Is Kwon Holding Back Lavonte?

October 20th, 2015
Is the lack of blitzes from Bucs OLB Lavonte David due to he is covering for MLB Kwon Alexander?

Is the lack of blitzes from Lavonte David  because he is covering for Kwon Alexander?

Prior to this season, you could make an argument that Lavonte David was the best outside linebacker in the NFL playing in a 43 defense.

This year? Well, David has been known for bad tackling more than anything else.

Afterr David signed a lucrative new contract this summer, Bucs coach Lovie Smith crowed how David was a “55 guy,” meaning five sacks and five picks a season.

That has not happened. Not even close. And leave it to the “Custodian of Canton,” eye-RAH! Kaufman of the Tampa Tribune, to offer a theory, so he explained on a recent podcast with Olivia Stacey.

“Lets be frank: We didn’t notice Lavonte David through the first four weeks of the season,” Kaufman said. “It was a continuing concern. ‘Where was the Lavonte David from a few years ago who seemed to be everywhere?’ …

“Look, the last guy Bucs fans need to be concerned about is Lavonte David and Gerald McCoy. McCoy has been solid; Lavonte has declined. He doesn’t see to be a guy who lets his contract go to his head and effect his work ethic. I do not feel that is the case. …

“He is so good in coverage, you tend to want him back there. … You have Kwon Alexander next to him as a rookie. So maybe they are a little reticent to take Lavonte out of the mix in coverage because Alexander is still finding himself as an NFL player.”

That’s a helluva point. For the record, the stat nerds don’t like Alexander, despite the fact he leads NFL linebackers in passes defensed with six.

Is a reason Alexander has so many passes defended because teams are targeting him? If Alexander is indeed struggling covering passes, then, yeah, Joe could see why Bucs coach Lovie Smith would want David back in coverage, if for no other reason than as a security blanket.

19 Responses to “Is Kwon Holding Back Lavonte?”

  1. destro44 Says:

    Here is a novel idea. If Kwon is struggling in pass coverage and teams are targeting him, why not just blitz him?

  2. D-Rome Says:

    I heard Mark Cook make this same exact point a week ago. I thought it was a very astute point. Cook’s point was that the past few years Lavonte David had been playing next to Mason Foster and, regardless of what one thinks about Foster’s skills, they worked well together.

    It sounds reasonable. I think most people can relate to the situation when they are working with someone for a number of years and then all of the sudden that person is replaced. There’s certainly an adjustment period.

  3. T in Orlando Says:

    IF this is true, it doesn’t explain David’s poor tackling. I’ve only been able to catch about half of the season so far, and seen about a half dozen examples where David had a ball carrier wrapped up, but the ball carrier got away from him, and none of those guys were an AP, Walter Payton, Jim Brown or Earl Campbell type.

    This may explain why David’s not behind the line of scrimmage more, but not the poor tackling. I’m a big LVD fan, but not brining average NFL starters down when he had them dead to rights, is on him, not scheme nor any other player.

  4. DefenseRules Says:

    Have read a number of articles leading me to believe that Alexander’s not excelling in pass coverage, especially not getting deep enough fast enough in the middle of the field. Maybe Lovie has Lavonte hanging back somewhat trying to compensate until Kwon does better. And from what I’ve seen so far this season, looks like other teams are definitely targeting Kwon’s are of responsibility more.

  5. DallasBuc Says:

    What’s the excuse for last year?
    The coaching is lousy

  6. P'cola Buc Says:

    Still can’t help but wonder that if this would be Lavonte’s “contract year” if he would somehow make his presence better known. It certainly worked out well for Doug Martin. That being said, the Bucs had no choice but to sign Lavonte considering his talent.

  7. JayKPatel Says:

    If Kwon is more becomes more reliable in the pass coverage, could you switch two, allowing Lavonte to blitz more naturally from the Mike?

  8. rjhurst813 Says:

    @ T,

    You ain’t lying, David has missed several big TFL’s (splash plays) this year. If he makes those tackles then we can put pressure in our blitz packages. Its simple, make the routine plays first, and the bigger plays will come. This team is constantly giving up too many yards after contact and on first downs.

  9. rjhurst813 Says:

    That’s on the players not their coaches!

  10. The Buc Realist Says:

    Don’t worry sheep (lovie loyalist), Lovie just figured out a couple of games ago that his front 4 could not get to the QB, so he just now started blitzing more!! and it only took 18 games to make the adjustment!!! so, maybe by game 9 of next year he will adjust another again to help his linebackers!!!

  11. tmaxcon Says:

    Lovie is holding back the entire organization. Blaming a rookie is asinine it’s the coaches responsibility to ensure they get the most out of the players and put each player in the best position to succeed. This defense stinks despite BS rankings because Lovie is a stubborn fool who can not and will not adjust his scheme to take advantage of the talent he has. Lovies scheme Lovies players Lovies the problem.

  12. Capt. Tim Says:

    Nothing explains David’s, Poor tackling, bad pass coverage, and being out of position except
    1) he got the big Money- now he’s just playing not to get hurt. (Doug Martin
    Next year). I dont Think thats it.
    2) He’s trying to do to much- because they gave him the big contract. This is
    What I believe.

    From my observations, He’s trying to hard. Trying for the big hit, torn in coverage between run and Pass defense, always trying to make the Big play.

    Kwon is playing very well. He makes his rookie mistakes- and he pays for them. Nobody is running to save him, nor have they needed to!

    Lavonte David finally loked relaxed against the Jags. If he just does his job, in Lovie’s great #5 ranked defense, he’ll be fine. And will be an intrical part of Lovie’s defense for Years to come!

  13. Joe Says:

    If Kwon is more becomes more reliable in the pass coverage, could you switch two, allowing Lavonte to blitz more naturally from the Mike?

    If Kwon becomes more reliable, no need to flip the two.

  14. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    Kwon is developing. That’s a novel concept for Realist and others like him.

    And he’s the only drafted defensive player in the last 2 years. DEVELOPMENT.

    When we address the defense in the next draft, it will get much better.

  15. Buccfan37 Says:

    Whatever has developed about LVD’s game to change the results I have to hold Lovie responsible. That’s clear to me.

  16. Buc1987 Says:

    BuccaneerBonzai …I sure hope Lovie can develop him. I’d hate to have to have Lovie bring in another ex-Bear to replace him, because he can’t teach. Not holding my breath though…

  17. Espo Says:

    Typically check downs go to a running back in the middle of the field. MLB simply has more opportunities to defend the pass.

  18. bucsbedabest Says:

    The point about Mason Foster was a solid one. Foster and LVD were together for three years. I also hate it when I hear the Bucs let Foster go because he was not good in coverage therefore did not fit the scheme? Well, Foster was rated the 6th best overall ILB in coverage last year by PFF. Foster had 62 tackles and 19 “stops” with 3 passes defended. Oh yea..he only had 6 missed tackles on the entire year. Guess who plays for the Redskins now? ILB Kwon ALexander is having difficulty coverin the middle of the field as well as his assigned gaps in the runnng game. He is hurting this team worse than anyone can see. He has the most missed tackles with 12 (S Bradley McDougald 7, OLB LVD 7) Why not split the playing time with Bruce Carter and see if that helps LVD. Carter has played well in limited playing time.

  19. Bucs Fanagement Says:

    Capt. Tim: “Lovie’s great #5 ranked defense…”

    That’s really picking numbers apart. Who cares if we allow the 5th fewest yards? That’s a bad stat, and as we all know & love Raheem, he said, “Stats are for losers.”

    We’re #31, just 0.2 points away from being the worst defense in the league in terms of allowing points. That’s the stat for now. Time for it to go up! Lavonte tacking better & Alexander growing will do that.