Lavonte David: No. 5

May 26th, 2014

lavonte david 0213

The stat nerds over at Pro Football Focus continued (rather, finished) their countdown to the top 101 players in the NFL. It’s fun fodder to fill downtime in the NFL as training camp is roughly six weeks away.

(Joe is pretty sure, given the past history of the Bucs, and given what cornerback D.J. Moore said, that the Bucs’ first camp practice is July 25.)

When people say the Bucs could be the Chiefs of this season, it is because the Bucs really do have talent. Case in point, linebacker Lavonte David. The spreadsheeters believe David is the fifth-best player in the NFL and have a nice feature breaking down his game.

Here is an element of the story that stuck out for Joe:

Key Stat: Made 83 defensive stops, 21 more than the next best 4-3 OLB.

If there’s one number that shows the kind of player David is, it’s this one. Not all tackles are created equal. A tackle 10 yards down field on 3rd-and-7 isn’t a particularly useful play, but one at the line of scrimmage on 3rd-and-2 is. Defensive stops include any tackle that constitutes an offensive failure on the play. Short of the required distance on third and fourth downs, fewer than 40% of the required yards on first down, and so on.

David had 21 more stops than any other player at his position. In fact, he more than doubled the stop total for all but seven other 4-3 OLBs. David was making plays closer to the line of scrimmage than anybody else and did it without sacrificing his position in coverage, finishing just behind Carolina LB Thomas Davis at the top of the coverage grades for the position. In short, David was the perfect WLB in that 4-3 scheme in 2013, and may well have been every bit as good as Gerald McCoy in front of him.

That is pretty damned significant. Of course, to be fair, David had a lot of chances since the Bucs offense was woeful last year.

Joe never dreamed he would see another Derrick Brooks suit up for the Bucs, and Joe doesn’t even like to invoke Brooks’ name here because it really isn’t fair to David. But David is about as close to Brooks as any player is going to get.

Bucs fans enjoy and appreciate just what a stud of a linebacker David is, even though dopes, like this Browns fan, claim they never heard of him.

34 Responses to “Lavonte David: No. 5”

  1. brandonbucfan Says:

    @ Joe- I realize you get criticized a lot for “your opinions” even thought they do create a lot of fan reaction..(most of it good except when Pablo gets off). But this article is what we follow you for. Tremendous stats on #54. Thanks for providing them. As much as the national media avoids Tampa I think WE need to start talking him up more and giving him his due. To not even make the Pro Bowl was a joke. Interesting to see where he lands on the NFL top 100. How about a nickname for #54!?

  2. Scotty in Fat Antonio Says:

    Curious as to where they have Luke Kuechly rated.

  3. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    LVD is the saving grace for Mark Dominick….an unbelievable draft pick & great player for many years to come as a Buc.

  4. SteveBucsFan Says:

    Luke was in like the 40s or something, LVD is way better than Luke and its nice he gets recognition.

  5. OB Says:

    Joe, I am firmly convinced that the ONL reason he didn’t go to the Pro Bowl was “The HIT” in the first game period.

    In a way, this and Lovie plus crew will make him even better and if any one thinks that the coaches in the league don’t know about him and what is coming are just brain dead.

  6. Chef Paul Says:

    That jackwagon from the stinking Panthers is 75 spots lower than David at 80.

  7. rayjay1122 Says:

    Very soon LVD will be a known name amongst NFL fans everywhere and I predict he will finally be a pro bowler after this season. In fact the only reason I would wish he does not start in the pro bowl is because our Bucs are in the super bowl….I know that is wishful thinking but it is the goal after all. I do not see any reason other than anearly carerr ending injury that LVD and GMC would not both join Selmon, Sapp and Brooks in Canton. IMO. He is not a Brooks. He is LVD and will create his own legacy. Damn I cant wait until the season begins. This has been the longest off season ever, kind of like being a child on a drive to Disney asking are we there yet, how much farther? LOL

  8. BucsFan007 Says:

    Would like to see Him “Miked-Up” …… to see if he talks ‘smack’ like Brooks…..
    “You won’t get up next time!”

  9. Bucfan#37 Says:

    Nice info on one of the Bucs and the league’s best players.

  10. Chef Paul Says:

    I have to cut that Browns fan some slack. I’ve got two buddies that are huge football fans. They are Chiefs and Pats fans. We all kinda follow eachother”s teams. I bring up David now and then and they still never heard of him outside of me talking about them. Where would they hear about him? National media never talks about him. Sunday night highlights mention the Bucs for about 30 seconds, and it’s usually about how bad we are. No Bucs games to watch around these parts unless you have Sunday Ticket. I’m sure in AFC north Cleveland, it’s the same. Outside of Tampa, the only way to know about him is to actually search him out or be a Bucs fan.

  11. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Would love to see LVD play on all three teams….great at anything he attempts…..WR/TE/RB/KR/PR Gunner…..In his DNA!!!

  12. Harry Says:

    Hopefully this year that will start to change. Once Lovie gets the players he needs (i.e. a QB – lol) the Bucs will start to win and get into the playoffs and be relevant again to the national media. That would be so sweet!

  13. Jason Says:

    gmc #4
    Kuekley #80

  14. Kevin Says:

    David will get a lot of National attention this year. He’s a stud and has instincts like a wild animal. If I had to pick my favorite player on the Bucs roster right now it is David. Nothing against the other stars on our team but David is just NASTY!!!

  15. buc4lyfe Says:

    If he can post those numbers with a college coach running a high school scheme just imagine what a real coach could do with David, he’s earned national spotlight for his play but hasn’t gotten the respect yet

  16. Kevin Says:

    David will get a lot of National attention this year. He’s a stud and has instincts like a wild animal. If I had to pick my favorite player on the Bucs roster right now it is David. Nothing against the other stars on our team but David is just NASTY

  17. Chef Paul Says:

    LOL @ Harry.

    I aint going there on a David article. I’m sure Joe will give us all an opportunity to duke it out on that topic some time today.

    LVD will be a known name by NFL fans this time next year. Lovie is going to take this guy to an even a higher level.

  18. Architek Says:

    David is the complete player and the only and I mean only player to show for that draft class overall!

    National media will know him this year and if the Bucs win more but no doubt in the football world he’s respected and feared, who are the browns?????

  19. Harry Says:

    That is the even more exciting part for LVD: not only is he going to have better coaching but Lovie’s scheme is built for a player like David, just as it was for Brooks. I am very fired up about our D. I have no idea what the offense can do this season between an NFL newbie OC and QB coach, and questionable Oline and QB (sooooo many question marks). But we can bank on the D rocking – I predict a Top 5 D unit this year!

  20. tcaviar Says:

    @Architek maybe you didn’t see what Doug Martin did that year and Mark Barron is pretty nice too all around saftey

  21. lightningbuc Says:


    I’m shocked you’re still here. Are you just making a cameo here today from your usual gig over at

  22. stanglassman Says:

    Fewer and fewer fake Bucs fans coming on the comment section complaining the we didn’t draft the pile jumper LK.
    Guess it never dawned on Tiny Tim and Jason JBF maybe writing an article on the rest on the list and we may enjoy reading it instead of their post ruining the surprise.

  23. Rex Says:

    LVD should have made it to the probowl last year but got snubbed out and got first team all-pro and #5 on the top 101 in nfl so the reason he didn’t make it to the probowl is because he had people who don’t know football voting to go so you had all the bandwagons going. Such BS that LVD didn’t make the probowl

  24. Cody Says:

    You could make an argument (based on his numbers) that David was good enuff to make the ProBowl his first 2 years…If this team had managed to win a few more games I’m sure he woulda…for were we gottem Imo David may be Dominic’s best draft pick in 5 years as our GM…

  25. owlykat Says:

    Nice to have one topic we can all agree on. David did all that and did all the defensive calls too. He not only is very instinctive, he has a brilliant defensive mind to go with it. He is the perfect weak side LB for the Tampa Two. He is simply amazing and will even improve more with Lovie’s Coaching. He should be first string All Pro for the rest of his career.

  26. iamabuc Says:

    NFL 2014 Season……..Are we there yet??? ……lol

  27. tha truth is... Says:

    I would trade him 4 any draft pick or player. Tha Hall of Fame is waiting on him when his career comes 2 a close. Keep up tha superb work

  28. John23 Says:

    Most of my friends are big franchise fans like pats packers steelers etc… But when it comes to the bucs they are clueless always proud to pass some knowledge around and let them know our studs on the team 🙂

  29. PRBucFan Says:

    Luke is #80 I believe.

  30. PRBucFan Says:

    LK wasn’t even in their DPOY discussions.

    GMC and Lavonte were second and third runners up

  31. Dave Says:

    Not sure why do many bash Luke K. He is good. Yes Lavonte is better. But I would love LK at middle with Lavonte on outside.

  32. Vincente Says:

    I love this guy. He’s a SOLID FOOTBALL player…on Monday night last year I watched him get a safety and the place when nuts!!! I was right behind the bench and man did that place explode! Just keep your head down work and don’t worry about the attention, but honestly they know about em they just don’t talk about it. But this year they’re gonna be talking!

  33. PRBucFan Says:

    Bash? The kid has been given every accolade possible when clearly others have been better.

    Just tired of how overrated the kid is.

    He’s a good player but it is possible for good players to be overrated and LK is quite possibly as overrated as a player can get.

    DPOY really? Come on now lol

  34. BoJim Says:

    Can we stop talking about Luke K? And quit trying to give nick names to every one.