-Everyone's favorite good guy, Lavonte David, was selected as the Buccaneers' nomination for the Art Rooney Sportsmanship award a couple weeks ago just as he was last year (and the year before). Each of the NFL's 32 teams nominate a representative every season. On Tuesday though, the NFL announced the eight finalists, four from each conference, and would you look at that? David is one of the four selected from the NFC.
The award aims to recognize the player that best exemplifies the qualities of on-field sportsmanship, including fair play, respect for the game and opponents and integrity in competition. The finalists were selected by a panel of former players in the NFL Legends community made up of Warrick Dunn, Curtis Martin, Karl Mecklenburg and Leonard Wheeler. The winner will be determined by a vote of current NFL players as each team's players will submit a consensus vote for one of the eight finalists. Just like Pro Bowl voting, a team can't vote for its own player. Boo.
Here's to hoping all this extra exposure to David spills over to players from other teams because I legitimately cannot think of a more deserving guy – no matter how biased I might be.
-While we're on the subject of awards, right tackle Tristan Wirfs continues to make a case for Offensive Rookie of the Year as the season goes on. The way Wirfs is playing, he looks like a vested league veteran instead of a first-year player. Heck, PFF had him as the third-highest rated player this past game and he remains at the top of their rookie lists. It may be a long shot for an offensive lineman to win rookie of the year *coughs* as in, no offensive lineman has ever won AP NFL Rookie of the Year. But what is 2020 if not unconventional, right?
And while offensive lineman may not get the recognition they deserve from the general population, Wirfs' coach Bruce Arians has certainly taken notice of the young players' skills. In fact, he's gone so far as to expect a high level of play out of him at this point.
"I expect it every single week," Arians said. "He's playing at a Pro Bowl level and that's what we anticipated. He's doing it week in and week out, so that's kind of what I expect every week now. We had the one pre-snap penalty [on Sunday] or we would have had another no turnover, no penalty, no sack game. The offensive line got game balls – they had a great, great day. The only pressures really came from the tight ends.
"I think he's always been a really good run blocker – even in college his run blocking was outstanding – but his pass blocking ability is amazing for a young guy as big as he is [and] as athletic as he is," Arians continued. "He's going against top guys every week, so I think that's the more surprising thing – how well he's pass blocking."
Bucs Tweet of the Day: