Devin White sets the tone for Tampa Bay’s defense

Divisional Round - Tampa Bay Buccaneers v New Orleans Saints
Getty Images

As football has pivoted sharply toward health and safety in recent years, it can be jarring to see someone approach the game with the rough-and-tumble mindset that permeated the sport for decades.

Buccaneers linebacker Devin White embodies that rough-and-tumble mindset.

He’s physical, within the rules. He’s sudden, he strong, he’s violent, he’s athletically skilled.

“I think the number one thing is [defensive coordinator] Todd Bowles said, ‘We’re going to be feisty, we’re going to challenge those guys’ and he’s going to take us over them,” White told reporters after the 30-20 win over the Saints. “I said the same thing. I said, ‘Man, I’m going to take my guys over their guys.’ I know one thing — we might be young, but we can get after it when we’ve got our minds set to it. Everybody’s saying it — ‘Where’s the Tampa Bay defense from the Green Bay game?’ We were really feisty with them, we were really challenging them at the line of scrimmage and we were really getting after the quarterback. I think we had that same mentality [tonight].”

White was more blunt, and profane, in another quote that ended up not being included in his official transcript generated by the team: “Everyone was always asking what was our identity. We didn’t always have an answer. But coach [Bruce Arians] had an answer. We’re some motherf-ckers that are going to find a way to win the game.”

They found a way last night, at a time when it was looking bleak for the Bucs. With the Saints learning 20-13 and driving into Tampa Bay territory, Buccaneers safety Antoine Winfield Jr. stripped the ball from New Orleans tight end Jared Cook and White scooped it up and took off. (It looked easy; how many times, however, have we seen defenders fail to make the recovery cleanly?)

White’s return set the stage for a game-tying touchdown. Then, after the Bucs took a 23-20 lead, White’s interception of Saints quarterback Drew Brees became the dagger, resulting in a short field and a quick drive for the last points of the game.

With four great teams left in the playoffs, it’s impossible to know with any certainty who will win the Super Bowl. But I can certainly say this: If White keeps playing like he did on Sunday, the Buccaneers will be the team hoisting the Lombardi Trophy.

16 responses to “Devin White sets the tone for Tampa Bay’s defense

  1. How large of a sample size do we need to stop betting against playoff Tom Brady?

    And now he has elite weapons? The Packers shouldn’t be overly confident about a rematch in the snow considering Brady is the greatest snow quarterback ever.

  2. Always have to look for the ball as a receiver on a pass play, but on the replay it looks like his route acts to clear the underneath route (ran by #12).

    Still have to make the play, and Devin White looked in the zone once the ball touched his hands.

    Go Bucs!

  3. Thanks for the bulletin board material Devin and Bruce.👍👏

    You are going to be a visitor in TitleTown now. You have a whole different animal coming after you now.

    See you Sunday at 2:05 cst.

    #OneTeamOneNation

    #PackerNation!✊

  4. I saw several plays that Kamara was just standing around. Seemed as if he had quit trying to even run a route. White is a fantastic looking linebacker. Rodgers better keep his head on a swivel.

  5. For most of the game Tampa Bay kept 7 or more defenders in the box. They were able to do that because sadly Brees can’t throw the ball over 30 yards anymore.

  6. Drew Brees and Shawn Peyton lost the game. First, Drew was not healthy enough to play, and Peyton knew that. It is the same issue the Steelers had. When Ben played like garbage, Tomlin kept letting him play through it because Ben, just like Drew, has Hall of Fame credentials. The only problem is they forget football is an ultimate team sport, and when you jeopardize the team’s success for one player, you have lost.
    If you listened to Troy, he said repeatedly, “the Saints haven’t tried a pass over 20 yards.” The only play they had over 20 yards, Jameis had to come in to make the throw. Here is one light at the end of the tunnel for Saint fans. At least Drew played his last game yesterday. The Steelers are still going to be stuck with another year of Ben. Looking forward to it.

  7. Do you see TB keeping up – score wise with GB? Can Tom pull out 35+ points, in Lambeau in 20 degree weather. Yeah – he’s played in it before, but the rest of the team?

    It’s going to take 30+ points and doing so on almost every drive because GB can chew clock and rarely punts or kicks FG’s. So they chew clock and put up 6 on almost every drive – can TB not only stop that but also match it?

  8. Just remember,the Bucs pulled off an upset in Philly in the cold in 2002. Don’t count them out.

  9. Reading thru some of the comments on the other threads and topics, Packer fans do seem a little over confident in their squad. Capt. Cool has a lot of vet players on his squad who have been there and played in games like this. All this talk of “Title Town” blah blah blah well Brady knows a lot about titles more than Rodgers does. Packer fans have been chirping for years Rodgers is better, well now he needs to prove it.

  10. Get a kick out of all the comments for and against the Packers. I understand the Packer fans (me included) who think the “good” and TB fans who think the same about their team. What’s really hilarious are the anti fans of each ie; Viking, Patriot etc who spout off while their teams wallow in disrepair. Brady has been great for sure but that being said without 4 turnovers and short fields all day, their offense didn’t do much in a dome, warmth, artificial turf and no wind/cold. He’s a year older, his blood has thinned a little and the other players on his team have no clue what it’s like to play in the environment that’s coming. TB is tough for sure but they’ll have to play without error to win.

  11. I do not think Brady has ever been the best quarterback with ‘physical tools’. However he has kept himself in great shape . That’s what separates him from other-old quarterbacks. They get physically older-he slows the age cycle with his diet and health regimen.

  12. Tom Brady sets the tone for Tampa Bay. Playoff time-he had no turnovers while Brees had three. That is the difference this time of the year.

  13. And to think,people scoffed at an off ball linebacker with a top 5 pick. Patrick Willis 2.0

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.