When asked about whether some of his Bucs players lacked passion in the team’s 29-19 loss at Washington head coach Bruce Arians agreed by saying, “Totally.”

It was clear Arians was not talking about linebacker Devin White, who finished with a game-high and career-high 18 tackles against Washington. White also recorded his first two sacks of the season in the nation’s capital after not registering a single sack in the first eight games of the year.

Arians lauded the play of his team captain for the energy he brought to the field on Sunday.

“If everybody played with the passion and the energy that Devin played with, we wouldn’t have any problems,” Arians said. “He should have been the player of the week with the game he just had and the way he played the game. We’ll use that as an example for everybody else to play with.”

Arians might be talking about starting outside linebackers Shaquil Barrett and Jason Pierre-Paul, who were manhandled on Sunday and finished with a combined one tackle (Pierre-Paul), among others. That type of pitiful production can’t happen when Barrett averages $17 million per season and Pierre-Paul is making $12.5 million and is in a contract year.

Bucs ILBs Lavonte David and Devin White

Bucs ILBs Lavonte David and Devin White – Photo by: USA Today

Arians was incredibly disappointed in Tampa Bay’s defense looking lifeless and not getting off the field while allowing Washington to drive 80 yards for the game-clinching touchdown in the fourth quarter in 19 plays while consuming over 10 minutes off the clock.

“Them scoring after we scored,” Arians said. “When we had momentum in the second half and got it to three, they scored. We scored, missed an extra point and never got the ball back.

“So, we didn’t capitalize with the energy level on defense after we made plays on defense and our offense scored a touchdown. That was the most disheartening thing for us to [let them] have a 10-minute drive against us, that just can’t happen.”

White certainly played better at Washington than he did in New Orleans when his passion was out of control, causing him to draw three personal fouls, including a taunting penalty and roughing the passer. Yet despite the gaudy tackle totals and being the team’s leading sacker on Sunday, White wasn’t perfect on the field. He was on the field for all 19 plays of Washington’s game-clinching drive. There were some missed tackles and a few plays where White was not gap sound on Sunday.

Arians can live with a few mistakes. He just wants more passion out of his players like the kind White, who has a team-high 79 tackles this year, played with on Sunday.

According to Arians that passion shows up during the week in practice, but not enough on game days. Arians noted that the Bucs haven’t traveled well this season, evidenced by Tampa Bay’s 2-3 record on the road.

“When you practice as well as we did last week, I think they assumed they were just going to go out and play [well],” Arians said. “That’s something we’ll address. Just because you have a great week of practice, you have to show up on Sunday.”

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About the Author: Scott Reynolds

Scott Reynolds is in his 25th year of covering the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as the vice president, publisher and senior Bucs beat writer for PewterReport.com. Author of the popular SR's Fab 5 column on Fridays, Reynolds oversees web development and forges marketing partnerships for PewterReport.com in addition to his editorial duties. A graduate of Kansas State University in 1995, Reynolds spent six years giving back to the community as the defensive line coach for his sons' Pop Warner team, the South Pasco Predators. Reynolds can be reached at: sr@pewterreport.com
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Naplesfan
Naplesfan(@naplesfan)
2 months ago

White was a beast on the field against WFT. His example should probably not be used to shame the other players, but to serve as a positive example of what bringing your A game can do for the entire team. The offense and defense were both pretty lifeless for the most part. Interesting how a group of “experts” here in the comment threads this season have been calling for White to be benched or even cut because he doesn’t play they think he needs to play. He won’t get 18 tackles and 2 sacks every game, but he CAN bring… Read more »

drdneast
drdneast(@drdneast)
2 months ago

A lot of teams are having trouble on the road after playing last year in relative silence.
See the Rams getting blown up by the 49ers on Monday night football and the Rams dont have nearly as many injuries as the Bucs do.
The mythical Matt Stafford has now throw 4 INT’s in the last two games. Does any of this sound familiar.
The Rams traded away thier future for this season and it could come crashing down on them.
In the Bucs favor we still have all of our draft picks plus Kyle Trask.
Oh,never mind.

surferdudes
surferdudes(@surferdudes)
2 months ago

Don’t care about his stats. He couldn’t make a difference making play when we needed it most that gut wrenching last drive. B.A. is tripping if he thinks stats alone makes you the defensive player of the week. Good game, but great players make plays when it matters most.

scubog
scubog(@scubog)
Reply to  surferdudes
2 months ago

I don’t judge a game or a player’s performance by “checking the sheet”. I go by what I see and in this game White was one of the few defensive players who showed much energy. Also thought Whitehead and Winfield played well. I’m pretty sure they got a bit gassed, but it was at least partially the defender’s own fault they were on the field so long.

Eddie
Eddie(@oct62020)
2 months ago

Coach, focus on how to fix the penalties, mental errors, don’t worry about player of the week. You just lost two game of week in a row.

bucballer
bucballer(@bucballer)
2 months ago

White is a beast! As he matures his game will only get better!

Good wins with Godwin
Good wins with Godwin(@good-wins-with-godwin)
2 months ago

White was definitely player of the week for the Bucs. He was all over the field and kept putting the defense in good down and distance situations. He just didn’t get enough help, especially from the OLB crew that was basically non-existent this game. Despite the sluggish performance, I believe this game still would have been won if Whitehead hangs onto that pick that bounced off to end up being a fluke big play for Washington or Cockrell times his jump 1 second faster on that out route in the red zone. Sometimes you need a little more luck and… Read more »