With Bucs training camp quickly approaching the PewterReport.com staff asks – and answers – 15 critical camp questions that need to be addressed this August as Tampa Bay prepares to embark on the 2019 season. Over the next 15 days PewterReport.com will offer up its thoughts on the topics that the Bucs will need to sort out in order for the team to be successful this season and possibly compete for a long-awaited playoff berth.
These are the things that the PewterReport.com staff will be following closely in camp, and invite our readers to share their thoughts as well in the comment section.
Can Devin White start the season as the leader on defense?
Devin White was drafted for his talent. When he left LSU after three years he had accumulated an SEC All-Freshman selection, first-team All-Conference and USA Today second-team All-American honors as a sophomore, Associated Press first-team All-American honors as a junior and the Butkus Award as the nation’s top linebacker in 2018.
What solidified the pick for head coach Bruce Arians and Jason Licht, however, was his leadership ability which should be instantly evident as he will be tasked with filling the void left by Kwon Alexander at a crucial middle linebacker position and as an outspoken leader the defensive side of the ball and in the locker room.
A two-time captain over his three seasons at LSU, White’s confidence and ability to command a room was made immediately evident the moment he stepped into One Buccaneer Place for his introductory press conference. As SR put it in one of his Fab 5’s, White’s confidence and swagger draws you in like a moth to the flame when he speaks.
“Those are all people that I can take down and get them on the ground,” White said about the talented quarterbacks in the NFC south shortly after being drafted. “Cam Newton, the bigger you are the harder you fall. Matt Ryan, I don’t think he can outrun me. And Drew Brees, I definitely don’t think he can outrun me. He can get it out quick, but I can get in the passing lanes and I can hold his guys. I’m ready to accept the challenge. You know the bigger the challenge, the better I play. I told [the Bucs] last night: pressure either busts pipes or makes diamonds. For me it makes diamonds.”
If Lavonte David stays healthy he will likely remain the consistent stud that leads by example with his play on the field, White’s gravitas and leadership as a quarterback of the defense will be an important piece to the winning puzzle that Arians is trying to put together here in Tampa Bay.