Could SirVocea Dennis Continue The Bucs’ Linebacker Tradition Of Derrick Brooks And Lavonte David?

May 5th, 2023

Linebacker SirVocea Dennis, the Bucs’ fifth-round pick.

Joe will never forget when John Madden gave Monte Kiffin a major shoutout.

It was during a Monday Night Football broadcast and Madden was talking on the air about how fundamentally sound the Steelers are and raved about then-legendary defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau.

Madden marveled at how well the Steelers tackled. Every play. Every game. Textbook.

Madden then said there were just two NFL defenses  for which you couldn’t play with if you didn’t tackle well because their defensive coordinators demanded tackling: LeBeau and Kiffin, the defensive wizard in the Buccaneers Ring of Honor. Madden really appreciated LeBeau and Kiffin’s old school approach.

Fast-forward to this week and a throwaway line by Bucs inside linebackers coach Larry Foote when discussing fifth-round draft pick SirVocea Dennis.

“He’s a good athlete, he’s savvy,” Foote said. “He plays the game like it should be played. He can blitz – he’s got some ability.

“He can wear a lot of hats for us and [I] was definitely excited about getting him.”

He plays the game like it should be played. That hit home for Joe.

Foote was drafted as a linebacker and developed by the Steelers. Yep, you guessed it. His defensive coordinator was LeBeau.

So if a former LeBeau pupil says a Bucs new linebacker plays the game the way it should be played, somewhere Madden has to be smiling.

So too is Joe.

32 Responses to “Could SirVocea Dennis Continue The Bucs’ Linebacker Tradition Of Derrick Brooks And Lavonte David?”

  1. Leopold Stotch Says:

    I had no idea who this guy was, but I haven’t heard anything negative about him, except his size. Sounds like we got ourselves a steal.

  2. Duane Says:

    Dennis is only 7 pounds lighter than Lavonte David, and the same height. He is well sized considering his athleticism and energy.

  3. HC Grover Says:

    And what player is gong to be the next Alstott this year? Also who is the new Lynch?

  4. Dooley Says:

    Short-term, Dennis can be depth behind David & White while getting his feet wet on special teams. Long term, Dennis can develop enough over time to be part of the answer of life w/o David or White in the ILB room. For now, let’s just afford Dennis the time to acclimate himself to life as a pro before we start setting his bar at being compared to the greats who’ve played for this franchise.

  5. 74 Bucs Fan Says:

    It would be nice if Larry could teach #45 how to tackle properly.

  6. Lou. Says:

    All draftees get fluff.

    Problem with Dennis isn’t his size, it’s his speed.

    Don’t think “the way the game should be played “ is slow.

  7. stpetebucfan Says:

    @Joe Ok A+ on the journalism there. That was some incredibly informative connecting of the dots for us. That was a GREAT pickup…”He plays the game like it should be played.”

    Indeed there are some old time bromides than translate just as you suggested.

    Plays the game the way it should be….very physical and fearless TACKLES.

    Old school football…very physical and fearless. TACKLES.

    There are a bunch of old coachspeak ways to communicate the same idea and you connected the dots for us with the link to LeBeau. Obviously a fan of Monte’s but in terms of respect I put LeBeau on the same level.

  8. Proudbucsfan Says:

    Very good write up Joe, you pulled this one out from the heart. We see the love you have for your Bucs and the respect for the players. Well done

  9. Infomeplease Says:

    Seeing is believing! Last year at this time there was a lot if hype about the draftees too. So far we have a punter out if them and a couple of potential starters. Nothing to write home about yet.

    My point is hype all day long if you must. But wins come from doing only!! Seeing is believing!

  10. Fred McNeil Says:

    I remember reading on this site that Dennis was actually one or two hundreds of a second faster than LVD. Same height. He has hope. I haven’t bothered to verify it.

  11. Andrew Fish Says:

    The Tradition started with Nickerson. also includes Shelton Quarles and Geno Hayes. Bucs have had some good linebackers

  12. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Lavonte David…..4.65 SirVocea Dennis 4.64

    I think quickness….instinct are as important as speed at this position….

    LVD has proven that.

  13. Cobraboy Says:

    Unfortunately, tackling practice is verboten in today’s football at every level.

    Tackling is the primary football skill.


    That’s what it’s called “tackle football.”

    The days of LeBeau/Kiffin excellent tackling teams are ovah…which is why offensive football is the focus today at every level.

    I’m just getting back directly involved in HS football, and I am shocked at what I see regarding basic fundamentals.

  14. Brandon Says:

    Lou. Says:
    May 5th, 2023 at 7:48 am
    All draftees get fluff.

    Problem with Dennis isn’t his size, it’s his speed.

    Don’t think “the way the game should be played “ is slow.


    He’s slow? Dude ran mid 4.5 range and plays to that speed on the field. David ran mid 4.6…

    Only person slow around here is you.

  15. 1#bucsfan Says:

    Dennis has the opportunity of a lifetime to sit back n learn from one of the best to play the game for a long time in LVD. I hope he soaks it all in. LVD sets the standard for LB in todays nfl same thing as brooks did in his time. I hope brooks n LVD gets mentored by both.

  16. Craig Says:

    Someone has too, and sure isn’t going to be Diva White.

    Even if he gets his attention for money better, he still has to pay much better attention during each individual game.

    He has the tools, but they are not in sync with his brain (if he has one).

  17. Dewey Selmon Says:

    Andrew Fish. The tradition started with Nickerson? Look up Richard “Batman” Wood.

  18. Just Leave Trask Alone Says:


  19. Voice of Truth Says:

    Don’t forget David Lewis and Gainesville’s own Scott Brantley!!!

    The Bucs have had some very good LB over the years

  20. firethecannons Says:

    No doubt Sirvocea Dennis has a handful of Bucs fans family at their home in southwest Florida , I mean real Bucs fans that really know this team. It will be certain that if he doesn’t already know bout Lavonte David by now then he will from them alone. Sirvocea Dennis is the heir apparent. He will spell for David and White and nickel?

  21. Pickgrin Says:

    Sirvocea’s “speed” is rated as “good”.

    But his “explosiveness” is off the charts with a 41″ vertical and a 10′-5″ broad jump.

    And if you go to the tape – his senior year was impressive:
    In 12 games Dennis had
    – 94 tackles
    – 12 Tackles for loss
    – 7 sacks
    – 3 passes defensed
    – 1 Interception
    – 2 Forced Fumbles

    Here are some quotes about Sirvocea Dennis

    “a compact, athletic, and highly instinctive linebacker”

    “Captain of a highly aggressive Pittsburgh defense”

    “consistent development”

    “emotional tone-setter”

    “typically anticipates the offensive play well and takes an accurate first step at the start of the play”

    “compact frame and active hands make it difficult for most blockers to lock him up, and he’s able to flow to the ball”

    “frequently disrupted plays before they had a chance to develop, even if he didn’t get the sack or tackle for a loss”

    “a very competitive defender, gives consistent effort throughout the game, and is willing to lay big hits”

    “a good blitzing linebacker – has the potential to thrive and be an impact player for a team with a blitz-heavy defensive scheme”

    What more could you hope for from a 5th round draftee???

    I know when I started looking at highlights of our 1st round pick Kansey Thursday night – one of my first thoughts was – “Who is this #7 – he seems to always be around the ball…”

  22. Knucknbuc Says:

    He’s a stud future stater on this defense you heard it here first

  23. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    I believe Devin White will step up and be excellent.

    New players have to prove it on the field, just like everyone else.

  24. adam from ny Says:

    i’m starting to think this draft class of ours seems pretty darn good…

    usually to start off i’m a bit skeptical and it has to sink in and take shape in my head…

    this group seems like some nice picks by mr. licht and the gang…

    and i’m guessing this years picks will have more opportunity than draftees on the brady lead squads…

    if you were drafted onto the bucs the past few years – with the superbowl ready attitude of the franchise – you were going to do a whole lot of sitting………….as expected…

    now i’m thinking they’ll be quicker to infuse the young guys into the mix…

    so it definitely bodes well for the group we drafted…

    some guys like qb’s are meant to marinate on the sidelines a little…but some guys need continuity because through high school and college these guys were first tier guys where ever they played…riding the pine can sometimes have ill effects on some guys…….just sayin’

  25. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Lavante David has had plenty of ‘invisible’ games too.

  26. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Knucknbuc Says:
    “He’s a stud future stater on this defense you heard it here first”

    And not just from you, lol.

  27. Rod Munch Says:

    Brooks as a 1st, David slipped to the top of the 2nd, while this kid was a 5th rounder in a weak draft. I think we’re looking more at like a Geno Haynes type of player, a guy who can step in here and there and might excel at special teams and have a nice career. But thinking we got the next Aaron Donald, Derrick Brooks and Ryan Jensen in this draft, seems like a bit much.

  28. BigMacAttack Says:

    I love what Licht did in the draft and signing the Syracuse RB. I think will be his best draft yet with home runs all over the place. The Bucs are going to surprise everyone with this defense and running game. Pound the rock smash mouth football. I’m stoked and can’t wait.

  29. JimbobBucsFan Says:

    Gotcha, Rod. Its quite a stretch to compare Dennis with Brooks or David this early.

  30. JimbobBucsFan Says:

    I think Joe was in a “provocative” mood when he penned his headline for this article. No harm done. Food for thought anyway. 😀

  31. garro Says:

    Did Pitt fudge on this dudes wieght?
    His tape from Pitt he looks alot lighter than 226. Maybe 205 ish.

  32. Goatfarmer Says:

    Bowels is great at teaching his guys to forget how to tackle.