Best OLB Money Can Buy

August 17th, 2017


Yeah, it is easy to play fantasy football. But try putting together a winning team of stars and stay under the NFL-mandated team salary cap.

Thin-skinned and even thinner-haired spreadsheeter Bill Barnwell of BSPN decided to take a stab at it. And among his starters, Barnwell rubbed his bald dome and decided the best bang for the buck in choosing a starting outside linebacker is Lavonte David of the Bucs.

David tied with Donald for a league-leading 17 tackles for loss, a remarkable total for an outside linebacker who rarely rushes the quarterback. The Nebraska product is proving to be the rangiest linebacker in football and a worthy successor in Tampa Bay to Hall of Famer Derrick Brooks.

Now that stat Barnwell used (a stat!) got Joe’s attention. He wasn’t aware David was tied for most tackles for loss last season with the great Aaron Donald, and a few other defenders around the league. (Keep in mind most stat nerds don’t label a sack as a “tackle for loss.”)

Joe wonders whether defensive coordinator Mike Smith should take a page from former Bucs commander Greg Schiano and perhaps blitz David more?

26 Responses to “Best OLB Money Can Buy”

  1. orlbucfan Says:

    I was wondering why we haven’t heard more about LVD. Yeah, it’s preseason, but so what?! Hope Smith isn’t the problem here. Go Bucs!!

  2. cometowin2 Says:

    Yes!!! Blitz him more!!!

  3. orlbucfan Says:

    Smith needs to call a blitz starring LVD, Kwonster and GMC. Hopefully, he knows that tho sometimes I wonder?

  4. Harry in Costa Rica Says:

    YES! Schiano blitzing LVD drove up ALL of LVD’s stats. I think it gives David better focus in all areas of his play.

  5. bucsfaninchina Says:

    He was blitzing in preseason game 1. Also got burnt in coverage a couple times. Lavonte still leaves a lot of game to be desired, now playing second fiddle to Kwon

  6. 813bucboi Says:

    he was a beast when schiano had him blitzing….GO BUCS!!!!

  7. Cobraboy Says:

    I suspect both Koetter and Smith have not loaded their guns for the preseason games or public practices.

  8. BFFL Says:

    I think this Barnwell never watched a Bucs game and obviously hasn’t watch LVD. Classic example of false perception mixed with one stat line that doesn’t tell the whole story.

  9. Lamarcus Says:

    With all his short coming’s lvd is still the most talent 43 olb in the league.

  10. tmaxcon Says:

    lvd needs to figure out how to start fast. he has been MIA far too many times early last year and the year before.

  11. BucEmUp Says:

    Noah Spence should be playing back.there as well . Mike.Smith won’t do that it requires adapting. Watch how bad.this D gets.torched with slant routes tonight. Pretty bad the a top 5 unit with guys like.this. Mike.Smith will be screaming up in the booth on next weeks hard knocks as well

  12. tmaxcon Says:


    you clearly have mike smith confused with either the clueless one dimensional dungy or lovie smith those are the only two that were to ignorant to grasp all three phases of the game of football and or to ADAPT to anything outside of their conservative game plans that resulted in career losing playoff records.

  13. tmaxcon Says:

    lvd has NOT been consistent since shciano left. don’t blame the scheme or coaches for his now routine slow starts. like gmc he is a good but not great player. the bar has been risen

  14. stpetebucsfan Says:


    Actually Mike Smith has an excellent reputation for adapting to his personnel.

    As far as what the Jags do tonight in terms of game planning and calling…I could care less. It’s a MEANINGLESS game other than trying to find out which guys can play and which can’t…with some emphasis on the 1’s getting their timing down.

  15. Bucsfanman Says:

    I’m looking for LVD and all these guys to step up this year. Our time is NOW!!!


    Wait, did tmax just say gmc is good?

  17. mrgoops Says:

    According to Football Outsiders, David was also 2nd in the league (again) in defeats, which are sacks + TFLs.

  18. Pickgrin Says:

    LD54 and GMC both need to have career years for this team to get where it wants to go.

    Both are extraordinarily talented and making tons of $ to play like stars. So lets see it consistently.

    Its not a great look for LaVonte David to be heading into his 6th year when his best season by far was his 2nd in the league.

    Not trying to be negative – I think both these guys are cornerstones of our defense and likely will be for 3 or 4 more years at least.

    But for us to win Super Bowls – we NEED both these guys to play at their highest levels.

    The “stress” of trying to be “leaders” has been removed. Just get out there and PLAY – do your jobs consistently at the level your pay grade indicates you are capable of – and all will be good with our defense.

    This is not an admonition – just a statement of fact as to what is needed in order for this team to hoist a Lombardi trophy.

    I hope Smitty is delivering a similar message regularly.

  19. Pickgrin Says:

    Oh – and regarding the need to pretend to be leaders no longer existing –
    I’d like to see Ayers and Alexander with “C”s on their chests representing our defense this fall.

    Make the transfer of “leadership” official and place it with the true emotional leaders of this team.

  20. Pickgrin Says:


    There’s your Captains!

  21. Rod Munch Says:

    Agree with Joe on using David more to blitz. I still say he’s the best pass rusher on the team – at least from the edge, so use him in that role from time to time.

  22. stpetebucsfan Says:

    As always Pickgrin agree with your takes. I think all championship teams in all sports have more than just a few guys who have career years. It would be nice if LVD and GMC were among them.

    I think LVD is going to have a great year for the same reason as GMC…they are now surrounded by good talent and that rising tide will lift all boats.

    BTW…sometimes we forget that football is the ultimate team sport. One breakdown on the eleven can make the other ten look really bad.

    Nate Burleson broke down his top five cover corners this morning on Good Morning Football. He said something that I guess I knew but had taken for granted.

    As Burleson broke down these great CB’s….all of them very aggressive ball hawks…he gave major props to their DC’s for backing up the gamblers with a safety over the top to protect them when their chance taking blows up.

    I remember one play in the Cincy game where it looked like McClain got clowned until the Cincy announcers pointed out that it was actually Evans mistake at safety that caused that TD…not McClain’s play at corner.

    Sometimes the guy we think blew it is getting the blame because another part of the team broke down.

  23. godzilla13 Says:

    Lavonte David is the best OLB in the game with Kwon Alexander right on his heels. They both could blitz more and are both outstanding in coverage.

  24. Lord Cornelius Says:

    lol @ bucemup

    just lol.

  25. Big Marlon B Says:

    this should be no surprise, Lavonte is routinely among the league leaders in TFLs. Schiano’s 1st year when the Bucs were flat out dominant against the run, David and Michael Bennett both piled up TFLs.

  26. Rod Munch Says:

    Did you see that David sack tonight? That’s how he should be used – blitz him a few times again like the Bucs did with Ronde. He’s so quick and fast that it will just catch the other teams off guard like it did tonight. Sure, it was a blown pickup by the Jags, but the point is the sudden, and it was super sudden, blitz by David create the problem. If David is doing that a few times ago (not all game just pick some spots) then he’s going to pick up probably 7-9 sacks and cause havoc.