Three days after collecting a career-best three sacks in a 45-20 romp of the Raiders, Buccaneers second-year inside linebacker Devin White has been named NFC Defensive Player of the Week.
White never previously has won a defensive player of the week honor, though he was named defensive rookie of the month in November and December 2019.
He finished Sunday’s game with 11 tackles and a forced fumble, becoming the first player in franchise history to record 10 or more tackles and at least three sacks in a game.
“I think I was successful in getting three sacks all because of the 10 guys around me that’s on the field at the time when I made those plays,” White said Wednesday morning.
“I think everything I do on the field goes hand-in-hand with what they do. Without great coverage and great pass rush...it all works together, so I credit everything to the guys around me, and I credit God for my athletic ability to be able to make those plays.”
Highlighting White’s prosperous afternoon was a fierce fourth-and-1 stop of Raiders quarterback Derek Carr late in the fourth quarter. Flushed from the pocket, Carr scrambled right, but White raced essentially from center field in the secondary and leveled Carr about 2 yards shy of the first-down marker.
“We had worked that play so many times against the exact defense that we call against that play," White said. "So I knew what the play was going to be; they wanted like a throwback to (tight end) Jason Whitten, and I knew Lavonte David was going to take that throwback away, and I just manned the middle of the field.
"But the thing I didn’t see coming was him scrambling for the first down. He used his legs all night; that’s where a lot of their rushing yards came from. So my whole thing was not to let him get the first down.”
White already has recorded four games of at least 10 tackles, and currently ranks sixth in the NFL with 61 tackles. He is the only player since at least 2000 with at least 150 tackles, five sacks and five fumble recoveries in his first 20 career games.