Throughout the 2020 season, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers made plays defensively that put them in position to win or that carried the entire football team. It was difficult to single out individual performances as the team’s success was a collective effort.
But two names consistently stood out: Devin White and Lavonte David.
CBS Sports ranked David and White fifth and sixth overall respectively in their linebacker rankings. Below are snippets for what they had to say about Tampa Bay’s star linebackers.
6. Devin White
White was an absolute monster in his second NFL season with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. His 140 combined tackles ranked fourth in the NFL among inside linebackers, his nine sacks ranked first, his 15 tackles for loss ranked second and his 16 quarterback hits ranked first. His AV of 15 was also tied for second in the league. While White missed Tampa Bay’s first postseason matchup against Washington, he still recorded 38 combined tackles, two interceptions and recovered two fumbles in three playoff games.
5. Lavonte David
David has spent his entire career with the Buccaneers, and his production hasn’t slowed down at age 31. In 2020, he recorded 117 combined tackles, 1.5 sacks, three forced fumbles and 12 tackles for loss. In nine seasons, he has failed to record 100 combined tackles just once! While the Bucs picked up legendary quarterback Tom Brady last offseason, it was David who captained Tampa Bay’s defense through the postseason. In his first four playoff games, he recorded 26 combined tackles, one sack and four passes defended while playing every defensive snap possible.
White and David accounted for 257 tackles and 27 tackles for loss last season. They were the heart and soul of a defense that ranked sixth overall in total defense on their way to dominating the playoffs including a Super Bowl victory.
Other Buccaneers players listed in the Top 10 of their respective positions from CBS Sports included edge rusher Shaquil Barrett (No. 5), defensive tackle Vita Vea (No. 4), quarterback Tom Brady (No. 4), and offensive tackle Tristan Wirfs (No. 7).