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Rick Stroud, Greg Auman and Matt Baker

Lavonte David: Bucs defense 'can be the best defense ever'

"I think we can be the best defense ever, to be honest. I'm going to go out there and say it," Lavonte David said.

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"I think we can be the best defense ever, to be honest. I'm going to go out there and say it," Lavonte David said.

If you weren't sure of the confidence and excitement exuding from Bucs players this spring, consider linebacker Lavonte David, who was asked Thursday just how special the Bucs defense can be this fall.

"I think we can be the best defense ever, to be honest. I'm going to go out there and say it," David said.

Asked to clarify if he meant the best in Bucs history -- those 2002 Bucs, for instance, allowing just 12.2 points per game on the way to a Super Bowl win, weren't too bad -- David did not back down from his confidence.

"Yeah, I'm going to say it. Put it on me. I'm going to say it," he said. "NFL history, Bucs history, anything. That's just the type of attitude we have."

The initial reaction from Twitter, of course, was along the lines of "let's see you be the best in your division this season first," or something slightly less polite than that. Remember, the 2015 Bucs gave up an average of 26.1 points per game, ranking 26th in the NFL -- they were much better in total defense, which measures yards allowed, ranking 10th overall.

The best NFL defense ever? If we go with the 16-game era, the best defense was the 2000 Ravens -- who did have a guy named Mike Smith coaching on their defense -- and gave up 165 total points, or 10.3 per game. Last year's Bucs, by comparison, gave up 161 in their first five losses.

But David has confidence, even as he rattled off a long run of teammates who were mostly part of last year's defense as well.

"With Gerald (McCoy), you've got Kwon (Alexander), you've got Bradley McDougald, you've got Alterraun (Verner), Brent (Grimes), Robert Ayers, Clint (McDonald), that's the attitude we want to have," he said. "We're trying to challenge ourselves."

[Last modified: Thursday, June 2, 2016 5:52pm]

    

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