The Pro Bowl votes were counted this week and to no one’s surprise, the 4-10 Bucs only had one player selected. Bad teams rarely are well represented in the annual all-star showcase of NFL talent.

Defensive tackle Gerald McCoy is headed to his sixth straight Pro Bowl, but said on Wednesday there was a glaring omission from the roster heading to Orlando next month.

“More importantly, 54(Lavonte David) … This happened to him again,” McCoy said. “He’s the best in the league. Lavonte David is the best at what he does in the league. That’s my personal opinion.”

McCoy went on to talk about the way that linebackers are viewed, and why he think the current system is unfair.

“It’s the system – I think the system needs to change. This isn’t to take credit away from the guys who made it, but when you have two different styles of defense – 3-4 or 4-3 – we play a 4-3, he’s an outside linebacker and just gets put in the same category as an outside linebacker in a 3-4, which does a lot of pass rushing. Those guys sack numbers are incredible. Those guys are incredible players. But when I say there needs to be a change, you can take those guys who have definitely earned it and add a 4-3 outside linebacker section. If you worry about numbers, just make it about two people – two in the AFC and two in the NFC. And then I think that evens things out. There are a lot of good outside 4-3 guys who deserve it, but I’ve been with this guy since he came in the league and he’s definitely the best at what he does.”

Bucs LB Lavonte David - Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

Bucs LB Lavonte David – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

David was voted as second alternate but will be hard pressed to get the call to Orlando with others ahead of him. David, despite missing three games with injury, leads the NFL with five forced fumbles and five fumble recoveries. He also has tallied 84 tackles in his 11 starts this season.

Fellow linebacker Kwon Alexander, while pleased he was selected as an alternate, agreed with McCoy on David.

“I know who should be in there – Lavonte should be in there,” Alexander said. “Forget me, because he balled this year. He definitely needs to be in there. I did alright this year. I came off injury so I just have to get better. That’s all I have to do to get

On Wednesday at the podium defensive coordinator Mike Smith said David has had a Pro Bowl season.

“I think he’s had an outstanding year,” Smith said. “In the Pro Bowl there’s always going to be someone who’s left out, but in my mind he’s had a Pro Bowl year. He’s without a doubt had a year for us, in terms of his productivity, in terms of attacking the ball. I don’t think anyone in league history has done what he’s done in terms of taking the ball away and recovering it. Unfortunately, this time a year there are going to be guys (left out) who are well-serving. There probably isn’t anyone in my mind who’s more deserving of the Pro Bowl than Lavonte David.”

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About the Author: Mark Cook

Mark Cook currently is the director of editorial content and Bucs beat writer and has written for since 2011. Cook has followed the Buccaneers since 1977 when he first began watching football with his Dad and is fond of the 1979 Bucs team that came within 10 points of going to a Super Bowl. His favorite Bucs game is still the 1979 divisional playoff win 24-17 over the Eagles. In his spare time Cook enjoys playing guitar, fishing, the beach and family time.Cook is a native of Pinecrest in Eastern Hillsborough County and has written for numerous publications including the Tampa Tribune, In the Field and Ya'll Magazine. Cook can be reached at [email protected]
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4 years ago

We have one of the worst defenses in the league. If McCoy’s name wasn’t McCoy, the token Buc pro bowler, he wouldn’t have made it either. If the system favors 3-4 defenses, maybe we should switch to a 3-4 defense! All the best defenses in the league run it, the Rams switched to it, why don’t we just run the F#%ing thing!

4 years ago

Forced fumbles and fumble recoveries are awesome but they often happen 10 yards past the line of scrimmage. L. David is not good at shedding blocks and given how long he’s been in the league I don’t think he’ll ever get any better at it. All our LB’s are guilty of it and missing too many tackles and it leads to long drives that wear out a defense that is built on speed.

4 years ago

surferdudes is absolutely right. Lavonte David will not get his due credit with a Bucs defense that ranks 30th or worse. Our defense in inexcusably. How bad? Stafford had a third and 3 in the first quarter of a tie ball game and threw a 35 yard completion inside Bucs 20. Bucs never recovered.