Bucs head coach Bruce Arians confirmed that rookie inside linebacker Devin White, the team’s first-round pick, would start on Sunday against the Panthers in London. White had been named the starter in training camp and had six tackles in the season opener against San Francisco before registering two stops before injuring his knee at Carolina in Week 2.

Since then, veteran Kevin Minter has filled in and recorded 29 tackles, which are second on the team, along with two tackles for loss and two passes defensed.

“That just shows the veteran player that Mint is,” Bucs inside linebacker Lavonte David said. “Obviously, Devin was playing in front of him, but you need guys that not only know what they’re doing, but also when somebody goes down you need to step up and fill that void. For us, Mint has played in that defense before so he knows it and what to expect. He can step in and make plays. That’s his job. That’s what he’s supposed to do and he’s doing that job at a high level.”

White practiced with the team for the first time last week and even dressed as one of the team’s 46 active players on Sunday in New Orleans, but didn’t practice as Arians wanted to hold him out for one more week as a precaution.

“No, he was an emergency guy,” Arians said. “Jack [Cichy] was down and was hurt, so we only had three linebackers, so he was up as an emergency guy. He’ll be ready this week.”

Arians also said that Bucs rookie cornerback Jamel Dean, who returned to practice last week from his Week 2 ankle injury, will also play against the Panthers and see time on defense and special teams.

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Scott Reynolds is in his 24th 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 son's Pop Warner team, the South Pasco Predators. Reynolds can be reached at: [email protected]

13 COMMENTS

  1. Good time to get healthy. We still have a chance to beat the Panthers.
    Go Bucs!

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  2. I’m not sure I’m excited about this. The kid has talent and will be great but I’m not sure he will play better than Savvy vet Minter is right now….guess he has to get feet wet and we aren’t looking like playoff team though….

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  3. No one can tell me he’s better than Minter because we haven’t see White enough… the only way to know is give him game time. Let’s see what he does with it. Let’s go D White!

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    • Same thing with Jamal Dean. He couldn’t be any worse at CB than what we’re putting out there right now. Move VHIII to the slot, plug in J Dean at outside corner.

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      • That’s exactly what I was hoping to see when we drafted Dean. CD as CB1, Dean CB2 and Vernon inside

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  4. White won’t be the difference between us winning, or losing the rest of the season. He wasn’t the final piece of the losing puzzle.

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  5. The kid was the #5 overall pick for a reason. Having him on the field can only help a struggling defense. If Jamel Dean can stay healthy he will be starting on defense before long. Glad to have these 2 back. Go Bucs!!

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  6. White’s main tasks this year are to learn how to read defenses in realtime and learn how to be the defensive field commander at the NFL level.  He can only do that by being on the field and playing whole games.

    His raw talent and instincts will be subordinated to these task early this year so I don’t expect to see him lead in splash plays until late in the season if at all.  That would be in the last 4 or 5 games.

    This is what I am guessing are the expectations for White by BA.  Of course if he emerges faster I’m sure no one would be unhappy with him at One Buc Place.

    The fans expectations are another story
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    Go Bucs!!!

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  7. Actually I want him to run sideline to sideline and fill his gap. Anything else is a gravy bonus.

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  8. put him on McCaffrey. we need his speed for that. if has an impact on stopping Mccaffrey that will be a success.

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    • Actually, CMac’s week 2 stats say we don’t need White for that. However, I’ll take it. Having your top 3 guys at ILB all healthy opens up a TON of options for throwing different looks at Rivera with the front 7

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  9. Man this game makes me nervous we’re facing a Back Up QB who’s actually playing pretty good Bucs need to win this Game in my Eyes to go into the Bye week 3-3

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  10. White has to spend the rest of the season learning how to play football. Right now he isn’t good, but at least with his athletic ability he has a chance to learn. He is still light years away from being worth a top 5 pick.

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