“Heat-Seeking Missiles”

July 7th, 2022

LBs get props.

As Joe noted earlier, former NFL defensive back, scout and current NFL talking head Bucky Brooks has a list of best duos at their positions.

Brooks already selected Vita Vea and Akiem Nicks as the best defensive tackle duo. And Brooks says the Bucs have another dynamic duo on defense — the guys playing directly behind Hicks and Vea.

If you like run and hit linebackers, Lavonte David and Devin White are for you, Brooks says.

If you covet heat-seeking missiles on the second level, it is hard to find a better tandem than White and David at linebacker. Each defender racks up a ton of tackles on sideline-to-sideline pursuits like playground kids playing cops and robbers at recess. The individual and collective speed and quickness of the Buccaneers’ second-level defenders is impressive to watch, and it is one of the key factors in the defense’s dominance over the past few years. White, 24, is a dynamic blitz rusher with an uncanny ability to slip through cracks on the way to the quarterback. Although David, 32, does not register as many splash plays as his counterpart, he is a disruptive defender with a nose for the ball. The Buccaneers’ linebacker tandem is the best in the business, and it shows up in film study and on the stat sheet.

And while Tom Brady gets the limelight, as well he should, Joe has a dark feeling Lavonte David is in the same boat. What is Joe getting at? Well, David is in the final year of his contract and it seems the old warhorse is starting to break down.

Because of a December foot injury, David didn’t participate in minicamp or anything else on the field this spring. David also confessed he doesn’t know if he will return to the Bucs next year or if he will call it a career.

Joe sure hopes David is healthy. Still being hobbled by a bum wheel suffered last year is not very comforting. If David is healthy and White returns to his 2020 form, the Bucs again will be hell on wheels for teams trying to attack the middle of the defense or run around the corner.

20 Responses to ““Heat-Seeking Missiles””

  1. Bucs Guy Says:

    LVD replacement will be a 1st or 2nd round priority in the 2023 draft – along with a TE most likely (Mayer from Notre Dame is absolutely the best Gronk replacement). Not sure who the prospective LB is at this point (Trenton Simpson from Clemson is someone to watch). All of this is subject to change based on the QB situation and the CB re-signings/FA pick ups.

  2. Bird Says:

    We can only hope lavonte is healthy this year. He doesnt need reps in offseason as the man has seen it all

    And time for white to put it all together this year. Imo he took a step back last year.

  3. 1#bucsfan Says:

    We need LVD. Hope he’s 100 percent by training camp. We got big goals LVD n WE NEED YOU.

  4. TBChucky Says:

    I kinda figured we’d draft Lavonte’s replacement this past draft.. It could’ve been how the board fell. Hopefully he’ll continue to play at a high level, and come back after this season. If not I think we’ll be fine if we can land another fast and instinctive LB in the draft. LBs tend to have a fast impact in the league.

  5. PSL Bob Says:

    LVD has given this team everything he could. He will be sorely missed when it’s time to hang up the cleats.

  6. Razor Ramone Says:

    Always felt bad for LVD, wasted alot of great years on alot of lousy teams.

  7. Guzzie Says:

    A ring is all that really matters, he was fortunate to ride out the losing long enough

  8. Wade Landry Says:

    Love the analysis byBB on DW&LVD…DW&VV are the emerging cornerstones of a great D for years to come…..

  9. Goatfarmer Says:

    David was not himself last year and White regressed significantly because of it. The missed tackles and lousy pass coverage from the LBs was particularly irritating. At least the CBs couldn’t tackle either.

    Todd — you got some work to do.

  10. Hodad Says:

    To many times the missle known as Devin White shot right past it’s target. As good as David has been for the Bucs he’s on his last legs, with one ankle still healing. I’ll be happy if David makes it through the whole season, we’ll need to find his replacement next year whether draft, or FA. White will be the key for this defense. If he can play at a true pro bowl level we’ll be tough to beat.

  11. Richard Says:

    I have to disagree with the BB analysis, especially when he says that DW has significantly more splash plays than LVD. It’s a ridiculous statement from a guy who is not doing much research b4 his statements. I believe that lvd has led the entire league in forced fumbles over the past 5 years….if not at the top, he’s damn close to it. Most of DW “splash plays” have resulted by the play of others. He’s around the ball often and had some fabulous plays in the 2020 post season but is far too inconsistent in his play. As always, especially these so called experts, I say…watch the tape…it doesn’t lie!!!!

  12. Another j Says:

    We’ll certainly miss LVD when he’s gone.
    He’s been fun to watch his entire career. There’s not a better east to west tackler in the league.

  13. Cobraboy Says:


    Is he still limping around?

    Fact: A Lisfranc injury is very easily re-injured because that area has very poor blood flow.

    Of all the Bucs players, I put David down as Most Likely to Make the IR Roster.

    It saddens me to say I think he’s done, but I hope I am humiliatingly wrong.

    I pray for some technical miracle therapy.

  14. Cobraboy Says:

    Maybe a Buc veteran addition will be at ILB. I don’t have much faith in Britt as a backup stepping into a starting role.

    David’s #1 asset was speed. Britt’s #1 weakness is speed. I’m sure NFL DC’s also know this.

  15. SlyPirate Says:

    Because LVD is so important and currently injured, I still believe Bucs should have drafted Nkobe Dean instead of Luke Goedeke.

  16. Alexander Nascimento Says:

    Hey Joe!
    Can you ask the Sage if David wins another ring, how does the Sage view his chances of getting a gold jacket?
    Thanks in advance
    Go Bucs

  17. AbucAway Says:

    I don’t agree with this. Yes, 2020 was a great year for this duo but, as has already been said, LVD has been hobbled and DW is a hunting dawg that gets out-foxed too often.
    I hope LVD makes it back. He’s a cool cat (prowler) in the field.
    Who was that Linebacker hybrid we picked up this off-season. Can’t recall his name. Can he fill in for LVD if needed?

  18. AbucAway Says:

    Keanu Neal. But probably not

  19. Buczilla Says:

    Man, I remember past Joe Bucs articles mentioning how David and McCoy’s best years were being kinda wasted. I’m happy that David got his superbowl and as much as I loved Nickerson, he’s the second best linebacker in our history.

  20. Wade Landry Says:

    Rich, shove the “tape”😂DW vapors have more impact than lbs better efforts…