You Have To Use Your Head!

September 8th, 2013

Joe just came from the Bucs locker room and will have quotes later, including some from Bucs stud linebacker Lavonte David.

The second-year man out of Nebraska had a memorable game. Too memorable in fact. David had three tackles, five assists and two tackles for a loss. He was all over the field. But it was his pursuit of Jets rookie quarterback Geno Smith that will be remembered for years.

Smith was flushed out of the pocket on a desperation play with the Bucs up by two points and the clock ticking down to zero. Smith just got out of bounds at midfield to kill the clock and give the Jets one last glimmer of hope.

But in pursuing Smith, who stepped out of bounds, David shoved Smith in the back. Given how the NFL and referees are just looking to throw a flag on someone coughing on a quarterback, David’s shove, while harmless, was just enough for a zebra to grab his yellow hankie and toss it in the air.

Personal foul on David. That’s a 15-yard penalty. What would have been fourth down and a forced Hail Mary (or a 60+yard field goal attempt) was now a first down on the Bucs-30 yard line.

And of course, the ensuing 48-yard field goal by Nick Folk was good and the Bucs had victory grabbed from their hands.

Look, Joe loves David. He’s one of Joe’s favorite players. But you just do not, cannot, allow a referee a chance to throw a flag in that situation. Smith was out of bounds. There was no need to even try to tackle him. He had to run out of bounds to kill the clock or the game was lost (or won by the Bucs).

It simply was a brain-dead, stupid penalty. There really is no way to sugarcoat how bad that was.

David is a fantastic player. But each and every Buccaneer must know and understand the circumstances at every given down, especially when the clock is ticking down.

David may have won some games for the Bucs last year as a rookie. He likely will win some games for the Bucs in the future. But today, he blew a game.

50 Responses to “You Have To Use Your Head!”

  1. Couch Fan Says:

    Love you LVD but dam that was a horrible horrible mistake.

  2. Jesse Says:

    On another point, people defending David’s penalty by noting that Geno Smith had been cutting back inside for extra yards near the sidelines all day, there were seven seconds left in the game and no Jets timeouts. Geno had to get out of bounds and he knew that. David knew that. it was unfortunate, but inexcusable.

  3. Alex2013 Says:

    Was Geno Smith out of bounds before the contact?

  4. bucrightoff Says:

    He did not cost them the game. The game should never have been in that position to begin with. All last year we asked for a defense with our offense. Today our offense did not get the job done. David’s mistake was bad, but it should have never been in that position.

  5. RichinNC Says:

    Bad play by David. But on the other hand he was just keeping the third down penalty train going. Can’t fault a guy for that now can we?

  6. Free(Agent)Man Says:

    This is one of those things that you don’t have to worry about week after week. It was a stupid mistake, and shouldn’t happen again.We probably would of had the ugliest win in the history of the NFL, but let’s not forget the real reason we are all pissed…

  7. lightningbuc Says:

    I’m sorry LVD that you play with a below average QB ,that made the play at the end of the game way more important than it should have been. Let’s not forget, he intercepted a ball in the first half, only to have JFro give it right back by overthrowing Vjax by 15 yards.

  8. BucFanInArkansas Says:

    Joe, I’ll just assume that you were busy running down interviews and putting up posts, so I’ll excuse your error. But go back and look at the down-the-sideline angle… Smith was still inbounds when LVD pushed him. (Note: “pushed”, not “hit”.)

  9. Jeff Says:

    Guys and girls listen. This was a horrible loss, but it is also week 1. I hope we learn alot from this game. I’m tired of playing at other teams levels. We have got to play lights out Bucs ball. Any given Sunday a pro team can win. That all being said this sets up next week very nicely. All South teams lose but the Saints. All Bucs fans rise up and we will show what power is all about. I will be there, and we all remember how we lost in the last seconds last year at home to the Saints. It will not happen again. Be ready for another Bucs team to rise to the occasion, and play the game that we all bleed. Watch out saints for we all have your numbers. Tampa Bay ill see you next week! My honest opinion if we would have won it would have been ugly and maybe we dont fix. I would rather lose now and fix. Alot of football left but we need all ready for next week. Game 1 is behind us. Go Bucs!

  10. BFFL Says:

    Very strange game. sloppy just like the preseason. It’s inexcusable int with a 14-5 lead on 3rd and long. Inexcusable to not blitz when Gino is throwing out of his own end zone. Inexcusable to hike the ball into the end zone.

  11. William Says:




  12. Miracle Says:

    @Couch Fan. I agree with you here.. ha.

    I’d still buy and proudly wear a David jersey.

  13. Joe Says:

    Was Geno Smith out of bounds before the contact?

    You are missing the point. You don’t even touch him. He didn’t need to be tackled, he was headed/already out of bounds. You don’t give the refs a chance to throw a flag on that play. It was completely unnecessary on every level.

    Smith was headed out of bounds because that was his only prayer of keeping the game alive.

  14. Niko Says:

    I saw way too much today to come down that hard on David. The safety was the true difference in the score.

  15. Travis Says:

    Arkansas is right. Smith was in bounds and even if he was heading out, a minor shove of a player in bounds should not result in 15 yards in the situation under any circumstances. The refs should have also known the situation and known that by throwing a flag on such a soft push would hand the game to the Jets. Refs are meant to be fair and invisible, not decide games, which is what happened there.

  16. Travis Says:

    All good points @Jeff. I’ll have to sleep this one off a bit before I can appreciate them though… I hope you’re right.

  17. Couch Fan Says:

    Agreed there were so many questionable calls by the refs, along with the headset issue… it just makes you wonder

  18. tonytwocents Says:

    David played his heart out. There’s no way this game is on him. What I want to know is where the blitz packages were. Geno should have been eatin grass all day. And we went with a 3-man rush waay too many times! That little punk had too much time on too many plays.

  19. lightningbuc Says:

    Yeah, couchfan, if the calls on the secondary are going to become commonplace, I’m done watching. Just play flag football!

  20. Jared Says:

    I see everyone talking about the push at the end, but am I the only one that saw their RT completely holding (Bowers I think?) before he turned the corner to run? If anything, the penalties should have offset. The zebras were missing lots of calls today.. BLATANT ones!

    What about the suplex on Eric Page? I didn’t know I was watching the WWE. No flag there though…

  21. WestCoastBucsFan Says:

    Feel bad for Lavonte. The guy was about to cry after that on the sidelines. They showed a close up and he had red watery eyes.

    This game is not on Lavonte and the defense. It is firmly on the coaching staff and the offense.

  22. Joe Says:

    But go back and look at the down-the-sideline angle…


    Smith HAD to run out of bounds to save the game for the Jets. Any remotely close hit on a quarterback is likely going to draw a personal foul. If you don’t know this, you haven’t watched Bucs games the past year much less the NFL. You let Smith go. YOU DO NOT put a referee in position to throw a flag, which is exactly what happened.

    No one on the Bucs needed to pursue Smith on the play. If Smith didn’t run out of bounds, the game was over.

  23. Joe Says:

    There’s no way this game is on him.

    Really? His bonehead play gave the Jets a chance of kicking the game-winning field goal. Who was at fault on the play, Michael Smith?

  24. Jordan Says:

    It appeared that Geno had yet to step on the white sideline as David initiated contact. However, it’s best to assume that refs aren’t perfect, and one must avoid these situations. Especially when the risk is a 15 yard penalty, and the reward in NOTHING! David gains nothing from pushing him at that close proximity to the side-line.

  25. Andy Roberts Says:

    David did the right thing. If Smith cuts back and turns it up field and covers 15 yards in 5 seconds, NJ still hits a game-winning field goal. Same game. David has to push him out of bounds. It’s the right play and it’s not David’s fault the NFL doesn’t discourage flopping.

    And yes I meant NJ. There’s only a few New York pro teams and none of them play in the NFL.

  26. Touchdown Gus Says:

    I don’t even think this was a “stupid play” how many times have we seen running quarterbacks run towards the sideline and the turn it up field for a few more yards. Every inch counts and David barely pushed him. He had to make sure geno did not get any extra yards. The call is ridiculous and the rule needs to be examined. If that had been a running back instead of a quarterback no way that call is made. Running backs going out a bounds get shoved that exact same way ALL THE TIME. And to let a play that decide the game is criminal

  27. Stanglassman Says:

    The NFL is getting to be a bit like Boxing when a small market team plays a large market team. I know LJ and the rest of the def got a hear full about letting Geno fake like he was going out of bounce only to cut it back inside so LD thought he was doing the right thing giving him a little push to make sure he continued going out. All the national guys watching the highlights will not understand the circumstances to lead to why David did that they will just say what Joe did you cant push him and give the refs the excuse the throw the flag. Refs should not call that period.

  28. daniel Says:

    Really hate on david he did what anyone would do make sure dude was out of bounds he barley touched him “geno smith” with a push that was New York winning with all the ref love watch the game you will see it hardly a game losing mistake. its bullshit. nuf said L. David stay up we need you.

  29. Joe Says:

    I don’t even think this was a “stupid play” how many times have we seen running quarterbacks run towards the sideline and the turn it up field for a few more yards.

    That’s what David should have let Smith do. Bucs would have won.

    Instead, David allowed the referees to throw a flag to protect a quarterback, mandated by Goodell.

  30. Touchdown Gus Says:

    So joe if geno turns it up field get 5 more yard and gets out of bounds I would be looking at Lavonte as the real goat. His responsibility is to make sure the man is ran out of bounds. DAVID DID NOT HIT HIM! I could barely call that a push

  31. Joe Says:

    It’s the right play and it’s not David’s fault the NFL doesn’t discourage flopping.

    So David should blatantly ignore NFL rules because he thinks they are stupid??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

    If that was the case, there would be penalties on every play. Geez, man.

  32. BucFanInArkansas Says:

    “DOES. NOT. MATTER… If you don’t know this, you haven’t watched Bucs games the past year much less the NFL… YOU DO NOT put a referee in position to throw a flag, which is exactly what happened.”

    First off, I haven’t missed a Bucs game since returning from South Korea in ’98, so I don’t appreciate the insinuation that I’m uninformed after 15 straight years of viewing. I’m fully aware of the safety-conscious aspect of officiating these days.

    HOWEVER, there needs to be some level of objectivity that goes into would SHOULD have happened (let him run out of bounds) versus what DID happen (he was LEGALLY contacted while in the field of play and while advancing the ball).

    Secondly, it seems to me that the Buccaneers are consistently on the wrong end of these kinds of game-changing calls (see: KW2’s non-pushoff vs Detroit) and I wouldn’t be at all surprised to learn that we’re on the receiving end of an official apology later this week. We lead the league in those.

  33. SeanyMac in SC Says:

    Looked like pre-season game #5. What garbage. Helmet issues..really. Coaching have got to get these boys tightened up and in a big hurry. Brees is coming to town. No rookie QB to help the Bucs cause next week.

  34. tonytwocents Says:

    “Really? His bonehead play gave the Jets a chance of kicking the game-winning field goal. Who was at fault on the play, Michael Smith?”

    We had bonehead plays all day. Unfortunately, it ended with LVD making what was probably his only mistake. Yeah it was big, but then you could go back to that 2-pt safety bonehead play, which would have shaved off two points.

    It’s like when a brawl breaks out, he was the last one caught swinging, but that doesnt tell the entire story of what took place.

  35. Mark Sanchez's Hairband Says:

    Blew the game?????? The bucs blew this game long before Lavonte’s push.

  36. lightningbuc Says:

    Joe has officially jumped the shark. This is like blaming a FG kicker if he misses a 40 yarder at the end of a 3-0 game. What about the first half when Lavonte intercepted a pass, only to have JFro overthrow vincent by 15 yards and give them the ball back in Bucs territory, leading to a last minute touchdown?

  37. BamBamBuc Says:

    I have to agree… it was THE play, and therefore David has to bear the brunt of it. Without that penalty, the Bucs likely win. It would be much the same as if Ogletree dropped a pass on 4th down in the last minute of a game that would have gained enough yards for a first down and put us in FG range down by 1 or 2… Ogletree would be THE main goat because of THAT one play. Yes, there were many plays before that one that also impacted the game, but none to the extent that ONE play did. Doesn’t matter if you think it was legal or illegal or excessive or not, fact is the penalty was called. David could have simply maintained position on him, giving no choice but to go out of bounds without touching him. That would likely have been game over.

  38. Couch Fan Says:

    There were many plays and lack there of that culminated in a jets 1 point victory. To excuse all the other sloppy play before that point is insane. LVD just happened to of made the last bad play… not the only. It’s ridiculous to blame him LMAO

  39. BamBamBuc Says:

    Why not, couch? That’s what all last year was for Freeman. He gives us a lead late in the 4th, the D gives the game away, but all everyone talks about is the one low pass on third down, or a run play when the headset went out, or whatever. Why different now?

  40. Greg Says:

    All of the Bucs apologists need yo STFU. That was the most egregious screw up. How can a professional make that mistake. This loss is absolutely on him.

  41. Pete 422 Says:

    Alex, yes Gino Smith was already out of bounds.

  42. BamBamBuc Says:

    Doesn’t anyone remember RGIII doing the exact same thing last year without the penalty? How about Nick Foles rushing td or first downs? Giving up an 11pt 4th qtr lead against those Eagles? Though not rookie qbs, 4th qtr losses to the giants, falcons?

  43. Andy Roberts Says:

    Joe Says:
    So David should blatantly ignore NFL rules because he thinks they are stupid??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

    If that was the case, there would be penalties on every play. Geez, man.


    What exactly are you saying? I’m not sure what that even means. Maybe you forgot a word? Focus on writing and less on question marks my friend.

  44. Matt Says:

    If David exercises a second of thought and pulls up,the game is over with a Bucs win.

    Instead, he’s forever branded as the guy who was so stupid that it cost his team a victory.

  45. BucFanInArkansas Says:

    No, Alex2013, he was NOT out of bounds when pushed from behind.

  46. Just A Juggalo Says:

    I was going to make a post game comment but I didn’t want to get flagged, ejected and fined for piling on.

    The problem with the LVD penalty was that he hit the QB after the whistle. Ref’s will flag that play 99 times out of 100 and that is not a “new” rule. Unnecessary roughness is just that, unnecessary. 15 yards no question.

    Joe is absolutely correct.

    This fish stinks from the head down.

  47. BamBamBuc Says:

    Just a thought about the NFL and the “hit out of bounds” rule… If a guy is running towards the sideline and is hit “at the same time” as his first foot touches out of bounds, that should NOT be a penalty. Until that first foot touches, he his still IN bounds. If he is hit when (or after) his second foot comes down, that I understand. If a guy is tightroping the sidelines, trying to maintain his balance IN bounds, it should NOT be a penalty for a hit OUT of bounds (yet I’ve seen it called). They really need to DEFINE these rules better and not leave it to a “judgement” call by the refs. I also think penalties should be allowed to be challenged and be reviewed by the booth in the final 2 minutes. Not saying LVD didn’t hit Geno Smith out of bounds, but it was not like he was 2 steps and a couple yards out…. it was almost simultaneous with his first foot touching out, even though it was several feet out of bounds.

  48. Alex2013 Says:

    He touched the player before he was out of bounds…Clearly a legal touch…I want David to play 100% all the time…

  49. Hawaiian Buc Says:

    As I’ve said, it was a penalty in today’s NFL, every single time. Especially against the Bucs. That being said, it did bring up a memory I had. During high school, I went to watch Steve McNair play in college. I distinctly remember a play where he scrambled and started to run out of bounds. The defender layed off, McNair stopped, cut back, and gained another 30 yards because defense gave up thinking he was going to go out of bounds. It’s a tougher thing to do that we think, because everything is going so damn fast, and you are playing a very aggressive game. I’m not excusing him as it was stupid within the situation, but probably not as dumb as most of us (including myself originally) think.

  50. Joke Says:

    You’re being a dumbass here. The flag was only 15 yards, yet you’rr arguing LVD should’ve encouraged him to get more yardage. Let’s say Smith cuts it up and gets 10 more yards (he still had plenty of time – 7 seconds) and then they kick the winner. Then you’re calling LVD the goat too.

    This game is too damn fast and not making a play entails too much risk for you to be here complaining about a guy who made what appears to have been a legal play.