Over the past few weeks the top story line surrounding Lavonte David has been contract negotiations. But three days into training camp, the star linebacker has been able to phase out the business side and focus solely on football.
“It’s really easy,” David said when asked if he can still concentrate. “When you have a lot of time on your hands, you kind of (focus on) what’s going on outside. But once football starts, you get to focus and lock in on football.”
And David certainly looks like he’s already locked in.
While some defensive players seem to still be finding their rhythm, the fourth-year pro appears to be in midseason form, covering the flats from sideline to sideline and closing in on whoever is in front of him.
“I got the chance to go back on the field, put some pads on and thump a little bit, something I haven’t done since December,” David said. “It felt really good today.”
Aside from being the type of player to lose himself in the action, David’s lack of concern over his contract could also have something to do with Jason Licht’s and Lovie Smith’s comments over the past week. On separate occasions, both the general manager and head coach have assured fans that everything is in the process of being worked out and that David won’t be leaving Tampa any time soon.
Many assumed the holdup was due in part to Bobby Wagner’s situation in Seattle. Now that Wagner has agreed to a contract, however, David’s camp can look at the market value of an elite 4-3 outside linebacker and the two sides can resume negotiations.
For now, David was just excited to see the skies clear up in time for the first padded practice of the season. The Will linebacker spoke at length about how much further the defense is compared to last year. From newcomers like Bruce Carter to the many returning veterans, David believes his team has advanced in the scheme and is playing with improved continuity.
“Last year guys were just trying to learn their job and do what they’re supposed to,” David said. “But this year we’re doing our job and more. That’s where the playmaking ability comes in, when guys do a little extra. We’ve been seeing a lot of that.
“Guys (are) learning the conceptual part, the little details and where your help is at. That gives guys a lot of opportunities to do their job and trust their teammate, holding him accountable that he’s going to be in his position so you can do a little extra to make a play on the ball.”
Zach is entering his 3rd year covering the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as a writer for PewterReport.com. Since 2014, he's handled a large part of the beat reporting responsibilities at PR, attending all media gatherings and publishing and promoting content daily. Zach is a native of Sarasota, FL, and a graduate of the University of Tampa. He has also covered high school football for the Tampa Tribune and the NFL for Pro Player Insiders.
Contact him at: [email protected]
I love this Bucs team and Lavonte David is one of the reasons why. I listened to his press conference today and he talked about how good it felt to have pads on and pop somebody. He said “Big Dot got his hands on me and I couldn’t get him off. I gotta get my payback!” What a competitor and he’s having fun at it. Not worried about his contract, It’s as good as done!
Yea Lavonte is quickly becoming legendary in these parts, the Bucs and Tampa are lucky to have this guy. He’s the best LB in football and is just a loveable, good natured human being!
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If I’m the Bucs there is no hurry to sign the contract until a few games into the season. Too much hype on this. There’s plenty of time.
He’s holding a winning Powerball ticket but has to wait until he can cash it.
Great analogy scubog!
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