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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    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 his first vote.

    Yet, in the all time greatest Buccaneers season ever – our Super Bowl winning 2002 team – Derrick was down on his stats that year. DB managed to record “only” 87 tackles for the season (vs. 125 tackles two seasons before, when he’d averaged 117 tackles a season over a four year period), and just 1 sack. The only splash stat that year above his career average was INTs (5).

    Would anybody believe for one millisecond that Derrick Brooks had a down year on our Super Bowl winning team? The same guy who got a Pick Six in the world’s biggest game?

    Naw … not for a millisecond.

    btw – over his entire 14-season career, Hall of Famer DB averaged just under 100 tackles, 1.0 sacks, 1.8 INTs, and 0.3 FR per season.

    To date over about 4 2/3 seasons, LVD is averaging just under 94 tackles, 2.9 sacks, 1.8 INTs, and 1 FR a season. Not bad. Oh, and LVD – just like DB – does and did a lot of things on the field that don’t show up on a stat sheet. His coaches know that, of course.

    And keep in mind that DB had the same defense coached by the same DC (Monty Kiffin) throughout all but one season of his career. Whereas LVD is on his third defensive system and DC (maybe even his fourth DC given that Lovie Smith took over running the defense on game days last year), so he’s had to put up with some major changes in direction in his career to date.

    Not saying LVD = DB … but you have to put the stats in their proper perspective when evaluating a whole player.

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

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      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

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

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    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.

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