The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have always been known for having a great defense, especially from 1997-2008 under the legend Monte Kiffin. After he departed from Tampa Bay, the Buccaneers defense entered some dark periods, especially the Raheem Morris, Bill Sheridan, and Mike Smith eras as Buccaneers’ defensive coordinators. The Buccaneers have the talent on defense but were just poorly coached, but veterans such as Lavonte David were there. Tampa Bay was missing leadership from Devin White, Shaq Barrett, Jason Pierre-Paul, Ndamukong Suh, and Vita Vea on the front seven.
The Buccaneers also did not have a consistent defensive coordinator as they do in Todd Bowels, and I think he will be a head coach again. I compare him to Tony Dungy when he was a defensive coordinator before he came to the Buccaneers in 1996 when he was with the Minnesota Vikings. Bowels has built a Tony Dungy-like defense with Devin White, Shaq Barrett, Jason-Pierre-Paul, and Lavonte David at linebacker.
Coming into Super Bowl LV, it seemed like Devin White had that Derrick Brooks-like leadership, and his belief seemed to get him through Super Bowl preparation. White believed that the front four with William Gholston, Ndamukong Suh, and Vita Vea would get it done going up against Kansas City’s talented offensive line. White also knew that Tampa Bay would get tremendous pressure on Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes, and if I heard this going into the game, I would have loved his confidence for sure.
He had this to say on Undisputed:
“We knew our front four was gonna dominate’em!” – Devin White via Don Kleiman
On the #Chiefs not changing the protection all game: We knew going in they were a cocky team. They shouldn't even talk about not having their tackles when they didn't even help them.pic.twitter.com/6GWAZwrfGQ
— Dov Kleiman (@NFL_DovKleiman) February 16, 2021
In all honesty, I thought it would be forever when the Buccaneers would land that Derrick Brooks-like linebacker and they sure have it in Devin White. I tried to stay positive when Tampa Bay was going through periods of mediocre defenses, but patience pays off, and it really paid off in a big way this past season. I think these Bucs are still just getting started and in a big way.