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Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Top LB Seasons Under Lovie Smith

Before TBvsCHI, take a look at Lavonte David’s numbers in his new head coach’s defense alongside some the best LB performances under Lovie Smith.


Chicago LB Lance Briggs played some of his best seasons when Lovie Smith was head coach for the Bears, and he made it clear that he believes Lavonte David can do the same.

Talking about Smith's defense, Briggs said, "You read your keys, you play fast and you'll be able to make plays and Lavonte can do that for them."

So far this season, Briggs's words are ringing true. Lavonte David is tied for a league lead in tackles with 116 and should take over the top spot this week with Carolina LB Luke Kuechly on bye. David's 81 solo tackles are tops in the NFL by nine and he has added 14 tackles for loss, two forced fumbles and one recovery to his 2014 resume.

While some of the flashier numbers like sacks and interceptions have yet to materialize, David is putting up another All-Pro caliber season like many that came before him as linebackers under Lovie Smith.

LB Hardy Nickerson
Lovie Smith: Linebackers Coach
1996 Tampa Bay Buccaneers
120 tackles, 3 sacks, 2 INTs, 3 forced fumbles, 2 fumble recoveries, 6 passes defensed
Pro Bowl Selection

LB Derrick Brooks
Lovie Smith: Linebackers Coach
1999 Tampa Bay Buccaneers
154 tackles, 2 sacks, 4 INTs, 2 forced fumbles, 2 fumble recoveries
35 tackles in two playoff games
Pro Bowl Selection
First-team AP All-Pro
Bucs ranked third in both yards and points allowed

LB London Fletcher
Lovie Smith: Defensive Coordinator
2001 St. Louis Rams
116 tackles, 4.5 sacks, 2 INTs, 4 forced fumbles, 5 passes defensed
Rams ranked seventh in points allowed, third in yards allowed

LB Lance Briggs
Lovie Smith: Head Coach
2005 Chicago Bears
107 tackles, 2 sacks, 2 INTs, 1 INT TD, 1 forced fumble, 11 passes defensed
First of seven-straight Pro Bowl Selections
First-team AP All-Pro
Bears ranked first in points allowed, second in yards allowed

LB Brian Urlacher
Lovie Smith: Head Coach
2006 Chicago Bears
141 tackles, 3 INTs, 1 INT TD, 1 forced fumble, 1 fumble recovery, 9 passes defensed
Second-consecutive Pro Bowl Selection
Second-consecutive First-team AP All-Pro
Bears ranked third in points allowed, fifth in yards allowed

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