TAMPA — In only two NFL seasons, he clearly has broken through, in terms of sacks and self-expression.
Now comes the swag. Devin White can’t wait to get his Super Bowl championship ring next month.
“I’m very ready to see it,” the Bucs’ third-year force of nature said Wednesday.
“I know it’s going to be crazy. Right after the game, I told (co-owner) Miss Darcie (Glazer Kassewitz) that she needs to bling them out, because I knew she was going be the person that comes up with the design, because she’s the woman. You know women, they know what they’re doing when they’re dealing with jewelry.”
Whether it sparkles as profoundly as White did in his sophomore season as a pro remains to be seen. So, too, does White’s encore.
After a rookie year partially disrupted by an MCL sprain and tonsillitis, the Bucs’ top pick in 2019 had a Pro Bowl-caliber regular season (nine sacks) in 2020, then spent three playoff games (38 tackles, two interceptions, two fumble recoveries) proving his Pro Bowl omission was a farce.
“(The Super Bowl run) got me more notoriety, because when you’re in the playoffs there’s not too many games on,” White said. And your game’s on and everybody wants to watch. So if you’re in the playoffs, you’re getting seen.
“And hopefully with the spotlight on, there’s only two things that can happen, like B.A. (coach Bruce Arians) says: You’re going to either expose somebody or you’re going to get exposed. And I think I was exposing people and I was exposing myself to the world, just let them know what type of player that I am.”
Nonetheless, White clearly has embraced the recurring theme of this week’s mandatory minicamp: Even with every starter and coordinator back from last season, the 2021 team still features some new faces — and zero wins to its name.
“We don’t even talk about (2020) no more,” White said. “It’s been a minute.”
Defensive coordinator Todd Bowles reinforced that mindset a couple weeks back, indicating his 2021 unit would have to “re-jell, re-do our chemistry and everything else to try to get better from there and start from the bottom up.”
“Last year where (White) just took off, that’s something that I was expecting,” fellow inside linebacker Lavonte David said.
“I told him he’s got to keep up that standard, he’s got to keep on playing that same way, got to keep on having that intensity, just be him out there on the field.”
Still, the unit’s familiarity with Bowles’ system has contributed to two crisp, efficient minicamp workouts, both of which Arians has lauded.
“I think those two days (Tuesday and Wednesday) really showed me where we’re at, and I really like where we’re at,” Arians said.
“Mentally, physically, execution, everything, both sides of the ball and special teams. It’s progressing in the right direction.”
White called the defense’s grasp and execution entering Year Three of Bowles’ system “like bread and butter.”
“We didn’t have to install coming into minicamp, we just hit the ground running,” he said.
“We didn’t even have a meeting, it was just when we get there right after the team meeting, straight to practice. Because they know we know our stuff, offensively and defense. So that’s the good thing about having guys that’s been together, been in the system.”
That familiarity, clairvoyance with peers, and confidence could parlay into a double-digit sack total for White, one of the more active Bucs on social media. Noted for comments neither sugarcoated nor sugar-free, he said he feels he has “a great chance” of reaching such a sack total.
“I’ve always been a most confident guy,” he said. “I just believe in my abilities. I believe in God; he blessed me tremendously with talent. And I just believe in the work that I put in, and I’ve got a great coaching staff around me that helps me. ... Every week I come to work, and I always say fine-tuning. That’s what I’m doing.
“I’m a great player, but there’s still a lot of room for fine-tuning.”
Contact Joey Knight at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @TBTimes_Bulls.
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