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Devin White says he’s the best linebacker in the NFL

The Bucs star also talked about his horse ride around Raymond James Stadium with the Lombardi Trophy.
Bucs inside linebacker Devin White celebrates a fumble recovery during Tampa Bay's division playoff victory over New Orleans.
Bucs inside linebacker Devin White celebrates a fumble recovery during Tampa Bay's division playoff victory over New Orleans. [ DIRK SHADD | Times ]
Published Feb. 11

TAMPA ― Football and horses are Devin White’s biggest passions.

When he can combine them, the magic happens.

Let’s talk football first. The Bucs linebacker said on Good Morning Football Thursday he is the best linebacker in the NFL.

Better than the Seahawks’ Bobby Wagner. Better than the Colts’ Darius Leonard. Better than the 49ers’ Fred Warner.

“Yeah, I mean, I respect all those guys, even the guys that are not that much older than me,” White said. “Man, right now, as in just finishing that year, man, I’ve got to put myself No. 1, and there’s not no cockiness about it. Put on the tape. And I feel like teams don’t even run toss sweeps against us any more, because they know I’m going to track it down.

“I just feel like I bring more to the game than just playmaking ability. I feel like I’m exciting to watch because of the energy and passion I play with. It makes you want to watch football because you’re like, “Man, that guy is having fun.’”

Of course, White and the Bucs won Super Bowl 55. On Wednesday, White fulfilled his promise to ride his horse, Dream, around Raymond James Stadium holding the Lombardi Trophy.

“My love for horses is through the roof,” White said. “I’ve been doing it since I was 5 years old. I’m 22 now. That’s a long time I’ve been around those animals, and they bring so much happiness to my life.

“Man, it’s so fun.”

Apparently, Bucs general manager Jason Licht is a man of his word.

“I was like, ‘Man, can you please make this happen?’” White said. “He said, ‘You go get that Lombardi, I will make it happen for you.’”

White hit on a few more topics:

Being named a team captain at 21

“Wearing the C on my chest, it comes with a lot, but it’s something I was always willing to take on. That’s the role I wanted to be in. But I’m so proud of the defense because we came together as the season progressed, and every weakness we showed out there on the field we found a way to get better at. We didn’t try to be arrogant and think we were always the best. We knew we had strong points and we knew we had weaknesses, and we always wanted to improve out weaknesses.”

The Chiefs blaming poor calls for the loss

“I hate it, because at the end of the day I’m going to put it, like, for instance, when we went to Green Bay, nobody said, ‘Oh, the Buccaneers defense did it without their two starters on the back end,’ (Jordan) Whitehead going out and Antoine Winfield not playing. We didn’t make any excuses. We had other players step up and play like starters. We didn’t miss a beat.”

Veteran linebacker Lavonte David

“Lavonte has meant everything to me. He’s the best big brother that a guy can ask for just because he’s so unselfish. ... He’s willing to always work with me and always critique my game. At the end of the day, my goal is to be the best. And I don’t want any comparisons.”

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