Lavonte David’s forced fumble and return late in fourth quarter of a 14-5 contest was the play of the game in the Bucs win over the Seahawks, head coach Dirk Koetter said Monday.

Some fans and media members saw the effort to jar the ball from tight end Jimmy Graham as David finally breaking through in Mike Smith’s defense and returning to form. But while Koetter acknowledged the outside doubts, the Bucs coach made clear that the coaching staff never agreed, nor had any dissatisfaction with the Pro Bowl linebacker at any point this season.

“You guys have been asking me about this every week, been asking ‘Smitty’ [Defensive Coordinator Mike Smith] about it – I’m not sure what the answer is,” Koetter said, asked about the perception of David having a down year. “Lavonte made the play of the day yesterday.”

Keeping with the explanation that Smith’s defense calls for other guys to make plays at times, Koetter again suggested that stats, like tackling numbers, could be misleading. The team-leader in tackles the past four years, David had just 50 entering Week 12.

“Different guys play a little bit different every week – we’re not complaining one bit about Lavonte David,” he said. “I don’t know where it’s coming from. It’s all numbers- based, but I don’t really look at it that way. I just look at it, if the guy’s trying to play our defense, he’s one of our leaders, he’s one of our captains, so I think Lavonte is playing fine.”

Ironically, a particular number could support the claim. David is tied for the NFL-lead in forced fumbles with four and he’s recorded two over the last two games. As long as someone is finishing with a tackle, the Bucs would probably like to see the splash-play trend from David continue more than anything else.

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About the Author: Zach Shapiro

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]
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Naplesfan
Naplesfan
5 years ago

As usual, it’s some of the fans who don’t get it, and measure a player only by how many so-called “splash plays” he’s had lately. A lot of the work for many of the leaders in a team’s position groups is barely visible most of the time. As a point of comparison, the all time greatest Buccaneer linebacker – and many would say the all time greatest Buccaneer, period – was Derrick Brooks. Known for his hard hitting, his tackles, his INTs, and his overall intelligent play throughout a long career that got him into the Hall of Fame on… Read more »

Naplesfan
Naplesfan
Reply to  Naplesfan
5 years ago

Correction (my math error) – DB averaged 92.6 tackles/season over 14 seasons, slightly less than LVD to date.

chetthevette
chetthevette
Reply to  Naplesfan
5 years ago

Naplesfan, thanks for researching this for everyone. LVD is good, period. And he is locked up for 5 years. Greg Shiano was pretty good at recognizing good defensive players, not much else, but thanks anyways Greg.
I saw DB at a lightning game a couple of years ago and he said ” Lavonte is as good as I ever was”.
Of course DB is a class guy and would say that. Is he as good as DB? No, but who is.
I’m glad he is on our team.
GO BUCS

macabee
macabee
5 years ago

Newsflash. Chris Conte out Sunday. Bucs have re-signed S Major Wright to 53 roster.

seat26
seat26
5 years ago

David’s production was at the top of the tackles list until Alexander came along. He has definitely been less of a factor. Hopefully it is just a matter of him adjusting to the system.