It's safe to say the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are in a pretty dark place as Week 10 arrives.
Since the bye week, the Bucs are 0-4 and are sliding down the wrong side of a point differential mountain. Offensive production has been an issue all season, but once it finally got going last Sunday the defense folded like a cheap poker table.
It was the way the Bucs lost in Week 9 that has everyone more concerned than ever before this season about things going off the rails. Defense has been one of the lone bright spots this season, and to see the unit cave was a brutally demoralizing.
Fans aren't the only ones noticing what is going on. Devin White is in a contract year and has more incentive than most to produce great play. He dropped a quote this week referencing that play and the Bucs defense, and it's something that has been openly interpreted as though it's a Kubrick film.
Did Devin White call out Todd Bowles and the Bucs defense?
Some have taken White's quote as grumbling about Bowles and subtly calling him out; others have zeroed in on White saying he's proud of his season and taken issue with that part.
Either way, White's quote made the rounds and it's truly up for interpretation. Here's the full quote, for fair context:
“I’m doing everything that the defense allows me to do,” White said. “I’m really proud that I’m not out there playing not sound, I think that’s the perfect word for it. I feel like I can do a lot more and I think coach [Todd] Bowles is trying to find a way to get [players involved] — just having people coming in and out of the lineup we got to do certain things. Hopefully, he finds more ways to be even more creative to get everybody going, including myself. Doing different things and confusing offenses, there’s a lot more work I can do.”
There's a way to chop that quote up to make it even spicier, but White pretty much lays it all out rather clearly. He does sound like he's trying to rattle some cages on defense but it doesn't exactly sound like a callout of Bowles.
White hasn't been terrible this year, but he's still pretty far removed from the Pro Bowl level he was on back in 2020. That's the guy who deserves $100 million, but that's not the guy White has been this year. Fans are already on the fence about whether the team should invest in him moving forward, and that's thr crux of the angst about his rambling monologue.
He's also not wrong in pointing to coaching for what needs to help the defense improve. As highlights of C.J. Stroud shredding the Bucs defense have been played on a loop this week, more and more folks have begun to notice how stubborn the defensive playcalling was.
Maybe White was referencing that, or maybe it was just an honest and innocent assessment. Perhaps the real takeaway is that fact that we're ten weeks into the season and dissecting a quote from White to decipher if it's a shot at the head coach goes to show just how rough things are right now.