Koetter Thinks Lavonte Criticism Is Stats-Based

November 29th, 2016
Joe firmly disagrees with Coach Koetter on Lavonte David.

Joe firmly disagrees with Coach Koetter on Lavonte David.

Joe was spotted last night running head first into blunt objects.

The reason? Dirk Koetter’s take on criticism of Lavonte David.

Koetter was asked David’s game against Seattle on the heels of a rough season at his news conference yesterday, and Koetter expressed his rejection and disbelief of the premise.

“You guys have been asking me about this every week, been asking ‘Smitty’ [Mike Smith] about it – I’m not sure what the answer is,” Koetter said. “Lavonte made the play of the day yesterday. In the Kansas City game, it was [safety] Chris Conte who made the play of the game and this week it was Lavonte David. [Cornerback] Vernon Hargreaves made a nice tackle on [Seattle tight end] Jimmy Graham, got the ball out, made a nice return. Different guys play a little bit different every week – we’re not complaining one bit about Lavonte David. So, I don’t know where it’s coming from, it’s all numbers-based. I don’t really look at it that way, I just look at it, if the guy’s trying to play our defense, he’s one of our leaders, he’s one of our captains, so I think Lavonte is playing fine.”

Here’s a disconnect. First, so much of David’s giant contract, $10 million per year, was based on numbers, aka stats. So Koetter has to understand that fans — and the league — are dialed into David’s lost production.

He used to be a guy leading the NFL in tackles and sacking quarterbacks and intercepting passes. He’s not that guy this year. David has zero picks and 44 solo tackles this season. David had over 100 solo tackles in each of his first three seasons, 85 last year, and 44 this year. David has 13 assists on tackles this year. He had 62 last season.

Second, Joe could go to the film and point out times this season when David wasn’t exactly giving maximum effort.

David isn’t having a great year. Joe respects Koetter immensely, but David hasn’t been the player the Bucs are paying for.

26 Responses to “Koetter Thinks Lavonte Criticism Is Stats-Based”

  1. NutterBuccer Says:

    Hopefully it’s just a down year, maybe it’s the contract, maybe the passing of his mother in the off season? Maybe the fact that Kwon Alexander is a beast and Daryl Smith is there making plays as well. In all honesty it use to be David and David only making plays for several years, now he has help around him and many players have elevated there game. Let’s just hope he bounces back to that 140 tackles a year next year. As long as we win I don’t care.

  2. DislocatedBucsFan Says:

    But GMC has? I don’t see it Joe. I agree with you on the numbers drop off but there is probably more than meets the eyes there. I have seen the effort or lack there of. That can be coached. I think the tackle drop off is more scheme related. Before I get jumped on by all the GMC die hards. GMC makes 1 mil per game. He has been a non-factor in many of the previous games. He had a great game last week. If that continues, then he deserves accolades, but a tackle a game won’t cut it. Ill even play devils advocate here. Maybe GMC’s lack of production is also scheme related. I am not sure but I can recall several plays where he was blown out his gap assignments. He and David need to get off blocks and make tackles.

  3. ElioT Says:

    Huge disappointment this year.

    When dude’s making $10mil and he’s virtually invisible, that’s a problem.

    Maybe he’s injured or something but he’s got to flash more and make impact plays consistently to warrant his contract.

  4. orlbucfan Says:

    No advice. Sorry. Gotta be on your end.

  5. Pit Says:

    A little by of double standard there Joe don’t you think? When you compare to GMC. Anyway are we sure that is kwon calling the plays for def?i saw LVD trying to align the def and he got pissed at them and then DK called a timeout.
    And to me it seems like the effort is there even though he said he run out of gas on that return maybe his physical condition is not there.

  6. Ed Says:

    He doesn’t look as fast or as hard a hitter as his first 3 seasons. Right now Bradley McDougal is hitting harder than David.

    Bucs have bad luck when it comes to signing their draft picks to big contacts later. They seem to take a step backwards as evidenced by Martin, McCoy and David. Verner hasn’t played up to his free agent deal.

  7. mike10 Says:

    We have this issue where once we pay someone, they vanish! The next step in our teams progression has to be those players continuing to produce. I’m worried once Evans gets that money he will vanish like David, McCoy, Martin, etc

  8. orlbucfan Says:


  9. Bill Says:

    ^^ Everybody has that issue, except the Pats who are wise enough to acknowledge it.

  10. D-Rome Says:

    Perhaps Lavonte David is doing *everything* the coaching staff is asking him to do.

    This Lavonte David criticism reminds me of the Barrett Ruud criticism from years ago. Fans used to get on Ruud for his stats and the fact that he wasn’t Ray Lewis (reminds me of the Sapp to McCoy arguments). It seems people got caught up in this “Lavonte is the next Brooks” talk. Koetter has not been shy with putting players on blast before. If Lavonte David was not playing up to the coaching staff’s standards I’m sure we would have heard about it by now. Yes, his numbers aren’t impressive but none of us sit in the linebacker meeting rooms. They are likely pleased with exactly what he is doing.

  11. orlbucfan Says:

    I think LVD criticism is fulluva it!! He needs to call the d alignments. Kwon does not have LVD’s experience. He does have the talent.

  12. meh Says:

    GMC’s lack of production? He’s leading the league in sacks for a DT. You anti-GMC guys crack me up sometimes.

  13. Patrick in VA Says:

    Honestly, the defense is humming. I’m not sure what he’s being asked to do. Perhaps it’s not a defense that features him as a focal point and needs him to be a strong role player in the capacity that he’s being used. I’m not seeing him getting beat on a bunch of plays, I’m not seeing him missing a bunch of tackles. Maybe it just means that he is being used in a way that covers up other blemishes which allows different players to shine.

    That’s all speculation. I certainly don’t know. But there’s a chance that could be the case. As long as they keep playing the way they have been on a consistent basis, I’m not going to pick nits over whether he’s the super star or someone else.

  14. gotbbucs Says:


    These guys get their big contract and then let up a little. Martin? David? Dotson?
    It’s not a coincidence, and it’s not only a Buccaneers problem, it’s league wide.

  15. Lord Cornelius Says:

    “GMC makes 1 mil per game.”

    He makes $13 mil per year; not $16. Suh makes $19 mil. Consistently ranked as a top 5 DT by every national writer / analyst / etc who studies film & the game. Will be ranked again this year. Worth every freakin penny when guys like Josh Norman are making close to $20 mill and Oliver Vernon gets 8 sacks and now makes $17 mill. Malk Jackson at $17. Fletcher Cox is like $17 as well. For the premiere d-linemean of this era he’s one of the best deals. Aaron Donald will probably cost $20 mill after his rookie deal.

    McCoy must be paying his entire salary to some huge insane corporation that is making sure the entire NFL world thinks he’s a top 5ish DT. At worst he’s top 10 DT. That’s seriously the only explanation that would make sense of anyone saying he’s a average to below average DT. And all the quotes from other teams that say they key their O-line prep on him every game – must all be lies right.

  16. Curt T Says:

    Where was all the talk when he got robbed of a pro bowl spot his first 3 years? Oh ok I’ll wait

  17. Bucsfanman Says:

    No, no, no Lord Cornelius!!! The post is about LVD so it HAS to be McCoy’s fault. AND stop trying to make sense! We will have none of that here.

    There’s no disguising the FACT that LVD is having a bad year. It is what it is. As long as we’re winning, I don’t care.

  18. Defense Rules Says:

    Far too many Bucs fans remind me of a group of kittens playing with a ball of yarn. Introduce a couple other balls of yarn into their play time, and voila … they’re all over the place. This one started with Lavonte David, then presto, another ball of yarn (GMC) gets thrown in there, and eventually Martin & Verner. Fact is, the Bucs’ T-E-A-M is playing some good defense right now. Some good, complementary defense right now. Lavonte’s playing within the defensive scheme that Mike Smith has designed for the T-E-A-M and since I don’t see anyone running over him, I’d guess that he’s doing pretty danged well. Don’t complain about what ain’t broke.

    And for everyone hung up on how much individual players make, that’s really between Bucs management & the player. No doubt in my mind that quite a few teams would’ve been willing to pay GMC and David what they’re making now IF they had the opportunity to wrestle them away from the Bucs. Shortly, the same will be true for Evans, Jameis and several other Bucs players. It’s not the fans’ job to worry about the payroll, salary cap or whatever. That’s management’s job. If Licht & company screw it up it’ll be reflected in our season records, just like it has been for the last 15 years.

  19. DB55 Says:

    second, Joe could go to the film and point out times this season when David wasn’t exactly giving maximum effort
    Really?!?! Pit decoy gets a pass once again. Okay, whatever works. Smh

  20. Bucsfanman Says:

    “And for everyone hung up on how much individual players make, that’s really between Bucs management & the player”

    It is far and away one of more ridiculous arguments used. Players are paid market value for production and experience. The money does NOT come out of our pockets, so why argue the point?
    Good post by the way. We’re so focused on ONE guy all the time. It takes ELEVEN, it takes a TEAM. If individual stats are down but the team is winning, does it really matter?!

  21. unbelievable Says:

    Agreed with you for the most part @ defense.

    I will say however, there has seemed to be a few plays especially in the earlier part of the season where LVD did not look like he was playing hard– Jogging towards opponents and whiffing on tackles. That being said, I think the scheme moves more plays awayy from him which is the main reason his stats are down.

  22. LongSeason Says:

    Alley beaten? I prefer curb-stomped myself.

  23. Luv54 Says:

    Really?? A team captain not playing hard. This article is nonsense. If you understand the game you will see that the SS is being used to cover tight ends which LVD used to do alot and also he is taking on more blocks in the run game to free up the Mike linebacker. The defense is designed this way LVD is fine!!!!

  24. wesley Says:

    Hardy Nickerson was the one coach they should have retained.

  25. Rod Munch Says:

    It is stat based – but it’s also the defensive scheme. David’s position just isn’t that important in Mike Smith’s defense, he’s not a focal point, he’s just another player – and that’s a huge waste. Figure out what to do with the guy – he is an amazing pass rusher from the LB spot, we know that, so get him rushing the QB. If you need to move him on 3rd down as an edge rusher, than do so. David is a special talent but I do think he needs to be involved to be that special player – and this year he’s kind of just been on the fringe.

    Also Wesley you’re right, I don’t get why they fired Hardy, the guy had done amazing things as a LB. I get they changed coaches, but what coach doesn’t want someone like Hardy that has done amazing things already very quickly in his NFL career. I hated that firing at the time and still do.

  26. Trubucfan22 Says:

    Joe, you do not know what the coaching staff is asking David to do. His role in this years defense is different compared to any of the past defenses he’s played in.

    Kind of like how you always criticize the stat geeks, you do not know what David is being asked to do on each play. So you have no room to criticize him.

    Yes, the production isn’t there like it normally is, but that does not mean David is doing a poor job. He might be doing his job perfectly. That’s the thing you don’t know. If koetter and Smitty are happy with the way David is playing, then what is the fuss? The defense is playing outstanding as of late. Nit picking because David isn’t leading the league in tackles is petty. But by all means, continue to bash your head in. You won’t see me trying to stop you from you doing that.