-The 2020 Lavonte David Pro Bowl campaign got its mode of transportation: a big bus. David made a guest appearance on Barstool Sports' Bussin' With the Boys podcast, hosted by linebacker Will Compton and Titans' offensive lineman Taylor Lewan.
Compton was a teammate of David's at Nebraska, and he certainly has a way of bringing out the best in the beloved Bucs linebacker. In the nearly 20-minute interview, David got candid about camp, playing with Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski and Compton even got David to admit himself that he's underrated.
David used the word 'smooth' to describe training camp so far – even with all the new COVID-19 protocols. They took some getting used to, David said, but things are now humming along. That's also thanks in part to the Bucs' new quarterback. David said he still has his surreal moments walking into the locker room to see Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski in there. That being said, he snaps back to reality pretty quick.
"I'm still trying to get the hang of it but it's real fun," said David of Brady. "He's a great dude, a great person off the field. He's one of the guys."
Brady's one of the guys both in the locker room and on the field. David said he's 'in-tune' with everyone on the offense and that he brings a sense of urgency to the team, which is elevating the play of everyone around him.
"You get that feeling like ok this is a guy that takes command of everything and everybody is just following his lead and everybody's on point," said David. "There's no lollygagging. Everybody is getting lined up ASAP. For defense, that gets us to get lined up ASAP and then the competition is on right there. It's different. You can feel a good vibe from him. That's what I really like. Both of those guys. They got a real great vibe and they come in and they are buying in and they just want to play football and they want to win. They've got that winning mentality. We've been needing that. It's real fun competing against those guys on a daily basis."
Another thing it may do on a daily basis is get the rest of the team, including David, some more notoriety. The Bucs are on primetime this season the maximum-allotted five times. The national audience will finally get their Bucs primer, which includes an introduction to the best off-ball linebacker in the league. Yeah, I said it.
"That's definitely going to help me," said David of the increased attention. "That's been talk already that, 'Lavonte is going to get more recognition.' People are going to get to see what type of player he is and how under-appreciated he is. You know me, I'm going to ball regardless. I'm still going to ball. I'm still going to do my thing."
With that, Compton kicked off this year's Pro Bowl (and All-Pro) campaign for David. I tried last year, but I haven't played a down in this league. Compton has – at David's position, no less – and now he's leading the charge, telling David that there are people now saying he may be one of the most underrated defensive players of the last decade.
"I agree with them," said David. "I feel like I command more respect especially with my play but at the same time, I always go back and say it all comes down to winning. When you're talking about me individually, I do feel like I've been a little underrated."
If you want to listen to the full podcast (and trust me, you do - it's full of gems from David), it comes out tonight. Check out Bussin' With the Boys on Apple podcasts, Spotify and YouTube.
View some of the photos from Buccaneers Training Camp practice at the AdventHealth Training Center.