Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive end Styles White thrives since Gaines Adams' departure

TAMPA — When the Bucs traded Gaines Adams to the Bears in mid October, they received more than just a 2010 second-round pick in return.

They also got a reinvigorated Stylez White.

White, a third-year pro, has stepped up since taking over the starting right defensive end spot, racking up 61/2 sacks and a team-high 29 quarterback pressures in eight games.

"They gave me some more responsibility, and I'm relishing it," White said. "I want it to be on me. It's good for me because I want them to trust me."

To defensive line coach Todd Wash, White's improved numbers are more than just a result of more opportunities. White had 13 sacks in his first two seasons but started only twice while behind Adams, 2007's fourth overall pick.

"I think mentally, (White) was a little bit frustrated when Gaines was here because he knows he can play, and he really wasn't getting an opportunity because we were going to play Gaines and see what we had," Wash said.

"Now Stylez sees himself as a starter. The rest of the team really sees him as a starter, and he just feels more comfortable within that role. He's getting more opportunities, but he's playing extremely well for us right now; not just versus the pass but also versus the run."

With a different status, White, 30, also brought a different mentality. Coach Raheem Morris used to call White "A.I.," a reference to the NBA's Allen Iverson, because White didn't like to practice.

But Wash has seen a renewed commitment from the 6-foot-3, 270-pound Newark, N.J., native. He believes White appreciates the opportunity considering his tough journey. A 2002 seventh-round pick out of Minnesota by the Texans, White had brief stints with five other teams as well as Orlando of the Arena Football League before joining the Bucs in 2007.

"There's no question he gives a lot better effort in practice," Wash said. "When he's in there, he's giving the most out of every rep that he has. It's just a change in Stylez.

"I don't know how you put anything on it. It's definitely a positive thing. He's more of a studious player because he's getting more reps."

While White is pleased with his individual success and getting closer to personal goals, it rings hollow considering the Bucs' 1-12 record. Those are the numbers that matter most to him.

"The best word is bittersweet," White said. "It's like, 'Oh, I'm doing well,' but it's at the expense of our team losing. One minute, I'm like, 'Yeah!' and then it's like, 'Well, great, I had 21/2 sacks that game, but we lost.' So it leaves a sour taste in my mouth."

Joe Smith can be reached at joesmith@sptimes.com

Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive end Styles White thrives since Gaines Adams' departure 12/18/09 [Last modified: Friday, December 18, 2009 9:51pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Tiki Barber will join his brother, Ronde, on Fox broadcast for Bucs-Giants

    Bucs

    FOX announced Monday night that former Bucs cornerback Ronde Barber will have a familiar face joining him as a guest analyst for the Oct. 1 Bucs-Giants game in Tampa: his twin brother Tiki, who will join …

    Tiki Barber, right, will join his brother, Ronde, left, as a guest analyst on the Oct. 1 Bucs-Giants broadcast on FOX. [Times files (2006)]
  2. Cannons will fire again when Bucs return to Raymond James Stadium

    Bucs

    As good as the Bucs looked in their season-opening 29-7 win against the Bears on Sunday, fans couldn't help but notice that the success didn't sound the same at Raymond James Stadium.

     Ron Gutschmidt is perched on top of the Buccaneer pirate ship ready to activate the ship's cannons with the press of a button after a Buccaneer touchdown. [LUIS SANTANA | Times]
  3. Rick and Tom podcast: How should Joe Maddon be remembered tonight?

    The Heater

    Rick Stroud and Tom Jones talk about Joe Maddon's return to Tropicana Field for the first time since he left the Rays in 2014 in the latest edition of our Rick and Tom podcast. They discuss the mixed emotions …

    Joe Maddon returns to Tropicana Field tonight for the first time since he left the Rays in 2014. [Getty Images]
  4. Cubs bring some other ex-Rays to Trop such as Wade Davis, Ben Zobrist

    Blogs

    Joe Maddon's first trip back to the Trop is getting most of the headlines tonight, but there are several other familiar faces among the eight former Rays now wearing Cubs uniforms.

    Two-time Rays MVP Ben Zobrist is finishing strong after a slow start to his second season in Chicago.
  5. Oleg Sosunov brings intrigue to Lightning exhibition opener

    Blogs

    When Hall of Famer Phil Esposito first saw Lightning prospect Oleg Sosunov, he joked he thought the 6-foot-8 Russian would hit the ceiling of Amalie Arena.

    Oleg Sosunov's ability to skate for his size, his reach, and his style have drawn comparisons to Zdeno Chara.