Photos from Lavonte David's 2016 campaign.
Lavonte David has plenty of accolades to his name. He is a former All-Pro and has been selected to the Pro Bowl. He's also recorded 139 tackles or more in four of his five NFL seasons. David is coming off of a season where he recorded a career-low 87 tackles, but that doesn't mean he won't return to form when the Buccaneers kick off the regular season.
"The guy that's quietly having a tremendous camp is Lavonte David," Head Coach Dirk Koetter said. "Lavonte didn't have his best year he has ever had last year. He is really having a good camp right now. I think the fans will be able to see it when we start playing."
David's low numbers could be a result of a few different things. Kwon Alexander had a breakout year in 2016, leading the NFL in solo tackles. There simply could not be enough tackles to go around. It's also possible that David just didn't have his best year.
Whatever the case is, David's currently playing at the level that the Buccaneers' coaches have come to expect. He is one of the best linebackers in the league in coverage, and Koetter spoke highly of David's prowess as a blitzer.
The Buccaneers' ratings in this years Madden video game.
"I'm seeing the guy out there that made the Pro Bowl before that," Koetter added.
Should David return to form in 2017, the Buccaneers' defense has the potential to accomplish great things. David, along with Gerald McCoy and Brent Grimes, were selected to various top 100 lists during the offseason. Alexander was on the cusp, while Noah Spence and Vernon Hargreaves look to build on successful rookie campaigns.
It's unlikely we'll see David in action before the preseason wraps up. Based on what Koetter has said, it will be excited to see David open the regular season in his hometown of Miami when Tampa Bay travels to take on the Dolphins.