David Will Struggle For VotesDecember 19th, 2013
A fun thing about Sunday’s Bucs-Lambs game is the meeting of Lavonte David and Rams stud, third-year defensive end Robert Quinn. His 15 sacks are second in the NFL.
These are two guys who absolutely should be in the conversation for the NFL Defensive Player of the Year.
No Buccaneer has won the award since Derrick Brooks in 2002. Warren Sapp took the honor in 2000, as did Lee Roy Selmon in 1979.
David is in the NFL record books for linebackers, with six sacks and five interceptions this season. He’s seventh in the NFL in solo tackles and fourth in overall tackles. And he’s got stout numbers of tackles for loss. But David’s going to have a hard time getting votes.
Bernie Miklasz, the longtime St. Louis Post-Dispatch columnist, penned a long piece this week backing Quinn for NFL Defensive Player of the Year but also explaining that guys on bad teams don’t get such honors. Here’s part of Miklasz’s case for Quinn: (Donald Penn may not want to read this.)
What Quinn did in Sunday’s win over New Orleans amounted to one of the best individual defensive performances I’ve seen in a long time.
Quinn led the Rams to a stunning 11-point upset in a variety of ways.
Quinn had two sacks.
He had four solo tackles.
He pressured Saints quarterback Drew Brees into the interception that set up the Rams’ first touchdown for instant momentum. That changed the game … immediately.
In addition to the two sacks Quinn had one hit and seven hurries for a total of 10 quarterback pressures.
Quinn forced two fumbles but was only credited with one. He recovered one of the fumbles.
Quinn has become so stout against the run that the Saints avoided his side of the field when trying to advance the football on the ground. They directed only one rushing attempt at Quinn. But his range was so vast that he made a couple of run-game tackles out of his area.
Quinn also drew a penalty and embarrassed the Saints’ left offensive tackle Charles Brown to the point of surrender. New Orleans coach Sean Payton benched the OT in the third quarter. And Payton will keep Brown benched for Sunday’s crucial game at Carolina, opting to start rookie Terron Armstead at LT.
You can read the entire column above.
Joe suspects David will have trouble getting votes, and there are a good handful of worthy candidates. Plus, the September debacle at the Meadowlands will hurt him greatly. That bias is likely evident in this BSPN fan poll on Defensive Player of the Year. It proposed eight candidates and David is currently running last.
There is no question that David ridding himself of the stench of the personal foul on Jets quarterback Geno Smith in the media capital of the world will take plenty of work unless the Bucs start winning. Case in point: Recently during his weekly segment with the one and only Chris “Mad Dog” Russo, the Custodian of Canton, eye-RAH! Kaufman of the Tampa Tribune remarked David was playing linebacker as well as anyone in the NFL. Russo responded, “Really?! He had that stupid play against the Jets.”
Good, bad or indifferent, unless the Bucs become contenders, David will have a near-impossible task of shedding that moniker. It’s sad, really.
However, if David can add to those interception and sack totals, and outshine Quinn on Sunday (a little help, Mr. Penn), then Joe would like David’s chances of bringing the treasured honor back to Tampa Bay.