-Devin White, despite not making the Pro Bowl, won NFC Defensive Player of the Week on Wednesday. The honor came for his performance in Atlanta in which he totaled 3.0 sacks, 12 tackles and two passes defensed. On the season, White has 8.0 sacks, which is by far and away the most of any inside linebacker in the league. He also became the only player in at least the last two decades to have multiple games with double-digit tackles and at least 3.0 sacks. That's incredible. He truly does it all and at least he's getting some league recognition for it, even if it doesn't come in the form of an All-Star nod.
-Speaking of White, Defensive Coordinator Todd Bowles shared a story from this past weekend about an interaction the two had at halftime with the Bucs down 17-0. White said after the game that in the locker room Bowles came to him and told White to lead his team. "He told me, 'You're about to take over this game,'" White recalled.
Well Bowles was asked about that interaction on Wednesday and had this to say:
"I don't say that a lot and I know he brings a lot of energy," he said. "You could feel it at halftime – he was a little quiet, which is not him. He was playing well, but he was a little quiet. He's the emotional leader [and] he's the guy that carries us and gets us going. For us to come back and play a strong second half, I knew we needed his energy, so I went up to him and we had that discussion."
The defense wasn't the only one making adjustments at halftime. Offensive Coordinator Byron Leftwich said the offense worked on some things too, mainly with the offensive line.
"The adjustments were made in the protection," said Leftwich. "It was just really two [mistakes] – it was something that we didn't execute well. The protection was never really the issue. It was just doing a better job of getting our guys in position to make plays. We felt as though we went into halftime and said, 'We'll score every time we get the ball.' We knew our defense would begin to slow those guys down, so we just came up with the point that we'll score every time we get it and see if it's enough in the last quarter to see if we can find a way to win. That was our mindset all the way through and through. [I] talk about this team's fight and the fight of this team – it's something else [and] it's unique. This team, when its back is against the wall they tend to always find a way to show up and do the things that gives you opportunities to win football games. That's what we had to do – that's the position we were in – and we found a way to pull it out there in the end."
Able to pull it out thanks in large part to Leftwich's quarterback, Tom Brady. Who will be playing in his 300th regular season game on Saturday in Detroit. Leftwich was asked if we will ever see another player like him, and uh, spoiler alert. Probably not.
"I don't know. I'm just trying to keep him playing at a high level, to be honest with you," Leftwich smiled. "We were talking today – I think this is his 300th game played. That's crazy – 300 games – and I don't know if that's playoff games or not. That's an amazing amount of games [and] an amazing amount of repetitions. That's just a unique thing to have that. That blew my mind hearing that today. It's something you never really think about, but for a guy to play 300 games, obviously you've got to be really good at what you're doing, and you've got to be really durable, especially when you're playing the game of football. That's kind of unheard of."
Tom Brady was also all smiles when he was asked about the accomplishment on Wednesday. So much so, that when it got brought up, he grinned and pumped his first in the air – very Tiger Woods-like.
"I think it's pretty cool," he said. "I don't get caught up too much in statistics and those types of things, but football has just been a very important part of my life for a long time – 30 years. I love the ability to go out there and compete with my teammates [and] compete for our fans. I love the game – I love the nuances of the game, I love the relationships I've built [and] all the memories I've had. I'm very blessed to be 43 years old and still doing it. It's definitely a challenge for me still. There are physical challenges, there are mental challenges, there are emotional challenges. I just love doing it. It's pretty cool that I'm still able to do it and still have a team that's supportive of me being out there. I want to go out there and do the best I can for them."
Bucs Tweet of the Day: