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
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.”