The Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and the NFL world as a whole, are onto 2021, but we need to appreciate Devin White’s 2020 playoff performance and its historical significance in Bucs history.
Until recently, fans of the Buccaneers haven’t had too much to cheer about. That said, when the Bucs are at their best, the defense is at their best. Of the four primary Buccaneers enshrined in Canton, all of them were defenders.
In the late 1970s to early 1980s when the Buccaneers enjoyed their first taste of success, they had a superb defense lead by Hall of Fame defensive end Lee Roy Selmon. The same can be said for the Buccaneers’ first-ever Super Bowl championship team in 2002. That defense was littered with present and future Hall of Famers. Fast forward to 2020, and the Buccaneers’ defense came alive for a playoff run unlike any other. They essentially retired Drew Brees, ran Aaron Rodgers out of Green Bay, and turned Patrick Mahomes’ second Super Bowl into a living nightmare.
Speaking of that 2020 playoff run, Jeff Kerr of CBS recently tweeted a little nugget that highlighted young linebacker extraordinaire and potential heir to the throne Devin White.
After missing the Wild Card round against Washington due to COVID, White would embark on the journey of his first three career playoff games, and the only three he’s played in his life up until this point.
In the divisional round win against the New Orleans Saints White registered 11 tackles. In Super Bowl LV, he added one more to give him an even dozen which lead all players, and his best game came in the NFC Championship where he racked up 15 tackles.
Why is this significant? Well, it just so happens that these are the three most tackles EVER registered by a Buccaneers defender in any playoff game they’ve played in throughout their history. More than Selmon, more than Derrick Brooks, more than Hugh Green, more than Hardy Nickerson. Name any great Buccaneers defender of playoffs past, and none had more tackles than White had in the only three playoff games of his life.
This isn’t even mentioning the two interceptions (one in the Super Bowl) White had in the playoffs either.
Devin White should see many more playoff games in his future. This being the case, we can look forward to more historically great performances for this potential legend in the making.