After nearly ending his career in Tampa Bay on a sour note, Lavonte David is back and has a message for Buccaneers fans.
To say that last season was a disappointment is to severely undersell how upsetting it was to watch. Everything was lined up for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to end the Tom Brady era with another run at a Super Bowl, but things went sideways.
Rather than competing for a title, the Bucs fought for their lives the entire season and played well below the level of expectation. The season ended with a blowout loss in the Wild Card to the Cowboys, which capped off a 8-9 season and a forgettable conclusion to an otherwise unforgettable era in the team’s history.
Tom Brady retired after the season, Leonard Fournette asked for a release, and it appeared as though a dark new chapter was about to be begin. However, the front office somehow brought back Jamel Dean, signed Baker Mayfield to compete with Kyle Trask, and re-signed some key contributors across the middle of the depth chart.
One of the marquee players brought back was team captain Lavonte David.
Lavonte David comments on how things went for Bucs last season
Bringing David back was huge, as it kept a key duo on defense together and made a statement about the Bucs competing next season rather than accepting defeat before the year even started.
David was re-introduced this past week after signing a deal to return to the Buccaneers this offseason. In his press conference, the Bucs captain commented on what happened last season and
“Everything was so up-and-down and it wasn’t consistent,” David said. “We’re a better football team than what we displayed. Definitely that playoff loss, losing at home in a wild card game – we basically probably played the worst game of the season. We were outmatched. We just didn’t play the way we know how to play football.”
More than that, David said that the way things went last season specifically motivated him to come back to Tampa Bay in free agency.
“Obviously that factors in when you’re a competitor like me. I feel like the best place for me to redeem myself was in Tampa. Kind of finishing what I’ve started. I’ve been there my whole career. I wouldn’t want to be nowhere else. They’re like a family there, so I’m excited to be back and get back to playing football.”
This is why the Bucs needed David back, as what he brings to the team extends beyond what he provides on the field. There was fear of a leadership gap in the locker room with Brady and other key vets leaving, but David remains and so too does everything he brings behind the scenes.
His comments on last season are just the tip of that iceberg, and it’s a reminder of how lucky the Bucs are to have him back.