“They Take It. They Listen.”

March 24th, 2024

Young Bucs,

Joe has discredited the value of player leadership in this space at times. It’s often overblown, way overblown, but not always.

Heck, Bucs players themselves acknowledged they got too comfortable last season with a 3-1 record entering the bye week and were feeling a too special about their accomplishment. Yes, that was 3-1, not 8-1. Joe thinks it’s fair to say the Bucs’ leadership failed the team at that time.

Veteran players knew better and didn’t find ways to bring along the Bucs’ huge numbers of young players.

Still, the Bucs dug themselves out of a huge midseason slide with a tremendous amount of rookies and young dudes improving and maturing rapidly. That doesn’t happen without leaders in the locker room setting a daily tone.

Speaking on WDAE radio last week, iconic Bucs linebacker Lavonte David said his leadership role has changed and become more important. That makes a ton of sense as the Bucs have morphed from an old team with Tom Brady to a commitment to youth.

“My role is pivotal,” said David, who added that he likes the young core of Bucs because of their attitudes. “”They take it. They listen,” he said.

David said he believes leadership is critical because “I know how I felt as a young guy.” He added that he firmly challenges players on their feelings when they get down. “What are you going to do about it?” he’ll ask.

Joe will buy that leadership is more critical when a roster has double-digit rookies like Tampa Bay did last season. And it will be a very young team again in 2024, albeit with big-time playoff experience.

As for David’s present and future, he said he wasn’t going to retire this season even if it did cross his mind.

“I’m feeling too good to, you know, call it quits, man, and I’m having a lot of fun. I couldn’t just let myself go like that,” David said.

12 Responses to ““They Take It. They Listen.””

  1. Hail2dabucs Says:

    We are all glad you felt that way #54
    He played some sound tackling ball last year & still looks like he has really good speed . He is also right about having young guys in the building that’s can take information from a leader and put it to good use . I like where the bucs are at right now & let’s all take the time to feel good about this organization . Go bucs

  2. Defense Rules Says:

    ‘Joe has discredited the value of leadership in this space at times. It’s often overblown, way overblown, but not always.’

    Nice escape Joe. Especially when LVD said that he believe ‘leadership is critical’.

    I’m sure that guys like Brady & Brooks & Lynch would say exactly the same thing. And especially FIELD LEADERSHIP for young players like we saw demonstrated by veterans like Mankins & Jensen. Helping them to see what’s going on & how they need to respond. There’s no doubt in my mind that LVD made Devin White a better ILB in those early years when he was a rook, but I kinda wonder who Devin White made better when he got a couple years under his belt. Two ILBs, but a world of difference IMO when it comes to leadership.

  3. SlyPirate Says:

    We talk Evans HOF credentials all the time but we rarely appreciate LVD

    If LVD repeats his 2023 stats for the next 2 years, he’ll finish his career …
    Solo Tackles – 4th (3rd – Derrick Brooks)
    Combined Tackles – 5th (6th – Derrick Brooks)
    Tackles for a Loss – 3rd!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Tackles for a Loss Leaders
    1 – Suggs
    2 – JJ Watt
    3 – Aaron Donald
    4 – Julius Peppers

    The Bucs need to start celebrating LVD more. He’s an amazing Buc who has had an amazing career.

  4. Dave Pear Says:

    Clearly the veterans have to lead energize and teach, attributes that Bowels fails at. Now, when a player needs advice about life, a girlfriend shone wrong, money problem, integral calculus, Bowels is the guy. Too bad he can’t teach his players how to stop busting the same coverages over and over. Too bad his team comes out flat as in the playoff game vs Dallas, or the divisional clinch chance B’s the Saints. Bowels is one lucky dude and know that Licht knows it too.

    I’m still looking forward to seeing who Licht hires next. Hopefully not for a few years until Uncle Todd retires by his own choice.

  5. Dave Pear Says:

    *as in the Bucs would be successful if he’s not fired. Of course the dude is a loser (18-19) with the Bucs so who are we kidding.

  6. Pickgrin Says:

    Feels like the Bucs believe we have a 2 year window to try and compete for another title.

    Evans has a 2 year deal. Baker basically has a 2 year deal…

    This team still has a # of Super Bowl winners leading the way – and most of them are our best players….. Evans, Godwin, Wirfs, Vea, LD54, Winfield Jr, Whitehead, Dean

    Shore up the OLine which improves the run game and the whole offense – and find us another solid pass rusher – and this team is ready to kick some ass!

  7. Saskbucs Says:

    100% SlyPirate !

    Drives me nuts to hear about Wagner, Warner, used to be Kuechly etc. nonstop and hardly hear David mentioned. Those aforementioned guys are all great players but LVD is shoulder to shoulder with them, for as long or longer than them.

    He doesn’t need to prove anymore to be a HoFer but I hope you are right and he racks up stats the next 2 seasons. I get the feeling the Bucs (JL/Bowles) are the type to help him and Evans get those numbers and make people recognize a decade + of greatness!

  8. Dave Pear Says:

    LVD’s job is easier because Diva won’t be there, and Britt at least seems to know what he’s supposed to do even if he doesn’t always do it.

    Maybe Todd’s problem was Diva all along. Overspending his time with a deaf mute headtard who didn’t want the help.

  9. Dave Pear Says:

    Another speedster that is turning heads in D-3 is Shangrus Pillt. Plays for Northwood in Michigan. Licht’s got his guys watching the kid.

  10. Mike C Says:

    LFG LVD!

  11. TomBucsFan Says:

    Go Bucs

  12. PbnJ Says:

    Joe believes leadership is way overblown? Says a lot about Joe.