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Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

David, McCoy Get Top 50 Recognition

Bleacher Report has identified the top 50 players from the first half of the 2014 NFL season, and the list includes both of the Bucs' All-Pros from last year, LB Lavonte David and DT Gerald McCoy.


In the days leading up to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' Week Eight game against the Minnesota Vikings, Head Coach Lovie Smith mused aloud on the topic of Lavonte David and his NFL profile. Smith wondered if the Bucs' unexpectedly poor win-loss record and the lack of sacks and interceptions on David's stat line would keep the third-year linebacker from getting the attention he deserves.

"The guy that has gone unnoticed a little bit – not necessarily unnoticed, but Lavonte David hasn't missed a rep since we been here, on anything," said Smith. "Right now defensively we're not playing good football so you kind of forget about him a little bit, but I just see him getting better and better. In time it we will see more of those type of splash plays from him."Smith probably doesn't need to worry. Three days after that comment, David turned in his third straight 14-tackle effort, mixing in three of his signature tackles-for-loss, and people definitely took notice. For instance,'s Robert Mays tabbed David as one of the four entries in the positive half of his "NFL Week Eight Winners and Losers" piece, even though David's time actually lost the game in overtime.

Though he didn't make the Pro Bowl last year, David did receive the more exclusive honor of inclusion on the Associated Press NFL All-Pro First Team. He was joined there by Bucs defensive tackle Gerald McCoy, who is rarely in danger of escaping notice. By far the more expressive of the two Buccaneer core teammates, McCoy also drew plenty of attention when he signed a lucrative seven-year contract extension with Tampa Bay the day before that Vikings contest.

The point, in a nutshell, is that Lavonte David and Gerald McCoy are simply too good as football players to fly too far under the radar, even during a tough season for the Buccaneers. Further evidence of that contention arrived Monday in the form of Ty Schalter's ranking of the NFL's Top 50 Players at the Midseason Mark on

Click the link and browse through the Bleacher Report slideshow to see who makes it between #50 Tony Romo and #1 J.J. Watt, but (spoiler alert!), both of the aforementioned Bucs make the list. David comes in at #43, sandwiched between #44 Ryan Kerrigan and #42 Rolando McClain. McCoy is all the way up at #7, just ahead of #8 Von Miller and a shade behind #6 Tom Brady. Only Brady, Joe Thomas, Justin Houston, Rob Gronkowski, Peyton Manning and Watt finished ahead of McCoy, and that's a heady group of which to be a part.

Schalter says that David is "still clearly every bit as good as he was in 2013," even if he hasn't been as jaw-droppingly spectacular in 2014, noting that despite the lack of sacks and picks (he had 6.0 of the former and five of the latter last year), he is still making "tons of plays in space."

The author has even stronger praise for McCoy, calling him "all but impossible to block one-on-one and noting that Pro Football Focus has him graded at plus-22.3, nearly double the next defensive tackle on the list. Schalter refers to McCoy as the "best Tampa 2 three-technique tackle since Buccaneers legend Warren Sapp." 

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