Make us your home page

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

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

  1. Rays blow lead in ninth, lose in 10 to Rangers (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Rays manager Kevin Cash liked the way Alex Cobb was competing Friday night. He liked the way the hard contact made by the Rangers batters went away after the second or third inning. So as the game headed toward the ninth, there was no doubt in Cash's mind that sending Cobb back to the mound was …

    Rays starter Alex Cobb can hardly believe what just happened as he leaves the game in the ninth after allowing a leadoff double then a tying two-run homer to the Rangers’ Shin-Soo Choo.
  2. Rays journal: Steven Souza Jr. gets extra day off to let hip heal

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — RF Steven Souza Jr. ran in rightfield before batting practice under the watchful gaze of the Rays training staff and manager Kevin Cash. Afterward, Souza told Cash he could use one more day of rest before playing on the left hip he strained Wednesday in Oakland.

    Tampa Bay Rays second baseman Brad Miller (13) gets a hug from right fielder Steven Souza Jr. (20) after his solo home run in the fourth inning of the game between the Texas Rangers and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Friday, July 21, 2017.
  3. Rays vs. Rangers, 7:10 p.m. Saturday, Tropicana Field

    The Heater

    Tonight: vs. Rangers

    7:10, Tropicana Field

    TV/radio: FS1; 620-AM, 680-AM (Spanish)

  4. Roger Mooney's takeaways from Friday's Rays-Rangers game

    The Heater

    Looks like LF Corey Dickerson is coming out of his funk at the plate — .186 average in past 16 games entering Friday. He had two hits Wednesday in Oakland and three hits Friday against the Rangers. Okay, one was an infield hit that bounced high in front of the plate, but the other was a long home run to …

  5. History shows Ole Miss upheaval tough to overcome


    After Mississippi football coach Hugh Freeze resigned Thursday, with the opener six weeks away, offensive line coach Matt Luke is being thrown into an interim head coaching position. He will try to save a season that already had been scarred by a self-imposed bowl ban for NCAA violations.

    After coach Jim Tressel resigned, Ohio State went 6-7, including a loss to Florida in the Gator Bowl, in 2011.