The Bucs’ Tackling All-Pro

February 3rd, 2018

There’s the eyeball test, and then there’s the pure, objective NextGen tracking data of NFL players.

They don’t always match up.

That was the focus of writers Chris Wesseling and Matt Harmon this week.

They had the very neat idea to let Wesseling pick his personal All-Pro team the old fashioned way. Harmon countered by picking the league’s best players using NextGen data, which tracks all kinds of player metrics via technology in balls and uniforms.

Not one Buccaneer made the list in the eyeball evaluation, however, Harmon’s scrutiny of the NextGen stats led Lavonte David to be ranked as one of the three best linebackers in the NFL, alongside Luke Kuechly (Panthers) and Deion Jones (Falcons).

David was one of the few bright spots on an otherwise-uninspiring Buccaneers defense. He was a strong tackler, allowing running backs to gain just 2.26 yards on average after he’d close within 1 yard, ranking second among linebackers.

Now there’s a lot more to playing linebacker than locking down running backs when they’re withing one yard of you, but that’s certainly very important and it means David is an efficient tackler. The tracking data does not lie.

It’s still a negative mind-blower, though, that David finished the 2017 season with just one pass defensed, zero interceptions and zero sacks. Why did that happen? It’s too easy to just blame Mike Smith.

20 Responses to “The Bucs’ Tackling All-Pro”

  1. Easy Says:

    David is by far our best LB and a top OLB in the NFL. It’s baffling that he had zero sacks or pass breakups but he did force AND recover 5 fumbles.

  2. Bird Says:

    Favorite player Hands down

  3. tmaxcon Says:

    It’s a shame lvd will play his entire buc career without a single meaningful win. He can thank the glazer clowns a nd cancer93 for that honor. 2018 = 4-12

  4. Doctor Stroud Says:

    It’s “mind blowing” that the Bucs had the chance to draft Luke Kuechly and chose Mark Barron instead. Yes, I am still mad about that!

  5. SB Says:

    Well Dr, if we had taken Kuechly then we wouldn’t have drafted LVD and Kuechly has had a few concussions already. He probably won’t play another 3 yrs.

  6. Lamarcus Says:

    Unlike GMC. Lvd doesn’t need the media nor any Co signers to know how good he is. Lvd imo was are best player. He had a couple bad games a few far in between Lvd is MVP

  7. BucEmUp Says:

    None of the wrs are even close to being in the vicinity of our LB’s. AGAIN…..the damn db’s are playing 12 yards off the line of scrimmage. When you do that there is nothing to keep the pass catchers form running right past the LB’s before they can determine its a pass. Every single failure on this defense is a result of poor coaching and having the entire secondary out of position and playing predictably. I could round up a group of accountants and maintenance men and put together an offense that could complete passes against this defense.

    Maybe if for ONCE IN A FREIKING LIFETIME we could see our corners pressing at the line across the entire field the WR’s wouldn’t be able to stretch the field 15 yards within the first three seconds of the ball being snapped and our LB’s could get more involved with keeping the play from developing, while also giving the pass rush enough time to even breath on the QB.

    This is common sense holy hell!!!!! Instead we get to continue to watch Mike Smith destroy every chance this team has at success.

  8. Ndog Says:

    SB that is garbage we could have drafted both and had the best LB tandem in the NFL for a decade. Plus 3 years of Luke would have better than anything we got out of Barron. That is another one that we blew that I thought was obvious at the time yet we didn’t do it. Like we shouldn’t have drafted the second best RB on a college team in the top 10 with Caddie especially when Aaron Rodgers was sitting right there and we needed a QB. Then we also drafted Gaines Adams (RIP) over AP. This team just makes one desicion after another.

  9. Ndog Says:

    Then for this regime we drafted Hargraves, pass on all RBs and D lineman last draft when those are the two most glaring needs. It’s like these guys just pick players with no clue of what this team even needs.

  10. SB Says:

    Ndog there is no way we use the first two picks on LB. Especially not with a need at Safety. I am happy with LVD. Not however with the Barron selection

  11. Pickgrin Says:

    LVD is a stud LBer – and quite the bargain at $8.75M this year.

    Despite Joe harping on the lack of sacks and PDs – LD54 was playing at a pro bowl level the 2nd half of the season once he got past that nasty ankle injury that sidelined him for 3 straight weeks.

  12. Mike Johnson Says:

    The Bucs have very few Hard hitters. We had them once upon a time..W-A-Y back in the day. David has played pretty solid. But we don’t have a mean Defense. The kind where teams go…Man, we gotta face that tough Buc defense. Our defense is not respected. You really know that when opposing coaches smatter your DC with so many niceities, you think he’s selling Valentine Roses! This Buc defense needs a coordinator Who breathes and sleeps Defense. Somebody roaming that sidelines with fire! Exhorting his troops. And Smitty is quite comfortable sittin up in the Pressbox on his Rear end. Just because we add a couple of D pieces does not equate to victory. You see.. other teams are adding pieces too!

  13. Defense Rules Says:

    @Joe … “Why did that happen? It’s too easy to just blame Mike Smith.” OMG Joe, is there hope? Are you actually looking BEYOND Scapegoat Smitty to find reasons WHY certain things happened? Nah, I just re-thought it … it was sarcasm wasn’t it. Good job disguising that one. Kudos.

    @Ndog … “It’s like these guys just pick players with no clue of what this team even needs.” Yup, that’s my conclusion too. Hopefully that’ll change this FA & draft.

  14. Pickgrin Says:

    I can’t ever remember being so mad on draft day as on day 1 in 2012. I was just yelling for Kuechly at the TV when he was on the board and was so excited we would be getting such an awesome player who I just KNEW was going to be an absolute STUD. But NOOOOOOOOOO.

    “With the 7th pick in the 2012 NFL draft – the Tampa Bay Buccaneers select……… Mark Barron – Safety – Alabama” WHAT THE MFING FLUCK!! ARE YOU MFing KIDDING ME MARK DOMINIK????? You Fing MORON!!!

    Ah memories as a Bucs fan…

    I was very happy with the LVD pick the next day though having pegged him as a great prospect and late 1st rd talent at OLB.

    And SB – its quite possible we would have still drafted LD after taking Kuechly and Dougie in the 1st.

    Look at Dom’s draft history the 2 years prior to that. He doubled up at DT in rds 1 & 2 with McCoy and Price in 2010. Then he doubled up at DE 1 & 2 in 2011 with Clayborn and Cheeseburger Bowers. Of course 4 of these 6 very high picks being mentioned were total busts (Thanks Dom!) – but that’s beside the point…

  15. Pickgrin Says:

    Which DR – brings us back full circle to your insistence that Licht is a bad GM since he hasn’t drafted enough for “need”.

    See above for Exhibit A as to what drafting too often for “need” gets you. It gets you bad results because you are constantly reaching for lesser players at positions of “need” instead of focusing on acquiring the most talented football players you can get your hands on.

    Dom had Mason Foster – so in his mind he didn’t “need” Kuechly. How well did that drafting philosophy work out?

    Licht has done a great job of bringing in talented young players over the last 4 years and this franchise will benefit greatly in the long run as a result.

  16. StPeteBucsFan Says:


    “once he got past that nasty ankle injury that sidelined him for 3 straight weeks.”

    Exactly. Then there were Kwon’s injuries…2/3 of our LB corps. We were just lucky that Licht hit the jackpot again in the 4th round with Kendall Beckwith and he had healed from his college injury.

    Grimes missed how many games…VHG…perhaps no loss the way he was playing

    Our franchise QB….our top pass rusher misses the season….yeah I know excuses but the Bucs were NEVER good enough nor deep enough to sustain all those injuries without a detrimental effect.

    Honestly I was surprised the guys played as well as they did the final four games.

  17. Defense Rules Says:

    @Pickgrin … “Licht has done a great job of bringing in talented young players over the last 4 years and this franchise will benefit greatly in the long run as a result.” Oh man Pickgrin, you’ve been drinking Joe’s Kool-Aid again. If you think you were pissed when Dom drafted Barron, multiply that by 10 & you’d be where I was. And I’m a huge Bama fan to boot. But Kuechly was a monster, and by-passing him to draft Barron was a huge boner on Dom’s part.

    BTW, never said you strictly draft for need. It’s always situational based on where you’re at as a T-E-A-M. Going with BPA is a lot easier if you’re the Patriots than if you’re the Bucs, because your PRIORITY NEEDS aren’t nearly as great. Interestingly, if you look at the Pats’ last 10 drafts, you’ll see an awful lot of their starters today were drafted in the first 3 rounds by them (and almost all of their defense was drafted there).

  18. Not there yet Says:

    That is the theme of this pathetic regime, they don’t know how to feature they’re best players, no idea how to get one on one matchups for GMC, can’t figure out how to blitz your two best linebackers and on offense, you’ve got Humphries running plays that should be designed for d Jack and you stop throwing jump balls in the redzone to Mike Evans. There’s nothing but love Smith like arrogance going on here and I doubt they are willing to be brutally honest with themselves

  19. BringBucsBack Says:

    I always wondered if the Bucs didn’t see Barrett Rudd when they looked at L. Kuekley and passed, since we were just a year removed from a Ruuuud HOF career.

  20. unbelievable Says:

    This is what we’re reaching for now? LOL