TAMPA – As a team, whether it’s been on offense, defense or special teams, the Buccaneers have been nothing short of inconsistent this year. According to coach Dirk Koetter, however, there is at least one player who has not followed suit:
Linebacker Lavonte David.
Now, we would add defensive tackle Gerald McCoy to that list as well as right tackle Demar Dotson, who is now on injured reserve, but Koetter was asked specifically about David during his weekly radio show on the Bucs Radio Network this week and made it clear he couldn’t be more pleased with him.
Though Koetter wouldn’t go so far as to say that the sixth-year pro who has twice been named All Pro and has also been to one Pro Bowl is having his best season ever, but that was only because Koetter didn’t see every game David played during the first three years of his career.
“Yeah, I’m not sure (if this has been) his best season ever, but it is the best that I’ve seen in the three years that I’ve been here,’’ Koetter said. “I just think he’s playing at a high level every single week and that he’s probably been our most consistent player. I would say that Lavonte has probably only had one game this year where he hasn’t just been just out of sight.’’
That was probably the Carolina game, which was one in which David recorded just three tackles. David had one other three-tackle game, that against Arizona, but he had at least two impact plays in that one as he forced a pair of fumbles.
Other than that, David has recorded at least four tackles in every game he’s played to take over the team lead with 71, and you certainly cannot forget that he’s also forced and recovered four fumbles this year, including one that he returned for a touchdown.
By the way, those four fumble recoveries are the most by any player in the league this year and the four forced fumbles are tied for the second most in the league.
This is also the first time since 2014, when J.J, Watt did it as part of his second Pro Bowl season, that a player has forced and recovered four fumbles in a single season.
Does that make David a lock for the Pro Bowl? Probably not. The lack of consistency around him and the losses that inconsistency has led to will probably work against him when the votes are tallied.
There’s little doubt, though, that despite missing two games with an ankle injury, David has had one of his best seasons ever and is certainly worthy of the honor should it come.
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