It’s been a wild trip for Bucs linebacker Devin White all through his first three years within the NFL. He went from the No. 5 general decide within the 2019 NFL Draft to Tremendous Bowl champion by the tip of his second season. Then, in yr three, he earned his first Professional Bowl choice.
Tampa Bay picked up White’s fifth-year choice this offseason, however the 2022 season appears like a pivotal one for the previous LSU Tiger. There are many points to his recreation which are nice, from his management to his playmaking capability.
It’s the go protection a part of his talent set that he’s engaged on heading into his fourth season. If he can enhance in that space, he can take the step as much as being one of many NFL’s elite linebackers. And in taking that subsequent step, he’ll see these Professional Bowl honors change into a regularity.
However on Wednesday afternoon, White was trustworthy about his ideas on the Professional Bowl. He mentioned that, whereas he desires to take care of his standing as an higher echelon participant, taking part in within the recreation itself isn’t in his future plans. He has his sights set on greater achievements.
“While you’re a superb participant, you wish to be talked about with one of the best. [But] if you get spoiled by a Tremendous Bowl, you by no means wish to play in a Professional Bowl, I can say that,” White mentioned. “You need the honors, however you don’t wish to play in it.”
Throughout Professional Bowl week in Las Vegas, the Bucs had been recent off of their heartbreaking NFC Divisional Spherical loss to the Rams. Those self same Rams, in fact, went on to win the Tremendous Bowl. White mentioned that he and his Bucs teammates spent a lot of their time on the Professional Bowl lamenting the truth that they weren’t on the brink of compete for a second straight Lombardi Trophy.
“The entire time whereas we had been on the market, clearly we had a number of teammates on the market, we simply saved saying ‘Rattling, we should always nonetheless be training. This isn’t what we would like,’” White mentioned. “However you wish to make one of the best of it as a result of on the finish of the day, it’s nonetheless a possibility that we’re grateful for. We’re grateful as a result of we might’ve not made the Professional Bowl and never made the Tremendous Bowl.”
White’s Take On Bettering The Professional Bowl
Through the years, the NFL’s Professional Bowl all-star recreation has felt much less and fewer particular. Fewer gamers appear to attend every year, and people who do are understandably going to do every part they’ll to keep away from damage. The NFL has tried to tinker with the format, however nothing appears to work. This yr’s Professional Bowl was the least-watched within the final 16 years. So, what will be performed? White mentioned Wednesday that the sport wants physicality and that it nonetheless must really feel like soccer.
“We simply acquired to return out swinging, we acquired to return out and hit anyone. That’s the one means I really feel, the primary guys which are on the market, they set the tempo. If you happen to two-hand contact me, I’m going to two-hand contact you again. And that’s simply the tempo of the sport,” White mentioned. “After I acquired in, I used to be attempting to get tackles. It was like, I’m out right here, I would as nicely simply sort out anyone or get him to the bottom, no matter. Not attempt to be additional, additional, however a minimum of get one thing on you. That’s the one factor I’d say, as a result of on the finish of the day it’s nonetheless soccer. All of us love soccer, soccer is enjoyable. That’s the final recreation of the season, let’s have enjoyable with it.”
Accidents are at all times going to be a priority for gamers who select to play within the Professional Bowl. So, on that entrance, it’s laborious to see too many guys desirous to go as laborious as White. However there’s an argument to be made that taking part in at 50% velocity might very nicely be simply as dangerous by way of damage. So it’s one thing of a pick-your-poison situation. In all chance, the sport will stay a glorified exhibition that serves as an honor for the gamers chosen and a superb time for his or her households.