then we play less press coverage on the back end. It all works together.

  3. Statistically Insignificant Reader Says:

    Enjoy seeing Devin in his “Giddy up Horse” celebration!!

  4. Richard Says:

    45 has shown many times over that he is a very effective blitzing LB. However, he is still an overly aggressive, shoulder tackling, tackle missing, often out of position to make plays LB He also cannot seem to be able to shed blocks with any consistency. The film doesn’t lie!!

  5. Kentucky Buc Says:

    Thinking about making splash plays and making the Pro Bowl.

  6. Alvafan Says:

    Richard. Please tell me how it is that DW is the Bucs leading tackler? Stats don’t lie either !!

  7. Richard Says:

    I wonder how many tackles he’d have if he didn’t misfire so much….he’s a very talented athlete, no question and that enables him to make plays. As MLB he should be our leading tackler but I contend that he’s always trying to grab the ball carrier around the shoulder area, often allowing many extra yards and this is very obvious when you watch the film. I am a huge Bucs fan and really would love to see him become a legitimate super star but he’s just not there yet! That’s all I’m saying….

  8. Lamarcus Says:

    Idk. Top 5 Middle linebacker should no less than Diet Ray Lewis or Patrick Lewis light. He seems to be non effective unless he blitzes which he’s good at.

  9. Craig Says:

    He is still just a half of an inside linebacker.

    Until he can tackle a runner, he is half of what he can be.

  10. Thisisouryear!!! Says:

    He is better this season because of the secondary behind him. The QB’s aren’t getting rid of the ball immediately like they did last year because our secondary is playing so far back. IMO, the secondary is making a difference everywhere. More time for stunts, more time for Shaq to get where he’s going. It’s a total different game.

  11. HomerSimpsonRocks Says:

    He still needs to learn how to tackle better. He looks like Deion Sanders out there tackling their upper body. AWJ can teach him.

  12. CrackWise Says:


    Your right, the film doesn’t lie, can’t say the same about your bias lie.

    THE BUCS as a TEAM have only missed 3 TACKELS thus far.

    Granted, one of those tackles was DW hit the running back up high while he was flashing through the whole. So I guess that is what you are seeing?

    HOWEVER, he leads the TEAM in tackles, Tackles for a loss, sacks and OH BTW, you are just DUMB, he literally throws defenders off of him when making all of those plays.

    If your gonna watch the games WATCH THE FREAKING GAMES

  13. CrackWise Says:

    “bias EYE”

  14. CrackWise Says:

    And my point is not to argue with you or throw you under the bus @Richard

    Its just a poor observation of the guy. HE is not Berret Rudd out there getting his tackles and making his hits 5 PLUS yards downfield.

    If the running back is gaining yards after contact with DW. Its to get back to the LOS or a few yards as he falls forward. THEY GET PAID TOO.

  15. David Says:

    Kind of what I assumed. He had to cover more when LVD was hurt and just think too much between that and calling plays.
    Here’s to a healthy Defense 🍺

  16. Jmarkbuc Says:

    He’s still over running tackles.

  17. Bucamania Says:

    10+ sacks this year for 45. Book it.

  18. CrackWise Says:

    Ok, I can concede that he is leaving plays on the table IF he and WE expect him to be an ALL Pro every year and an eventual HOFer like LVD and Brooks.

    However, I am super content with how he is playing!

  19. Destinjohnny Says:

    Country boy went Hollywood

  20. sasquatch Says:

    Thinking does not appear to be his strength, so it’s probably better if he does less of it.

  21. robclwtr Says:

    Wow!!! Richard makes a simple and true statement about Devin White missing tackles and you guys attack him and tell him to watch the games. I’ve watched the games and I agree with Richard. The player misses alot of tackles. Bad angles and high. It’s pretty obvious. It doesn’t mean we don’t like the player, it just means he can get even better. Let people express themselves without the personal attacks and this site will be better

  22. unbelievable Says:

    The only thing White needs to think about is lowering his tackle attempts… he keeps grabbing guys by the shoulders, and that allows them to slip away from time to time.

    It also makes it more likely for him to get a penalty when throwing QBs to the ground like that, due to the pansy-arse rules of the current NFL.

    But keep the blitzes coming!

  23. unbelievable Says:

    *lowering his form on his tackle attempts

  24. orlbucfan Says:

    #45 and #58 better mature by now. #54–LVD is getting up there in years. I don’t blame him for getting on Licht’s azz for a raise. He has served as an informal LB mentor for years.

  25. Rod Munch Says:

    “We scaled him back last year when everyone got hurt, so he had to do more coverage-wise — when Lavonte got hurt and everybody else got hurt. So he ran the defense last year,” Bowles said, when asked why White has been so productive as a pass rusher in 2022.

    “This year we’re back with everybody so we’re turning him loose a little bit more. And he has a knack for getting to the quarterback.”


    Wow, this is LITERALLY what I said was happening last year while you dopes in the comments were saying he was a bust, he’s overrated, etc.

    Amazing how often I’m right, and you dopes who disagree with me, are proven wrong.

  26. Alvafan Says:

    Take it easy Rod. It happens to a lot of us. Doesn’t mean you have to get all egocentric about it.

  27. Rod Munch Says:

    Alvafan – but why not? That’s a huge part of the fun of sports, is calling other people stupid when you’re proven to be correct.

  28. Oneilbuc Says:

    He will never be good as David and I that’s just the way it is. I hope I’m wrong but I remember David in his first 4 years he was waay better than White and David played on a worser defense. But White can talk his way to another contract.

  29. Alvafan Says:

    I laughed at that Rod. Keep having fun. (But be nice about it when warranted)

  30. Alstott up the gut Says:

    Keep in mind that white was a rb before he got to lsu. He hasn’t been playing lb for very long and he’s still extremely young. White is an attacking lb that has a natural gift of getting to the qb. He’s not a fundamental tackler, but that will come as he matures. He’s already playing more under control. Can of course get better, but if he is someone you 100% want in your team and I’m beyond happy he plays for Tampa.