Bruce Arians on Buccaneers’ 1st-rounder Devin White: ‘He just has natural leadership’

The physical attributes made a fairly easy case for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to select former LSU linebacker Devin White in the first round of last week’s NFL Draft.

Buccaneers coach Bruce Arians was instantly sold on those traits.

‘He’s an every down linebacker and they’re hard to find anymore’

“He’s an every down linebacker and they’re hard to find anymore, where you don’t have to substitute when people go four wides or whatever,” Arians told Lance Medow and David Diehl on The Red Zone. “He can rush the passer … and he’s a very explosive player.”

But there was something else about White that made an even stronger impression on Arians. “He’s a leader; that’s probably the biggest thing,” the coach said. “He just has natural leadership about him.”

‘You try to find the veteran leaders and just find out, ‘How good do you guys want to be?’’

That, in Arians’ eyes, made White a perfect fit for the sort of environment Arians is looking to build in his first season as the Bucs’ coach. It’s same sort of setting he created as coach of the Arizona Cardinals.

“It doesn’t really come with age anymore. Tyrann Mathieu walked in as a rookie (with the Cardinals) and was a leader. I expect the same thing from Devin.”

“That’s one of those things that, when you build the culture in the locker room, you try to find the veteran leaders and just find out, ‘How good do you guys want to be? You know, it’s not my team, it’s your team. We’ll be as good as you guys lead us to be,’” Arians said. “And it doesn’t really come with age anymore. Tyrann Mathieu walked in as a rookie (with the Cardinals) and was a leader. I expect the same thing from Devin. All these young guys that we got were either captains or leaders of their teams.”

‘We were actually walking down the hall when he got here and he said, ‘Man, I can’t wait to pick Derrick Brooks’ brain’’

Arians expects White to benefit greatly by being able to line up next to fellow linebacker Lavonte David, and having other available resources, such as Buccaneers Hall of Fame linebacker Derrick Brooks.

“It’ll be huge,” Arians said. “We were actually walking down the hall when he got here and he said, ‘Man, I can’t wait to pick Derrick Brooks’ brain.’ About that time, Derrick texted him. And it was like one of those surreal moments. I said, ‘Oh, you’re going to be able to pick his brain, he’s going to be around to help you.’ And then, with Lavonte David, just a great player to learn from how to be a pro.”

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