Bucs LB Lavonte David - Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR
As one would expect the week before the big decision of final cuts, Bucs head coach Dirk Koetter wasn’t as talkative this week, not wanting to answer the obvious question we’re all looking to know – who’s on the bubble for those last spots when the roster cuts down form 90 to 53.
But, amidst the questions of certain performances and which players will be getting more playing time come Thursday, Koetter did take the time to tell the media who his favorite player in camp has been thus far (unprovoked, by the way).
“The guy that’s quietly having a tremendous camp is Lavonte David,” Koetter said. “Lavonte didn’t have the best year he’s ever had last year, and he’s having a really good camp and people will be able to see it when we start playing.”
After recording three straight 100-tackle season, David was selected to his first Pro Bowl in 2015. But, due to the emergence of fellow linebacker, Kwon Alexander, David stats weren’t as bolstered in 2016. That caused him to miss out on the Pro Bowl, any yearly honors and caused him to fall out of the NFL Top 100 Players list for 2017.
This preseason, however, David is playing very well. He’s been a constant each game, and it was his tipped pass that gave Vernon Hargreaves his second interception during the contest against the Browns. David seems to be more comfortable and producing more this year than last.
“I’m not sure why (whether it’s familiarity with the system or something else), but, from my eyes, I’m seeing the guy out there that made the Pro Bowl.
Trevor Sikkema is the Tampa Bay Buccaneers beat reporter and NFL Draft analyst for PewterReport.com. Sikkema, an alumnus of the University of Florida, has covered both college and professional football for much of his career. As a native of the Sunshine State, when he’s not buried in social media, Sikkema can be found out and active, attempting to be the best athlete he never was. Sikkema can be reached at: email@example.com
David could be our sack leader if Mike Smith turns him loose and he just might based on what we have seen from the front four.
Maybe then he’d get the national recognition he deserves. He’s always been better than Kuechly, imo.
david was making alot of takles on alot of bad defenses. with more talent some players numbers will go down.i think david is going to have alot of splash plays this year. toward the end of last year he was playing real fast. stay healthy go bucs
Lavonte has been my favorite buc since we drafted him. His first career INT was on Payton manning. He’s at his best when he can freelance close to the line of scrimmage..I agree with skipper in that I think he is even a better edge rusher than RE Spence is. Always gets great burst off edge rushes. Lavonte was the best LB in the NFL when revis was playing in the secondary behind him. He’s been a saving grace through some very bad rosters/coaching regimes and he never misses a game (except for concussion).
This guy has produced with three different coaching staffs. Legit all pro and he is only 27 years old! Only 27! he has a good 6-7 years left in his storied career.
I remember when Lavonte blew the Jets game for us week 1 of his rookie season – he pushed ?mark sanchez? I think? Out of bounds at the end of the game, it was a clear penalty and it set the Jets up to make the game winning field goal. All I could think then was “for fuck sake”.
But holy hell did he redeem himself. Besides Gerald, he’s been the lone bright spot on this defense until Kwon showed up, and I almost feel bad that Kwon steals a little of his luster. But I don’t think David minds. He seems to be one of those quiet guys that doesn’t want the spotlight. I’ll take that any day of the week. I think he’s going to have a monster year.
Never really worried. I think the change of the defense may have slowed him down some. As the article stated he played very well last half of season.
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