The Shaq Barrett/Devin White Narrative

May 21st, 2024

What exactly are Bucs replacing?

It’s basically become a copy/paste excuse line.

Joe has seen so many analysts this month typing about the Bucs that using the same narrative so often Joe is tired of reading it.

And it’s not yet June.

“The Bucs did nothing to replace Shaq Barrett and Devin White so therefore the Bucs can only go down from here.”

Yeah, the same folks also kvetch about Carlton Davis getting traded. Joe actually believes there is merit in Davis’ case.

As far as not replacing Shaq and White, well, just say you didn’t watch the Bucs last year. Not even in the playoffs. Shaq and White were non-factors, especially late in the season. At times, you had to look at a box score to remember if they even played.

Well, one reason for that is White didn’t play much. He was benched late in December though he did start the final two regular season games. K.J. Britt started six of the final eight including both playoff games.

White recorded just 17 tackles in those final eight games. That’s just a hair over two tackles a game. As an inside linebacker.  White did have three passes defended in that same span, so that’s not bad.

So the Bucs didn’t replace White? Hell, an undrafted free agent would likely have as much production.

What were the Bucs supposed to be replacing, exactly?

Shaq? Joe loves Shaq. But either he was still hampered coming back from a blown Achilles or he is done. Or both. For his sake, Joe hopes he balls out in Miami.

To be fair, Shaq got zero help from Joe Tryon-Shoyinka drawing blocks.

But again, what were the Bucs replacing in Shaq? In his last nine games, Shaq had a half-sack, two quarterback hits, one forced fumble and one tackle for loss. JTS produced better!

If this were 2020 or even 2021, then yeah, Joe would fully understand the hand-wringing about these guys getting turned loose.

Simply put, Shaq and White weren’t producing anything close to what they did during the height of the Tom Brady/Bucco Bruce Arians era.

The Bucs are replacing names, not production.

39 Responses to “The Shaq Barrett/Devin White Narrative”

  1. BA’s Red Pen Says:

    I think they are both done, White especially because his problem starts at the neck and goes up.

  2. gp Says:

    Talent and ability are great, but if there’s no production to go with it… Wasted space on the roster.
    Hope both find their niche on other teams, just not when playing us.

  3. Drunk Bucs Fan Says:

    This narrative replaces last year’s ” They only won 8 games with Tom Brady so how can they win anything in 2023?”

    The most lazy analysis ever.

  4. SlyPirate Says:

    White couldn’t focus on football. Joe says you didn’t notice him on the field but unfortunately you did. He was constantly out of position. He didn’t know the defensive assignments. They showed “highlights” of his awful play. I remember the first Philly game; their pulling guards were taking him out on nearly every run play.

    I also watched Shaq a lot. He simply lost a step. He was disruptive but couldn’t finish. Injuries were the culprit. He may make a comeback, but it will be short lived.

  5. Jerseybuc Says:

    White thought his speed would make up for everything it’s not LSU no more. Love shaq but unfortunately it was time he’s cooked

  6. Joe in Michigan Says:

    I saw on another website where they gave an “A+” grade for the Eagles signing Devin White, because he’s “a tremendous linebacker when it comes to coverage ability”. Uh, Walt must not watch many Bucs games.

  7. Stanglassman Says:

    This is why I always go to local sources to read up on other teams or matchups I’m interested in. A while back I saw an article on all the best local sources on the 32 teams. I bookmarked it and use it over national information. Lately PFF and Fox sports are assigning different writers to cover only one regional division. I found that to be the next best option. Greg Auman is currently covering Fox sports NFCS he is the best. National NFL coverage like this is usually just garbage.

  8. jarrett Says:

    Just because Todd Bowles says you can’t play and aren’t any good,

    Doesn’t mean its actually true. I wish Bucs fans would stop with that narrative.

    For all three guys: Shaq, DWhite, and Carlton Davis

    Their new respective teams signed them up ASAP and welcomed them with open arms. Just Look at the salaries both Shaq and D White got in free agency.


    I honestly think the Bucs knew they couldnt resign DWhite so thats why they benched him, to lower his value.

    I dont believe there was a huge drop off in play. please stop with that narrative

  9. jarrett Says:

    Devin White’s new deal, 7.5 million

    Shaq Barrett’s new deal, 7 Million

    These guys are not scrubs, and they are not finished! Please stop!

    Bucs just couldnt afford everybody.

  10. Craig Says:

    I would have liked to see Shaq stay. He was productive last season, but he had to be the mindfulness of White, and minder for a rookie.

    In essence he became the last line of defense against their mental errors, and that made his numbers look scanty.

  11. realistic-optimistic Says:

    The Bucs are replacing names, not production.


    White has already been replaced. It happened last season. And Barrett was a ghost, as Joe said. There’s no lost production with those two departures. Doesn’t mean the positions have been upgraded, but we’re not losing anything.

  12. JimBobBuc Says:

    Interestingly, Davis had two picks which is two more than Dean and Zyon combined. Even White had two picks and Shaq had a pick 6. Whitehead will help with picks, having four last year.

  13. Jeffs grandpa Says:

    D Whites horse stall cleaner is in the comments

  14. Big Red Says:

    It takes at least 2 years to come back from a torn Achilles. Don’t be surprised if Shaq balls out down there. White’s booty got hurt when he didn’t get his extension and then he played through injuries on the field. Honestly, lil admirable for a team captain in his contract year. Shame it fell apart. If Devin White went anywhere but the Eagles (who hardly ever blitz LB’s… maybe that’ll change?) I would expect him to be a good football player. His game isn’t perfect but the coaches needed to fix that or make sure they’re putting players in the best position to succeed. It’s like taking Tom Brady and expecting him to run RPO. Or Revis Island into zone island. William Gholston in man to man on a TE or RB lol.

  15. Steven007 Says:

    White having 17 tackles in eight games is an incredible statistic. Incredibly inefficient. And as we all know, his ability in coverage is subpar. If he’s motivated he can add something to the eagle squad. But his issues remain from the neck up. I’m sure our defense doesn’t mind not having to worry about a particular player’s psyche on game day as being the reason they go from productive to non-productive. And yes he had some nicks here and there, but then every player does.

  16. Defense Rules Says:

    Joe … ‘Shaq and White were non-factors, especially late in the season. At times, you had to look at a box score to remember if they even played. Well, one reason for that is White didn’t play much. He was benched late in December though he did start the final two regular season games. K.J. Britt started six of the final eight including both playoff games.’

    Interestingly, Devin White got 894 def snaps last year (79.4%), which was 2nd on the team behind LVD’s 957 def snaps (85.0%). In comparison, KJ Britt got 160 def snaps (14.2%), not that far ahead of SirVocea Dennis who had 101 def snaps (9.0%).

    Looking at that disparity, I’d guess that Todd Bowles really struggled with his decision to bench White in favor of Britt. And even then, White only missed significant time in games 12-15. In game 12, JJ Russell got the start & played most of the game. In games 13-14, Britt got the starts, and played most of the game. In games 15-17, White played most of the game, and Britt only got 23 total def snaps.

    Can’t help but wonder if maybe Bowles real desire was to draft a MLB to replace White, but for whatever reason that never materialized. If KJ is the future, why didn’t he play hardly at all in those final 3 regular season games?

  17. stpetebucfan Says:


    “Devin White’s new deal, 7.5 million

    Shaq Barrett’s new deal, 7 Million

    These guys are not scrubs, and they are not finished! Please stop!”

    Nobody said they were scrubs! Many have believed they were not worth the salaries you posted.

    First Shaq…I agree with Big Red…two years to come back from the achilles might mean Shaq can rebound. But a guy turning 32 mid season is getting near the end even when healthy. The Dolphins took a calculated risk and perhaps it’ll pay off.

    White was a malcontent who foolishly believed he was worth Roquan Smith money and thought he was going to get 20 MILLION. NOT!!! Let’s see how the market valued him.

    1. Ravens LB Roquan Smith: $20 million
    2. 49ers LB Fred Warner: $19 million
    3. Bears LB Tremaine Edmunds: $18 million
    4. Bills LB Matt Milano: $14.2 million
    5. Steelers LB Patrick Queen: $13.6 million
    6. Texans LB Azeez Al-Shaair: $11.3 million
    7. Colts LB Zaire Frankin: $10.4 million
    8. Jaguars LB Foyesade Oluokun: $10 million
    8. Giants LB Bobby Okereke: $10 million
    10. Bengals LB Logan Wilson: $9 million

    Oh wait…not even in the top ten!!! So much for superstar eh? He’s making about 1/3 of Smith’s salary!!!

  18. Brian in St Pete Says:

    Spot on. Their replacements were and are better than what they were putting on the field. This is just another case of the national media having NO information about our team. They look at the record and the look at the roster. They don’t actually watch the games, watch the practices, listen to press conferences, etc. They are clueless when it comes to the Bucs.

  19. Boss Says:

    hard to get to the qb when the middle is wide open and the DB’s are 10 yards deep

    speedy gonzalez could not get there that fast.

  20. Idroolpewter&red Says:

    Once again, the media shows how lazy it is with its analysis of the Bucs.

  21. kgh4life Says:

    The Bucs got better by subtraction, especially with DW. DW is great at blitzing but that’s not sustainable. He can’t do the basics of a LB at an average level, i.e tackling, coverage and run defense.

  22. Richard Dickson Says:

    Too many “experts” latch on to names they recognize but don’t actually watch the performance.

  23. Stanglassman Says:

    Jerret- If anything Bowles is their biggest supporters. He loved Devin, and the Bucs gave huge contracts to Davis and Shaq. White showed his immaturity despite all the Bowles love. Davis can’t stay healthy. And Shaq salary vastly outpaced his production last season. Bowles never said any of these players are bad players.

  24. Hodad Says:

    Joe, I can tell you from experience having lost a child. No way was Shaq’s head on straight last season. No way. Don’t want to get into details, but that first year especially, you’re just lost. Takes a long, long time to get back to near normal, and even then you’re just never the same.

  25. Joe Says:

    Joe, I can tell you from experience having lost a child. No way was Shaq’s head on straight last season. No way.

    Wouldn’t doubt that.

    Sorry to learn you went through that

  26. BucVoyager Says:

    I hope Shaq balls out. He’s the only guy I hope has a great season.

  27. Booger Says:

    That’s 💯 Right On! Just ‘names’ based off the past. These clowns haven’t watched any Bucs games. They don’t have the first clue WHO Britt and YaYa are. Or, just how pedestrian/below average that DWhite and Shaq truly were.

  28. Mark A Swygert Says:

    Maybe a change of scenery will be good for Shaq. Too many reminders here.

  29. drdneast Says:

    When you read comments like that from columnists you know they have absolutely no knowledge of the Bucs team other than what they have heard on highlight videos a year or two previously. Even midway during the season when I would hear TV analysts talk about our “two” great inside LB’s I would shake my head and realize the clown had no real understanding of the team other than what some geeked out producer told him. It happens all the time in media parrot world.
    I loved Barrett too but even before his Achilles injury, you could see his production descending. As for White, after watching the Ravens game and seeing him pushed and run out of plays, you could see he didn’t have the heart for the game anymore. It only got better for one game before the team voted in Captains after the Vikings game. He went downhill again after that.

  30. drdneast Says:

    White is being paid $7 million this year an after thee season is over I think the Eagles are going to realize they overpaid him. Teams know the only thing White excels at and keep an eye out for it nowadays.

  31. Dave Pear Says:

    It’s cover girl JTS and Logan The Oaf Hall who need to be replaced. Proven tards.

  32. RBUC Says:

    White gave up last season and stopped playing hard( his agent probably already had a deal worked out with Philly) Devin believes the Eagles have more talent to surround him so he will play harder for them

  33. 74 Bucs Fan Says:

    Hodad – truly sorry to hear that. Nothing worse. All the best to you and yours from your brother and sister Bucs fans.

  34. Gotti-Dog-05-20-84 Says:

    Hodad Says:

    “…even then you’re just never the same”

    This is absolutely correct……you will play the “what if” game in your head forever….and question your validity as a parent. It took me 3 years to get back to running our business effectively and now, after 15 years….well…I still have my moments.

    Shaq should show improvement this year with a more concentrated effort on focus but he’ll still need to rely on empathy and support around him.

  35. FrontFour Says:

    Spot on, Joe.

  36. FrontFour Says:

    And yeah, pulling for Shaq too.

  37. Capt.Tim Says:

    Hodad- Im truly sorry, brother. God be with you and yours.

    Im hoping Shaq has a great season. With everything he was going thru last season- I was more concerned for the man than the player.
    And he had to carry JTS dead ass up and down the field.

    Tear it up in Dolphinland, Shaq.

  38. Daniel Z Says:

    @ Hodad – sorry to hear that you had to go through that.
    I’m surprised no one else talks about that as a factor when discussing Shaq’s play last year. Hopefully a change of scenery helps him because he is a good football player and seems like a great human.

  39. garro Says:

    I no longer believe much of anything put out by any of the major players in the media. I do wonder who is so ill informed as to put this out there and manage to keep their media credentials.

    Shaq will be missed but not for his sack production. Shaq got little help from any of his D line mates Joe. Diva? Not missing him at all.

    Go Bucs!