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Bucs LB Lavonte David eager to get 2018 started

Jamil King

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Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Bucs Pro Bowl linebacker Lavonte David took the podium at One Buc Place today ready to get the season underway. The theme for him seemed to be “put everything together” this season. David met with the media as part of the start to off season work:

He acknowledged that last year was supposed to be the season for the Bucs to take the next step but it just didn’t come together, as Tampa Bay floundered to 5-11.

David has also seen his role change from the tackling machine of his first four years of his career (where he had 135+ every year) to a different scheme under coordinator Mike Smith.  Last season’s 101 tackles bettered his 2016 mark of 87 of them, which again are clearly less than his early production.

When David was asked about the new look defense, with a lot of new teammates, his answer was simple:  “Everything looks good on paper, but we just have to put it all together.”

When asked about new first round pick DT Vita Vea, David said, “ I haven’t seen him yet but word is he’s big.” David said that the addition of Vea should help the linebackers get more tackles for loss. The ability to take up multiple defenders and get into the backfield alongside Gerald McCoy “against zone running schemes like in the division” will be a significant asset, he added.

David also said that his off-season objective was to get his shoulder back to 100 percent. He said that he didn’t quite know what was wrong with it exactly. He said it was pain, strength, and stability and couldn’t pinpoint what it was in particular.

David is also excited to have his old pal Jason Pierre-Paul as a teammate again. The two played together at Fort Scott Community College before they headed to Nebraska and USF, respectively.

David said nothing has changed with JPP either. His long arms will help tremendously for the team alongside his attitude to dominate.

David also gave an update on Kendell Beckwith, who as we wrote last month, will miss the whole off-season work due a fractured ankle. David said Beckwith always in good spirits and can’t wait to get back out on the field. David said he’s in all the meetings and moving around on a scooter around the facility.

The meetings have been great so far as well. David mentioned that a lot of talking and communicating, “Everyone is watching film together on the same page. Other people are going to the board explain things in different ways as well.”

Everything sounds like it’s off to a good start at One Buc, but like David said it looks good on paper. But, now is the time to start putting it all together.

Jamil King is a young draft pick working his way up the depth chart on the F.F.I. roster, who enjoys watching and writing about all of Florida’s football teams.

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