David’s effort among Bucs bright spots Sunday
From the very first snap Sunday, Lavonte David announced his presence at the Georgia Dome. The second-year outside linebacker for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers dropped Jacquizz Rodgers for a 4-yard loss on the first play from scrimmage and by the time David was finished knifing into Atlanta’s backfield, he had 10 solo tackles, including three for losses.
“I’ve been around some good linebackers in my day, but this kid can play,’’ Bucs veteran linebacker Jonathan Casillas said. “Lavonte proved it again today. He gave the team life.’’
Despite his relentless effort, David regretted his coverage on Rodgers coming out of the backfield as the Falcons faced a third-and-5 from the Bucs’ 19-yard line in the second quarter. “I kind of lunged at him and he got leverage on me,’’ David said after Rodgers beat him to the outside for a 19-yard touchdown reception that put Atlanta ahead 14-0.
“I was mad, but I’ve got to let those things go. Overall, I thought we had a good game plan against them. This 0-6 record hurts, because we’re in every game. We’ve got to dig deep and stop making those stupid penalties.’’
David, who led the Bucs with 139 stops as a rookie, became Tampa Bay’s leading tackler for the season (47) on a day that fan voting began for the Pro Bowl. “I can’t say enough about Lavonte David,’’ Bucs middle linebacker Mason Foster said. “He’s as good as he wants to be.’’