Tampa Bay's second-round pick in 2012, linebacker Lavonte David, won the NFL Defensive Rookie of the Month award for the month of November. David had 47 tackles in November as the Bucs went 3-1 to improve to 6-5 on the year.
Buccaneers rookie linebacker Lavonte David was awarded the NFL's Defensive Rookie of the Month honors for his superb play in the month of November. This comes on the heel of Tampa Bay running back Doug Martin being named the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Month for the month of October.
David, who is shy and soft-spoken, spoke to the local media following practice on Thursday.
“It is a great honor,” David said. “First of all I just want to take my hat off to my teammates for all the support. Defensive line, linebackers, secondary… everybody doing their job as a whole, allowing me and guys to make plays all over the field.”
David, who was Tampa Bay's second-round draft pick in 2012, has become the team's leading tackler with 98 stops and 14 tackles for loss. In the month of November, David tallied 47 tackles, which is an average of 11 per game. The Buccaneers went 3-1 in November to improve to 6-5 on the 2012 season.
Defensive coordinator Bill Sheridan told the media on Thursday he never worried about the physical part of the game for David, but said he is more impressed with how well the former Cornhusker has been able to understand the mental part of the job.
PewterReport.com asked David how he has been able to make the seemingly easy transition.
“Just studying and knowing what you have to do and knowing what other guys are doing around you," David said. "It makes you play your game faster. Breaking down the opponents and things like that just tie it all together. I think I have been doing a good job at that and guys are still helping me.”
In Tampa Bay's 42-32 win at Oakland on November 4, David set a career high with 16 tackles (14 solo, 2 assists), which beat his previous career high of 14 tackles (12 solo, 2 assists), which was set in the Bucs' 24-22 loss to the Washington Redskins on September 30. The Nebraska product also notched 14 stops (13 solo, 1 assist) in Tampa Bay's 34-24 victory over San Diego on November 11.
David leads all NFL rookies in tackles this season and becomes the first Buccaneers defender to win NFL Defensive Rookie of the Month honors.avid said the veterans on the team had some advice for David once he was named starter.
“The veterans told me I am not a rookie anymore," David said. "Once you get out of that field they say all that rookie junk is gone. You are a man now and you have to handle your business. And that is what I am trying to do.”
Fellow Bucs linebacker Dekoda Watson won NFC Special Teams Player of the Month honors for the month of November after he blocked a punt, recovered a fumble and recorded two special teams tackles.–Mark Cook contributed to this report
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