OTAs for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers wrapped up recently, but Lavonte David is already helping the team by molding the next generation of linebackers. With mandatory minicamp just around the corner, the heart and soul of the Buccaneers defense is making sure the newest Bucs linebackers are ready.
In the NFL, the film room is just as important as the weight room when it comes to players bettering themselves. We don’t have to tell David that though, after all, he is the longest-tenured Buccaneers player, being drafted in the second round of the 2012 NFL Draft, and captain of the defense. You don’t get to that level without knowing how to prepare for each season.
David knows careers in the NFL don’t last forever though, his quarterback notwithstanding. While David has hit the film room to watch himself, he also did so to watch potential heir-apparents to the Buccaneers’ increasingly rich history of linebackers.
David has already most notably taken Devin White under his wing, and the two complement each other so well they are arguably the best linebacker duo in the league. White has the potential to be even better than David, if not every other linebacker in football.
After OTA’s wrapped up, David got the tape of the practices so he could watch and study rookies K.J. Britt and Grant Stuard. It is a testament to why David is so respected in the locker room, and organization as a whole, as he is not only a great player and captain but a great mentor and coach as well.
Britt, a fifth-round pick out of Auburn, and Stuard, a seventh-round pick by way of Houston, are not guaranteed to make the roster by any stretch based on their draft slots, so they are already behind the eight-ball in that regard. While that causes players to prove themselves thanks to a chip on their shoulder, David wants to make sure that they are able to harness that and thrive.
David understands that if Britt and Stuard can reach their potential, both David and the team’s present and future reap the benefits. David already likes what he sees from the two rookies, citing their communication as a big factor why. This is definitely a good sign, considering communication is what helps him and White thrive on the field together.
We still have a long way to go this offseason, but right now Lavonte David is making sure his fellow linebackers use the time wisely. Who knows? Once his potential Hall of Fame playing career wraps up, perhaps he can stick around in Tampa as a coach.