August 13th, 2020


Yes, the Bucs should have a good offense. And they should have a good defense. That often makes for a good team, no?

Well, over at NFL.com, Hall of Fame personnel man Gil Brandt, the architect of the famed 1960s and 1970s Dallas Cowboys, was studying what team has the best two-headed monster, a stud offensive player and a stud defensive player.

(You know, like Deshaun Watson and J.J. Watt?)

For Brandt, the Bucs have the No. 6 offensive/defensive duo in receiver Mike Evans, who is currently on a Hall of Fame path, and linebacker Lavonte David.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Offense: WR Mike Evans · Defense: LB Lavonte David
Not since Randy Moss has Tom Brady played with a receiving target who possessed the size-skill ratio of the 6-foot-5, 231-pound Evans, who has topped 1,000 yards in each of his six NFL seasons to date. David is a former two-star high school recruit who has since proven himself to be a five-star talent, accumulating 1,008 tackles in eight seasons. He’s been incredibly reliable as a pro, missing just seven games thus far while switching between five different coordinators (including interim Mark Duffner in 2018).

There isn’t much more you can say about Evans that hasn’t already been written. He’s just exceptional, that’s all there is to it.

As for David, Joe will offer a story Joe hasn’t shared in years. Joe can’t remember if it was at radio row at the Super Bowl or at the combine but it was the offseason after David’s rookie year.

Joe ran into Brandt, who will talk your ear off about football if you let him, a chat began about David. Brandt told Joe, “I knew he was going to be good coming out of Nebraska,” said Brandt, ever the college football fan. “But, oh… ” — and Brandt began shaking his head back and forth — “I didn’t think he was going to be that good.” Brandt thought the Bucs had a star on their hands.

And you know the sad part? If the Bucs don’t make the playoffs this year, Joe has a hunch David may not be back next year.

If you are David and you can see the end of your career just around the corner (he will be 31 in January), wouldn’t you want to play for a team that has a shot every year of making a Super Bowl run?

Besides, the Bucs may have to shave $15 million or so off the books next year to fit under what is expected to be a much lower salary cap. Can the Bucs afford David and sign Shaq Barrett and Chris Godwin and O.J. Howard and right around the corner is a decision on Vita Vea?

Joe would hate to see a player as good as David go to waste and never play in a Bucs playoff game. Sad!

12 Responses to “Well-Rounded”

  1. Clean House Says:

    There is no way they resign O.J. Howard unless he does something spectacular, which to me is doubtful unless they specifically game plan for him, which they won’t, because they are stupid and won’t allow him to be what he really is and should be used as, a receiver. I recall Devin White’s first impression of him….”That’s not a tight end.”

    I don’t think BS and his protege Halfwhit are all that bright.

    If they lose yet again and don’t resign Lavonte, he will definitely be picked up and properly paid, hopefully for a winner or a competitive team where he can come in and add value.

    The best thing about all of the Brady hoopla is that David will be getting some deserved recognition as we’re already now seeing in this article. Congrats to both Evans and David, they’ve both earned some good press.

  2. Roy T. Buford Says:

    This is one reason why I think Mike Evans be traded before start of next season. They want to keep Godwin, but can’t have two #1s. They can let Godwin walk (a travesty) or actually get something from Evans. Not saying I want it to happen. I also think Evans will get a little frustrated with how Brady will spread the ball around, expecially to Gronk, Godwin, and McCoy. You can also probably count Suh out for next year. That said, the players’ agents will feel the pinch and contracts may come back to Earth just a bit.

  3. Bush's Coke Spoon Says:

    >>1,008 tackles in eight seasons.<<

    Dayum! I hadn't realized that. Not quite Derrick Brooks' pace, but damn sure deserves more notice than he gets.

  4. Bush's Coke Spoon Says:

    >>There isn’t much more you can say about Evans that hasn’t already been written. He’s just exceptional, that’s all there is to it.<<

    If I had to nitpick, I'd say, how sick would Mike's numbers be if he improved on that 57% catch rate? With probably more targets going to tight ends and running backs this year, he's probably going to have to improve that number to keep up his streak of 1000 yard seasons.

  5. vabucsfan Says:

    Roy T. Buford,

    I think we can afford to pay Evans and Godwin both. Lets be realistic, Brady is only playing here for the two years. Unless we are going to look to bring in someone like Aaron Rodgers after Brady retires, we are most likely going to be taking a QB in the 1st or 2nd round, and get them on their rookie contract. When you have a QB on their rookie contract, it frees up a bunch of cap space for the rest of the team. Now with that being said, the Bucs have a crappy history of picking QB’s in the draft!

  6. Koby Says:

    Evans had less catches last year than Godwin. Roy, he’s not a diva he won’t care how the ball gets spread around

  7. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    If anything the NFL will move into flat cap year.
    Then shoot to the moon in 2022 with all the new TV/Steaming deals.

  8. Buczilla Says:

    So having the best receiver and off-ball/middle linebacker in the NFL is good for only 6th place? Sorry Mr. Brandt, but that’s not true in this universe or any other. Wilson/Wagner and Mahomes/Mathieu are no-brainers since QB is by far the most important position in sports, but the rest is just silly. I swear, even usually good national writers like Brandt have their heads up their butts when it comes to the Bucs. Brandt is an icon and has probably forgotten more about football than I will ever know, but this list proves that his best days are behind him. Retire dude while you still have some dignity left.

  9. Roy T. Buford Says:

    @Vabucsfan…good point. Tracking. But…focused on 2021 with Godwin needing to be paid this offseason and Evans being still under contract, and Brady doing a second year (I hope) next year.

    You raise an interesting point…HOPEFULLY the Bucs draft dead last, which means they may not plan on drafting a QB until 2022…and could go for a DE/DT for 2021 to replace Suh or JPP. So without really looking closely at the math, I still think it can be rough.

  10. Roy T. Buford Says:

    @Koby…I agree Evans is not a diva, but WRs all want the ball, and didn’t have Gronk or a pass catching RB worth a darn before. Let’s see how Evans feels is gets third or fourth most touches.

  11. Mannyknowsit Says:

    I got a bet going that Aaron Rodgers doesn’t finish season in Green Bay, I see him going to San Diego,.maybe the Bucs get him and make this the official retirement location for QBs

  12. VABucsfan Says:

    Roy T Burford,

    You def raised a good point as well. This cap situation is going to be a strain, we are going to lose a good player or two. I just hope it isn’t Evans! He is only going to be 27 this month, and should be in his prime for another 3 or 4 years at least.