The Buccaneers placed two players in the Pro Bowl, with Gerald McCoy and Darrelle Revis, selected to make the trip to Hawaii, but linebacker Lavonte David missed making the annual all-star game. On Friday, David received some consolation, as he and McCoy were voted first team All-Pro by AP writers.
When the Pro Bowl results were announced last Friday night, many were shocked that Bucs linebacker Lavonte David had been left off of the roster. One week later AP voters got it right as David and defensive tackle Gerald McCoy were awarded first-team designations from the delegation of 50 Associated Press voters.
Friday’s announcement marks the first time that Tampa Bay has had multiple first-team All-Pro selections since 2005, when cornerback Rondé Barber and linebacker Derrick Brooks were given the honor.
This is David’s first career All-Pro selection. David started all 16 games for Tampa Bay this season, leading the team in tackles (143, tied for the fifth-most in the NFL), tackles for loss (20, third-most in the NFL), and interceptions (five, tied for the fifth-most in the NFL), while also contributing 10 passes defensed, 6.0 sacks, two forced fumbles, one fumble recovery and a safety. This season, David became only the fourth player since 1982 (when sacks became an official statistic) to record 6.0 or more sacks and five or more interceptions in the same season, and the first linebacker to do so.
David is the first Buccaneers linebacker to be selected to the AP All-Pro first team since Derrick Brooks in 2005, and only the third in team history to ever be selected (Brooks, five times, 1999-2000, 2002, 2004-05; Hardy Nickerson, twice, 1993, 1997).
“Being selected was surreal to me, I was just stunned," David said. "It was like a dream come true. To be honored as one of the best of the best at your position is amazing."
David's numbers were well deserving of Pro Bowl honors, but the combination of fan, coaches and and player voting left David off the roster. Soon after, a number of players and media members voiced their displeasure with the system. There is a still a chance David makes the squad if one the current players end up in the Super Bowl or declines the trip because of injury.
McCoy had no problem making his second Pro Bowl but this marks McCoy’s first career selection to the AP’s All-Pro team. Originally selected third overall in the 2010 NFL Draft, McCoy put up a strong season anchoring the Buccaneers’ defensive line in 2013, starting all 16 games and finishing with 50 tackles, 9.0 sacks, 15 tackles for loss, four passes defensed and one fumble recovery. His 9.0 sacks led the team and were a career high, as well as marking the fourth-most sacks by a defensive tackle in the NFL this season and tying for fifth-most by a defensive tackle in Buccaneers history. His 15 tackles for loss were also a career high.
McCoy is only the second defensive tackle in franchise history to earn the first-team distinction (Warren Sapp, four times, 1999-2002) and only the fourth defensive lineman (Sapp; Simeon Rice, 2002; Lee Roy Selmon, 1978).
“It’s awesome,” said McCoy. “This is a dream come true because making the Pro Bowl is one thing, but being the best at your position is special. For All-Pro, you take the best two people at that position across the NFL, so to be considered one of the top two players at my position, that’s what you work for. You work to be the best. You don’t work to be mediocre or work to be just a guy. You work to be the best, and for the year of 2013, I accomplished that.”Part of this report courtesy of the Buccaneers Communications Department
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