New Bucs linebacker Devin White comes across as confident, but not cocky, when he talks about his game and what he’s going to bring to Tampa Bay’s defense, which has struggled over the last several seasons as the team has had back-to-back 5-11 seasons.

But White’s confidence reached new heights about facing the challenges that lie ahead in the NFC South facing upper echelon quarterbacks like New Orleans’ Drew Brees, Atlanta’s Matt Ryan and Carolina’s Cam Newton.

“Those are all people that I can take down and get them on the ground,” White said. “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.”

White believes he can be the catalyst for turning Tampa Bay’s defense around.

“At the start of the season everybody is going to be 0-0 and week in and week out we have the opportunity to go out there and win a game,” White said. “As far as me, I’m going to give it my all, and hopefully they fight for me as well as I’m fighting for them. If we have 11 guys on the same page on that defense, we can be unstoppable. I don’t know much about the offense. I know Jameis is a great player. I know they have Mike Evans and I really know they have O.J. Howard because I played against him in college. That guy is a freak. Man, he’s a freak.

Bucs LB Devin White
Bucs LB Devin White – Photo by PewterReport.com

“I know they are going to do great things, but I know defense wins championships. If we can get the ball to them we can create a bunch of opportunities for them. Like I said, that word opportunity is always going to be around me. Jameis is going to have an opportunity to make plays and get things going. I’m willing to get him back the ball as much as possible.”

White said that when he’s not on the field wreaking havoc on defense he’s working the sidelines as the biggest cheerleader for his teammates and letting his leadership shine.

“I’ll take you back to my LSU days,” White said. “When they call timeout for the offense, I’m in the huddle, saying, ‘Let’s go guys! We’ve got it! We’ve got it!’ When I’m standing down there getting ready to run down there on punt and those guys come off, ‘I’m about to get you the ball back, Joe [Burrow]. I’m about to get you the ball.’ I always have that energy. In that UCF game we lost 10 starters – All-Americans and everything – and we found a way. I kept their energy up. I kept the energy and told them we were going to get the ball back.

“Joe got picked, he got smashed in the mouth and then he had a pick-six. Guess who was the first one to run up to him, rub him on the head and I said, ‘I’m going to get you the ball back.’ I didn’t know I was going to get him a strip-fumble, but I did that. It’s like you speak it into existence and you have that energy. That’s what I bring to the Bucs. I’m not trying to be bigger than what I am. I’m just trying to be me and fit in on this team because at the end of the day I have to be the ultimate team player.”

LSU went on to end UCF’s 25-game consecutive winning streak with a 40-32 triumph in the Fiesta Bowl on January 1 with White leading the way and coming up big in the fourth quarter with the game on the line. Playing hard at the end of games is something White takes a great deal of pride in.

LSU ILB Devin White
LSU ILB Devin White – Photo by: Getty Images

“That’s where my new stud’s name comes from – his name is Overdrive,” White said of his new horse. “In the fourth quarter – I train so hard and I train for the moment. I always stay ready for the moment, so in the fourth quarter I really kick it into overdrive. I start going lights out. At the end of the day, everybody else is tired because it’s been a long fight. I played in the SEC and this is the NFL, so this it’s 10 times harder. But at the end of the day I want to be the one that’s still going with a high motor.

“That’s what is going to separate me from a lot of players. That’s one point where I can separate myself because I’m going to be in shape and I’m still going to be making plays when the fourth quarter comes because there ain’t no giving up. That’s where the game can be won – in the fourth quarter.”

White will get an early chance to take on Newton in Carolina on Thursday Night Football in Week 2. And if the game comes down to the fourth quarter expect White to be ready.

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Scott Reynolds is in his 23rd 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 enjoys 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: [email protected]

9 COMMENTS

  1. I LOVE White’s attitude! Now if Licht can do as good a job tonight and tomorrow as he did today, our defense will greatly improve.

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  2. Let’s go White! Looking forward to our Defense getting some swagger like back in the Sapp, Brooks, Barber, Kelly, Lynch, Dwight Smith days! GO BUCS!

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  3. Blah blah blah blah white would be a second-year starter on a team with depth Bucs will make him a starter right now but he is no kwon.

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  4. White is all business and swag.

    Love it.

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  5. Youre right BUC-ASS-BOB, he isnt Kwon…hes better right out of the gate because he hasnt blown his knee out twice; and it looks to me like a better leader and player and $30mil cheeper.

    I cant understamd why someone would troll their team as much as you do…youre secretly an Aints fan arent you…

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  6. I’m loving what I’m hearing! Looking forward to seeing the new swag this team will bring this season

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  7. Hahaha MIArmy based on his command of the English language he could also be a Carolina fan. I’m fine with criticism, skepticism, and disagreements – but this is downright asinine.

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  8. I love this pick…much needed with the Alexander departure. However, this Bucs team may not win 3 games next year. The best QB on the team is gone. Winston is a turnover machine. Put a quarter in his ear and you get a fumble. The defense only has a few good players and most of them are beyond their prime (GMC, JPP…heck even David is up there now). Beckwith doesn’t look to be coming back and our secondary was one of the worst units in the league last year. The running back (Barber) wouldn’t start on many other (any other?) teams even though he is durable. Our OL sucks. Half of it is in shambles and the other half is mediocre (pretty good pass blocking yet terrible run blocking). Our recent top picks have all been busts so far (Vea sits half the year, Jones sucks the whole year, and the CB’s from ’18 draft didn’t impress). Our kicker situation is the laughing stock of the league. The GM has proven himself to be way over his head. The only area you can hang your hat is the receiving core Evans, Godwin, Howard and Brate. The rest of the team is aging, overrated or just plain bad. This team will be picking in the top 3 next year, and I think they’ll have the #1 pick in the 2020 draft. All of the perennial doormats (i.e. Browns, Bills, Jets…heck even the Cardinals) have passed this Bucs team by. Hopefully, another GM will be making that #1 pick.

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  9. I find it refreshing that without realizing it, the youngster promises to provide what has been missing on Defense since Ronde Barber retired…………..a guy that makes plays when needed the most.

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