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Tampa Bay Buccaneers

There's "Another Level" for McCoy, David

Head Coach Lovie Smith discusses two of his top defenders.

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At the end of the Bucs' mandatory mini-camp, Head Coach Lovie Smith sat down with Senior Writer Scott Smith to discuss the offseason and look ahead to 2015. The two discussed several topics, from expectations for Jameis Winston to his aspirations for his second year in Tampa and beyond.

But when looking ahead to training camp and the upcoming season, it's impossible not to mention, or think of, defensive tackle Gerald McCoy and linebacker Lavonte David, who have established themselves among the best in the league at their respective positions.

Scott Smith asked, "Is there another level for these guys?"

"Absolutely, no doubt" Coach Smith said. "Gerald had a great year but Gerald will tell you he has high goals – 15+ sacks. The great ones that we've had, the great one, Warren Sapp, those were the type of numbers he was talking about. Gerald is looking at those types of numbers.

"And for Lavonte David, Lavonte had a very good year last year with tackles and things like that, but (we want) more of the splash plays, interceptions. A high standard for Lavonte."

Last year, McCoy was named to the Pro Bowl for the third time in his career. Despite leading the NFL in tackles per game, David didn't make the cut. But simply matching last year's efforts won't be acceptable for David or McCoy, Coach Smith said.

"When you're a great player like that, every year you should see the goals and the standard being raised higher and that's what we're doing for them, Smith said. "They're great football players and we're going to need them to play that way."

The best photos of Lavonte David during the 2014 season shot by the Buccaneers' team photographers.

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