Buccaneers: Kevin Minter’s maturation comes at perfect time

Kevin Minter, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
Kevin Minter, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers banged-up defense has forced the unit to adopt the, perhaps slightly cliche, “next man up” mentality. Fortunately, one Buccaneers linebacker, in particular, has used the opportunity that has been thrust upon him to grow, and mature as a player in front of our eyes in his newfound spotlight.

Defense is the aspect of the game that the Buccaneers and their fans have always prided themselves in. There’s a handful of franchises in the NFL whose greatest and most beloved players played on that side of the ball. For the Bucs, Lavonte David may be on the fast track to the team’s Mount Rushmore, if he isn’t already on there in the eyes of many.

However, David is no spring chicken, and he knows that. David has been taken all the time he can to help mold the next generation, with Devin White being his prized protege. Unfortunately, injury has sidelined the captain of the ship the last couple of weeks, and another one of his projects has seen an uptick in his playing time and responding with great aplomb.

Kevin Minter, a veteran of the NFL and a Buccaneers linebacker since 2018, is proving to be a prime example of “better late than never”. While he did start for two years with the Arizona Cardinals, he never made much of a dent. With the Bucs, he’s been primarily a special teams guy, with some spot starts here and there.

With the injury to David, Minter has taken the time to look like the player he was meant to be, and as a player of a younger age. Bruce Arians said that Minter has done “a hell of a job” with the impossible task of replacing David.

Arians also said that Minter is a great communicator, which is a crucial attribute to have when you’re in the middle of the defense.

The maturation of Kevin Minter could not have come at a better time for the Buccaneers, with the hated New Orleans Saints next on the menu, and the schedule getting tougher. David should be back soon, but for now, the Bucs are in good hands.

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