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Spadaro: What is the 1 element Devin White will bring to the defense?

Devin White smiles with his mother, Coesha, while signing his contract.
Devin White smiles with his mother, Coesha, while signing his contract.

There is no lacking for confidence with new Eagles linebacker Devin White, who arrived at the NovaCare Complex on Tuesday and took his physical, met a whole lot of people, signed his contract, and then spelled out his expectations for the 2024 season in Philadelphia.

And they are large.

And he's excited about every bit of what's ahead.

"Tunnel vision," White called his approach as he detailed his plan to attack everything Defensive Coordinator Vic Fangio wants from him, promising to deliver an all-around linebacker who is going to bring leadership, playmaking, dedication, production, and one very significant tangible to a side of the line of scrimmage that is welcoming in a lot of new faces.

"One thing I always try to take, I try to take swagger to the defense," said White, the fifth overall pick by Tampa Bay in the 2019 NFL Draft who was a captain with the Bucs, a Super Bowl Champion, and an All-Pro player in his five seasons there. "Get everybody on that level, in that mode and just have fun.

"This is a winning culture and I wanted to be part of that. Being in the big games. Watching them, they've been in the big games, making a lot of noise in the league. When they go to other teams' house, you've got to be ready to play them. They're the big dogs around the NFL. I consider myself a big dog – that's what my son always says – so I wanted to join a big dog, to help them get to the goal that they ultimately want, and that's a championship and that's what I want. I know what it feels like. I know what it takes to get there and I know it's a lot of work that's got to be put in. Obviously, they know. They were at the pinnacle (in the 2022 season) and they didn't get over the hump. They ain't too far from it.

"I can say 'we' are not too far from it because I'm part of this organization now. I can just bring what I can bring and feed off my teammates as well and we can put this thing together."

Get your first look at the 2024 Eagles additions. While they may be sporting different colors now, these players will be wearing Eagles jerseys in 2024!

Since entering the league, White is first among all NFL inside linebackers with 64 QB hits, second in sacks with 23, and tied for second with nine fumble recoveries. In total, White has tallied 566 career tackles, 23 sacks, three interceptions, 21 pass deflections, six forced fumbles, nine fumble recoveries, and two touchdowns. He has started all but one of his 76 career regular-season games.

White's role is yet to be determined, but he's going for it all. That's the kind of confidence he brings, the kind of goals he has no matter what role Fangio has in mind for him. He has rushed the quarterback in his career, he has dropped into coverage, he has attacked the running game.

His goal is to create havoc and take the football away.

"Obviously, turnovers are important. It's important always giving the offense another chance to go score points and that's what matters and that's how you win," he said. "We always talk about the plus-minus system with the turnovers – you've got to go get the ball rather than give it away – to give us a greater chance to win the game.

"I'm 100 percent healthy and that's where it starts (White said he suffered a foot injury in the Week 3 loss to the Eagles last season and wasn't the same after that). Mentally, I went through a lot on and off the field and now I think I'm back in a great mental standpoint. It's ball, ball, ball. I don't think it's a lot of other distractions going on."

Clear minded. Hungry. A fresh start is good for White, who is ready to bring it all to the Eagles' defense to "show why I was drafted top 5, why I helped a team win the Super Bowl (Tampa Bay in 2020 season), and to prove that I do what I do. I don't lack any confidence."

That is very clear, and something the Eagles' defense is looking to add on the field in the season in front of us.

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