Skip to main content

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Devin White Sparks Defense in Trademark Performance 

Bucs inside linebacker Devin White became a catalyst against the Vikings, leading the team with 12 tackles. A look at his vintage production

Devin White sidebar

With a three-takeaway performance, the Buccaneers' defense sparked the road victory over the Vikings in Week One. Despite a sluggish first quarter by the offense, the defense continued to impose their will. He may not have tallied one of the team's paramount turnovers, but inside linebacker Devin White became a catalyst in the Twin Cities. 

Entering a contract year, White has an additional motivating force. In the regular season opener against the Vikings, White displayed his sideline range and ball-tracking skills. Not many linebackers have the ability to stick a foot in the ground, pivot and make the tackle but White made it look seamless on Sunday afternoon in enemy territory. 

"He did a hell of a job," Todd Bowles stated. "He did a great job covering that screen game, finding him high. Both him and Lavonte (David) both, they were flying and making some plays that for anybody else that ball would have gotten out of there. That was a big part of their ballgame. Something we really wanted to try to slow down a little bit. From a call standpoint, he did a hell of a job. When he's out there, we're a better team." 

Against the Vikings, White tallied 12 tackles, marking his 21st game with 10-or-more tackles, the sixth-most such games since he entered the league in 2019. Seven of White's tackles came in the opening quarter, marking the third time in his career he has had seven-or-more tackles in a single quarter. He nearly came away with a sack, as well.

In the first quarter, White was a second behind Winfield in getting to Kirk Cousins. His closing burst was even more impressive considering Winfield went unblocked en route to Cousins and White had a blocker in his path. White quickly shed the interior lineman to the side, a step behind Winfield on the pressure. Whether accelerating to the ball and flying downhill to push Alexander Mattison out of bounds, to immediately bringing down T.J. Hockenson on a screen, White made an impact. 

White, a key cog in the Bucs' defense and unquestioned leader, energized the unit in Week One. He played a crucial role in limiting Mattison to 3.1 yards per carry and Hockenson to 4.4 yards per reception. White certainly has the incentive of a potential long-term deal looming, however, Sunday's performance will likely prove to be the norm. The quick-twitch athlete consistently knifed through gaps to make plays in the backfield and tracked rushers with effective pursuit. Entering his fifth year in Tampa Bay, White will stive to continue his dominance. Earlier in the offseason, White disclosed a self-motivated goal for himself and teammate Lavonte David – chasing the top two linebacker spots in the NFL. White voiced his desire to be the face of the position group and Sunday's vintage production on turf is a stepping stone for him in solidifying that prestigious declaration.

Related Content

Latest Headlines