Catching up with some of our favorites in and around the Tampa Bay Buccaneers scene, we’re asking guests all week on the Locked On Bucs Podcast to name their ‘Hidden Hero’ for the 2020 NFL Season.
The rules are really pretty simple. Excluding the players who have received league-wide acclaim (Tom Brady, Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, Shaquil Barrett, Lavonte David), our guests are going to be asked to pick the player not named there who is going to be the hero of Tampa Bay’s 2020 campaign.
Now, this still leaves some pretty impressive names, but names who haven’t been to the Pro Bowl, been on an All-Pro team (recently, anyway), and aren’t on the 2020 NFL Top-100 list.
First up on Monday, Buccaneers.com Staff Writer Carmen Vitali (of “Carmen Catches Up” fame) joined the show to make the first selection of the week. Going first has it’s perks, as Vitali had her choice of every remaining player on the roster. She took advantage as well, selecting second-year linebacker, Devin White.
White might barely meet the criteria as a ‘Hidden Hero’ candidate. Given the fact he’s only played one season, and it was cut short early on due to injury, White’s chances of being disqualified from this list disappeared almost as soon as the 2019 season got underway.
Still, in his rookie season, White took down ball carriers 91 total time, sacked opposing quarterbacks 2.5 times, and secured five total takeaways returning two of them for defensive scores.
For 2020 though, Vitali expects Todd Bowles’ Bucs defense to expand on White’s role as he looks to show what he can do with a full healthy season available to him.
“...you’re going to see some of these inside linebackers get more of a role in the pass rush,” Vitali said. “And I know that Lavonte (David) has talked about being excited about that, Devin White is obviously super excited about that. I think he’s built for going after quarterbacks in more ways than one.”
Later in the conversation, Vitali commented about the defense needing to come out of the gates starting in Week 1 prepared to do their best to keep opposing scoring down and allow the offense time to get fully in-sync.
With the absence of a pre-season and restrictions against joint practices, the Buccaneers offense is only going to practice against their own defense until they face the New Orleans Saints in Week 1 of the regular season. Because of this, the defense is going to be relied on more than usual as they return all eleven starters from 2019 with some young talent like Antoine Winfield Jr. added to the mix.
All of these factors lead to Devin White being Carmen Vitali’s ‘Hidden Hero’ candidate for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ 2020 NFL Season. A strong candidate to say the least.
Keep it tuned in to the Locked On Bucs Podcast, and come back here to Bucs Nation, as we continue gathering candidates throughout the week and leave it to you this Friday to pick the true ‘Hidden Hero’ for the 2020 Tampa Bay Buccaneers!