Warren Sapp: Sitting Down Devin White Was Key

January 16th, 2024

Big No. 99 always has strong opinions about his Bucs, and one of them is about head coach Todd Bowles.

Warren Sapp was a guest on the Brooks and Beckles podcast last week and talked about his beloved Buccaneers. Sapp said Bowles impressed him this season when he decided to put Devin White on the bench late last year.

“[Bowles] actually got in there and said, ‘If you ain’t not performing, Mr. 45, I’m not even going to put you in the game. I’m going to deactivate you,” Sapp said.

Sapp’s deactivation reference was to the mystery surrounding why White didn’t play Week 15 at Green Bay.

Those words from Sapp resonated with Joe on many levels, but man did they come to life last night. The Bucs blitzed and blitzed and blitzed — and White played less than half the snaps in the biggest game of the season. Third-year backup linebacker K.J. Britt got more time.

Maybe, just maybe, the Bowles accountability lesson to White is a reason for the defense’s resurgence. There was also YaYa Diaby taking Joe Tryon-Shoyinka’s starting job and Zyon McCollum appearing at safety last night.

But the White move had to send ripples through the locker room, as White is a team captain and a guy Bowles used to defend relentlessly.

Until he didn’t.

52 Responses to “Warren Sapp: Sitting Down Devin White Was Key”

  1. Usfbuc Says:

    It was the right move and I think shows that White won’t be back next season. Still think White wasn’t used properly in the defense.

  2. deuceswild78 Says:

    No chance he returns unless he is taking a big paycut… but he can still show his value if given the chance on obvious blitzing downs this postseason. also these young guys will hopefully help us keep baker and evans around for at least two more years

  3. Smashsquatch Says:

    Big time props to Bowles for benching White. His play has been way too inconsistent, and neither draft status nor past accolades could hide it anymore.
    More Zyon and less Ryan on the field looked good too. Keep the curveballs coming Todd. Same goes for Canales, who decided to set up the run with the pass. Bravo coaches!

  4. TheBucsAnthem Says:

    “hearsay” Joe ….. that’s “hearsay”…….

    Remember……earlier in the year, Devin White wanted OUT of Tampa Bay

  5. Beeej Says:

    So, Zyon was playing in place of Neal last night? I wondered who snaps he was taking, as Davis and Dean seemed to be on the field

  6. Ron Potter Says:

    Better late than never but if Bowles had held White accountable sooner in his career would there have been a better outcome? Or was this the best path? Hard to say but better late than never and wish the best for our team. GO BUCS!!

  7. TheBucsAnthem Says:

    Neal sucks so bad ……..dunno why he is even on this team?????

  8. Jack Clark Says:

    I’m eating a philly cheesesteak for lunch to celebrate our playoff win over the Philadelphia Eagles 😃

  9. SC Bucs Fan Says:

    White clearly has talent. Seems like his ego has got in the way.

  10. gotbbucs Says:

    Britt is a sure tackler, White is not. Britt plays within the scheme, White roams wild. That’s the bottom line.
    Philly’s defense looked like a bunch of Devin White’s running around doing their own thing. It just can’t work like that. Everyone needs to be in their correct fit for the unit to succeed.

  11. TBBucsFan Says:

    They probably should have experimented with using White as an edge rusher in place of Shaq Barrett. I feel like he has the speed and explosiveness to be effective in that role, he is a liability as an off the ball LB.

  12. David Says:

    The cupcake games are over. We will see how the toilet bowl and Baker will play against a good team.

  13. BA’s Red Pen Says:

    It’s a great podcast, I listen to every episode.

  14. Pick6 Says:

    Someone will fall in love with his tools and overpay him, just like they did with Kwon. Few guys are more qualified to get more out of a player like White than Bowles was, but White just never became an instinctive enough player to max out and not be a liability. Maybe they dumb it down for him someplace else, but it just makes you wonder how costly it has been for this team to have Devin wear the green dot.

    We can get by with a less explosive athlete like Britt as long as he’s playing next to a Lavonte, but i think we only have that luxury for 1 or 2 seasons max

  15. Jack Clark Says:

    David Says:
    January 16th, 2024 at 12:03 pm
    The cupcake games are over. We will see how the toilet bowl and Baker will play against a good team.

    Who hurt you?

  16. RustyRhinos Says:

    HC Bowles used a page out of HC Morris ” I will tolerate you until I can replace you! ”
    Putting in Britt for a game as White was Injured, watch Britt and Russell play well, White is ready to come back but does not get to play. Britt plays very well, again. White next week gets back on the field and plays like his Hair is on Fire!!, Next week’s game not so much. HC in the Playoff game says, We are going to split time between both of you. We did play very good Defense. Sure does sound like HC may have made a decision.


  17. CleanHouse Says:

    Team looked great last night aside from the drops.
    Hope Evans really shows up in Detroit, we need a big Evans game.

    Defense looked great, Dean and Zyon were excellent Davis was solid.
    I really enjoyed this game and if we can show up with fight and energy the rest of the season, Bowles has won me back

    Calijah looked like the beast the scouts were talking about for the first time in my opinion a complete game wrecker for 60 minutes.

    I’m feeling hopeful about the team and its younger players. Even JTS and Hall flashed on a few plays.

    Impressed by Licht and eager to see what is done with more cap space.

    Want to see more of the rookie TE with Gronks #

    I like having White as a secret weapon…. If that guy shows up and has one of his games on top of the rest of the Defense balling out- we’re really into something.

    I think Detroit is very beatable and I’m fired up.

    Bowes and Licht proved me wrong last night and Baker is growing on me.

    Go Bucs! Blow out Detroit

  18. CleanHouse Says:

    And I should say I loved Anthony Nelson’s safety, he’s been one of my favorites for years.

  19. Mike Johnson Says:

    Shout out to the poster David here…You can’t be a Bucs fam with your comments. Take your comments elsewhere. Why are you mad our Bucs are winning? You should be tickled pink..blue or whatever. Go hate elsewhere.

  20. 727BUC Says:

    Top 10 QB in first year with yet another new team and system.

    Playing for penny’s (comparably)

    9-8 record/ NFC South champ
    Career numbers across the board for the DUDE

    Guy plays thru injuries not just hurt


    SO DO US FANS!!!!…….

    … but here is David with more 🤡 talk. Stop posting.

    Go bucs!!!

  21. stpetebucfan Says:


    I could not agree more with everyone of your very valid observations.

    On the subject of DW45…let’s fantasize…this will never happen…Mayfield did it this past year but I do not believe DW45 sees his situation as clearly.

    If DW45 really simply wishes to have his performances recognized financially…fine…make every bit of his contract except for a small base..contingent on finishing in the top of the important categories for LB’s.
    If his stats are the best in the league pay him like that, if his stats and performance are just good…pay him accordingly…with DW45 the difficulty is his play has really swung from super star level to sucko level getting embarrassed by a journeyman backup QB.

    I don’t mind seeing guys getting paid. And I realize sadly past performance has a major impact, but after the season is over and contracts are up for grabs I hope the Bucs don’t give anybody, except perhaps for ME13, a multiyear deal with huge guaranteed money not even connected to performance.

  22. Bosch Says:

    Didn’t know that. Good for Bowles.

  23. 727BUC Says:

    There is only 1 David (and I think i speak for most on here) that we want Moore of.

    Go Bucs!!!

  24. Lakeland Steve Says:

    Zyon had a couple of mistakes. He was flying around and playing hard. He adds more team speed with him on the field. Hopefully he continues to get time and can really learn the safety position. He’s a big kid who will come up and hit you and his speed at safety can make this an improved defense once he learns the position. More power to Bowles for making a daring move like that in a playoff game.

  25. Baking with Canales Says:

    Hats off to Bowles!

    If he lets go of his stubbornness and puts the best players to play in the game the sky is the limit with this team. We saw that last night. Then I’m all in with Bowles.

    Light has done a great job in the draft. Let’s keep developing these young guys. Next year the division is ours AGAIN!


  26. NutterBuccer Says:

    Lets talk more about Zyon…I was watching him and was stoked when I saw he was playing SS. He knocked Julio jones out the game with a great hit and played pretty well. Would love for this to be his new spot. Big physical player who is only getting better.

  27. BeeBucs Says:

    It’s me and you….. until its me OR you! #LFG Todd Bowles!

  28. Buckeyebuckchuck Says:

    White, all the talent in the world. Head and heart, not so much

  29. TheMIGHTYVH Says:

    I have been a major critic of Bowles but I support him 100% re how he has “handled” Deva White. I dont know what other buttons he’s pushing (since Saints debacle) but that D has given up 9 points in last 2 games. Now we face a very balanced Lions team. Need to carry over that mojo. I think we match up well and have a chance for the upset if we come to play like we did last night.

  30. fishhawkbuc Says:

    Love the Bucs but we gonna get smoked this weekend

  31. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Zion looks really good…..think he will be a superstar…..Britt may mean we have a replacement for White & we need to resign LVD…..unsure about SVD.

    Time to spend some draft picks on the offense.

  32. Ed McSherry Says:

    This article is more about “building-up Bowles” than about white, who Bowles should have taken action with and benched long before he did: Bill Belichick an his mentor his mentor, Bill Parcels, wouldn’t have tolerated White’s attitude and “dogging it” on the field for more than the first half of one game; it took most of a season and an injury-excuse for Bowles to do something.

    Let’s not get carried away with the revisionist-history of the coach, enabled by the success of the players.

    Notice anything about the great win Monday night?
    No crazy-stubborn and down-wasting run-game attempts when it wasn’t producing. Rachaad’s impressive gains running the ball early, gave the Eagles defense something to worry about and set-up the successful pass-game.

    When Bowles doesn’t do what he’s usually been doing, it’s a win.

    It would be a lot more helpful if “Joe” would stop chomping on the bit (less than honestly) trying to depict Bowles as “being right all along,” when that’s far from the truth. Bowles has proven to be right only when he actually puts winning a game at the top of the priority list and forgets about, “Moby Dick: The run-game when it’s not there.”

    The Lions:

  33. infomeplease Says:

    I heard some talking head ex HC saying that DW45 reacts way to slow to play action passes. We all seen him get burned repeatedly on some crossers.

  34. infomeplease Says:

    ZM27 sure has progressed from last year’s missing tackles to playing safety. He was hitting hard last night too!!

  35. Mike Says:

    Pressure up the middle from the defense is key. If Kancey, Vea and company can bring pressure from the inside like they did against Philly, Goff is not going to have a good game.

  36. Mike C Says:

    Tolls are exposed to the sun light and they don’t like it lol

  37. SufferingSince76 Says:

    Detroit, also, reads their own press clippings. They will believe the Philly laid down conspiracy theory and will underestimate the Bucs. Bucs will win.

  38. Saskbucs Says:

    I was happy to see White in good spirits on the sideline, dancing with Palmer after that score. With his comments since the off-season and his poor performance, I wouldn’t trust him out there in a big spot. I hope he doesn’t play much next week. He knows he is done here, he doesn’t strike me as the type that will forget about that and play hard for his teammates, he strikes me as the type to lose focus cause he’s not invested and won’t do his job. Happy trails D.White. Thanks for your 2020 service.

  39. SlyPirate Says:


    1. Dean. They kept targeting Dean all night. He game up one big play but made so many more.

    2. Kancey. Rookie was so disruptive. He lived in the backfield on pass plays and made tons of stops against the run.

    3. LVD. The spry senior citizen was tackling for loss after loss.

  40. SB~LV Says:

    Whatever it is
    It’s working and the defense is playing properly and taking care of position responsibilities, Monte would be proud

  41. Big buck Says:

    Devine white is a amazing blitzer……and we don’t utilize him in that position….strange

  42. BucFanforLife Says:

    Let’s win again! Detroit is beatable and let’s bring our A-game once again and teach the NFL that we’re legit and here to win!

    The coaches deserve this victory and hope there are more in store for us!

  43. Capt.Tim Says:

    Coach Bowles really seemed to have a dangerous stuborn streak early in his career, and his first 2 years here.

    Until he didnt.

    I want to see coach Bowles return, and continue coaching my beloved Buccaneers.

    I didnt always feel that way, until I did.
    Change and growth are wonderful

  44. Eckwood Says:

    Like the 27 to Safety Move !! Def a chance for some mistakes but I like a
    Young Tall Athlete with good cover skills back there !!

  45. Jeremy Goins Says:

    LFG!!!!! I like how Bowles blitzed all game till they expected it then he brought 4 and the rest dropped into coverage. He is a smart defensive mind. This has always been a defense first team. Defense wins Superbowls. It won our 2

  46. Dave Pear Says:

    The second Saints game spooked us all and any gains in confidence Todd got were immediately dashed.


    They did what they had to against Panthers to win the Division. I hated it, but props to coach for getting in the tournament. And props to coz h for being aggressive on both sides of the ball and smoking the Eagles, whose mind blowing demise is really hard to fathom.

    Keep proving me wrong, Todd.

    The taste of crow is growing on me. Tastes like chicken, only more tarry and elastic.

  47. optimisticbucsfan Says:

    White cost himself millions

    No one is bigger than the team

  48. Rod Munch Says:

    I like Sapp, a lot, and I generally like what he has to say, but I think he’s missing a key element here, White was legit hurt.

    Go watch that Atlanta game, and he was slow.

    Like White or hate him, he never plays slow. The guy was legit playing injured, and he didn’t look good. I still don’t understand why sitting him was made into some big drama – he sat because he wasn’t healthy. If there is any drama, it’s probably because White wants to be out there, and Bowles had to say no. But that’s hardly a bad thing.

    All the anti-White nonsense, all based off a fake news out of context clip on Twitter from the Ravens game last year, is truly one of the most dumb takes by fans that I’ve seen – as stupid as the hate you morons gave McCoy.

  49. Duane in Sanford Says:

    Todd Bowles managed to push just about every button and have it come out successful in the last 2 months. He has these guys still playing with energy. He has the blitz dialed up to post season levels. This team looks like its playing to win during this recent run, and I appreciate it. Zyon at safety was shrewd move. The secondary in this form has some potential while it lasts. May want to move Dean or Davis to safety in the offseason.

  50. Wild Bill Says:

    Loved the way the dbs played but…. Philly really only had one hot receiver plus a decent tight end. You don’t win playoff games without at least two deep threats plus a possession receiver.

  51. teacherman777 Says:

    Zion is the FS we’ve been missing!

    6-2. 4.3 in the 40.

    Great hitter.

    Cover corner skills.

    Bye bye Neal.

    We got a great young safety room.

    FS- Zion
    SS- Winfield Jr
    Nickel- Izien

    Subs: Merriweather, Hayes.


    We just need 2 more young, CB’s.

    And another FS/CB hybrid like Zion

    And a MLB/SS type LB to back up Britt next year.

    A cover LB to swap with Britt on some passing downs.

  52. garro Says:

    “Until he didn’t.”

    Now I am wondering why the outspoken Sapp didn’t tell it earlier in the season…Or last season…Yeah I know he called him out for loafing.

    He should have been benched a looong time ago is my point and surely Sapp ain’t the only one besides me that knew it.

    Now what made Bowles finally come to his senses about his “best player”?

    Go Bucs!