Since Lavonte David arrived in Tampa Bay in 2012, the team has yet to record a winning season. David knows that the nation's perception of the Buccaneers has been negative for a handful of seasons. Frankly, he's sick of it.
"Yeah, I'm very tired (of the negative perception)," David said during a press conference at One Buccaneer Place on Wednesday. "Yesterday in workouts I was screaming at the guys. It's always in the back of my mind, but we just have to take care of what we have to take care of and that's taking it one day at a time and that's what we're trying to do."
The Buccaneers improved from two wins in 2014 to six wins this past season and found themselves in the playoff race in December as the season was coming to a close. David has confidence in his team, but he knows that not everybody does. Naturally, that has lit a fire under him and his teammates.
"We still have doubters," he said. "Nobody believes in us. When they come out with the schedule, all of the analysts put out wins and losses and we were one of the teams who had more L's than W's and you have to take pride in that. It's like a slap in the face to the guys we have on this team and everybody had that in the back of their minds."
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Individually, David has performed at a high level since entering the NFL. He is a former All-Pro and was selected to his first Pro Bowl a year ago. He's recorded 139 tackles or more in each of his NFL seasons and has appeared in the NFL's annual "Top 100" rankings. He didn't want to talk about those individual awards, though.
"We have the pieces," he said, "we have the guys that are getting individual accolades, but it's a team effort. Getting the individual accolades is pretty good, but the big accolade is winning the Super Bowl – it's the main thing. When you win the Super Bowl everybody gets recognized and that's what we want."