The big story from Sunday wasn’t just the offense putting up points but, the defense putting up points of their own. The defense is really starting to come together after the recent release of first-round pick Vernon Hargreaves. Devin White and The “Young & Restless” defensive backs have the coaches and fans excited about what the future may hold.
I am glad White was drafted fifth in the NFL draft this offseason. I was wrong on how quickly he would develop in the NFL. White had a day getting his first career interception and first career touchdown. He is communicating with the players on the defensive unit making sure everyone is mentally ready to play and lined up correctly and the reward was the defense was able to tally up to four turnovers. White, along with Lavonte David are changing the culture of things one game at a time on this new defense. I look forward to seeing additions to the unit as well as them getting better as years progress. Keep up the good work, Mr. White.
I couldn’t go without talking about Sean Murphy-Bunting and this Tampa Bay secondary. Bunting made a game-closing interception when running a combo in/out coverage in the redzone. These guys are learning quickly from studying with DC Todd Bowles. They are putting in the work of mental reps and it is paying dividends on Sundays. The secondary is making plays because they are anticipating route combinations. Once you can expect what routes will be run in certain situations you can play more aggressive. When you don’t have to think while playing your natural skills will follow you to making plays.
The defense is taking steps in the right direction in regards to playing as a whole unit. I really didn’t have to cover how well the defensive line plays. Shaq Barrett, Vita Vea, Ndamukong Suh, Jason Pierre-Paul, Carl Nassib have all been playing well when given the opportunity. Although every player on the defensive line doesn’t dominate every game, another player finds a way to show up and show out. I’m personally looking forward to seeing how this defensive line fairs against a 2018 playoff team and awesome offensive line. Vea versus Quenton Nelson, oh my! That just gives me chills of excitement!
Photo credit: buccaneers.com