Devin White has become quite the household name among fans of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Love it or hate it, he’s the new starting inside linebacker for the team, and among other things, he made an appearance on the Salty Dogs Podcast to help introduce himself to the fan base.
If anyone hasn’t heard White speak up until now, it’s clear in his voice he’s a young man who’s not lacking in confidence, but also understands where he’s at versus where he wants to go.
From the very beginning of the interview after being asked about the experience of being drafted,
“Last night. That experience ranks number one,” White said, “Out of everything that I ever did in my life....and I think the only thing that can top that is, you know, getting to hold that Lombardi.”
Later on, Jeff Ryan mentioned White didn’t seem excited simply to be drafted, but rather was exceptionally excited being drafted by the Buccaneers specifically. To which, White responded,
“I just feel like, it was the perfect for me....When I came here it was just a different feeling...”
Word of the love affair between Tampa Bay staff and White began to catch fire at the NFL Combine, specifically following White’s press conference in Indianapolis when the LSU linebacker absolutely lit up when speaking about his visit with the team.
It’s easy to see White had the talent necessary to make an impact on a Bucs squad which has been trying since last October to make up for the loss of linebacker, Kwon Alexander.
His combine interview and performance only helped to solidify these known facts, as did his Pro Day later on in the draft process.
What stuck out for White however, was the difference in his visit with the Buccaneers in contrast to how his visits with other teams went,
“I had no expectations and I sat down with, you know, everybody and they [were] talking about me as a person.” White said, “..and then I went on other visits and it was ‘get on the board’ doing this and doing that, which I done shown all draft process. It just felt different here.”
This difference in approach between the Bucs and other NFL teams interested in White really struck a chord with him as it showed the team was interested in some of the same values as he was,
“I’m real big on loyalty and getting to know somebody and loving them and giving them my all. And they showed me that here when I first came here, you know, on my first Top-30 visit.”
White and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers already seem to be clicking on all levels, and having a young player feel comfortable is important to facilitating his early success. Especially when talking about a rookie linebacker who’s expected to be trusted as the quarterback of Todd Bowles’ defense.
The interview is a nice introduction for those fans who may not have been exposed to Devin White as an individual beyond tape and draft analysis.
Of course, eventually we have to start talking about playing football, and Scott Smith and Jeff Ryan did exactly that.
Not shying away from the detractors, White was asked about some people around the Buccaneers wanting the team to draft pass rushing talent over what they considered a less-valuable off-ball linebacker position. To which White responded,
“What about my man, JPP? What is he? He’s a pass rusher. He do a damn good job.”
If there’s one thing which cannot be questioned, it’s that Devin White is ready to do whatever Todd Bowles and Bruce Arians needs him to do to make the Buccaneers defense better than it has been in the better part of the last decade.
Catch the entire conversation on the Salty Dogs Podcast if you haven’t already. You won’t regret it.