McCoy, David earn first-team AP All-Pro honors
Bucs linebacker Lavonte David, snubbed last week when he wasn't among five outside linebackers picked for the Pro Bowl, got some redemption Friday as he and defensive tackle Gerald McCoy were honored as first-team All-Pro selections by the Associated Press.
"Almost like a dream come true,” David said in a statement released by the team. "To be honored as one of the best of the best at your position is amazing. ... I would like to thank God, first and foremost, for blessing me. I’d like to thank my coaches for coaching me and helping me develop to be a great football player. My teammates, for pushing me … all of those guys are like brothers to me and I wouldn’t be in this position without those guys. I want to thank my family and friends for having my back, supporting me and being there with me through the hard times."
In McCoy and David, the Bucs have their first All-Pro first-teamers since 2005, when Derrick Brooks got his fifth and final nod and Ronde Barber got the last of his three first-team honors. It's the first All-Pro first-team honors for both players, though McCoy has made the Pro Bowl two years in a row.
"It’s awesome," McCoy said in a statement. "This is a dream come true because making the Pro Bowl is one thing, but being the best at your position ... You take the best two people at that position across the NFL, so to be considered one of the top two players at my position, that’s what you work for, you work to be the best. You don’t work to be mediocre or work to be just a guy, you work to be the best, and for the year of 2013, I accomplished that.”
Darrelle Revis, who made the Pro Bowl in his first year with the Bucs, was not among five cornerbacks selected on the AP's two All-Pro teams. Former Bucs corner Aqib Talib, now with the Patriots, was honored. David was one of three first-team All-Pro selections who weren't among the initial 85 named to Pro Bowl rosters.
"I thought he got slighted and snubbed in the Pro Bowl, but I told him that he would be an All-Pro," McCoy said. "There’s no way you could keep him off of that. He is one of the best outside linebackers in the NFL, if not the best, and that’s what this list is showing. I’m glad he got the credit he deserves, and it’s an honor to be on there with him."
The Bucs' two first-team selections were as many as any non-playoff team this season, and only Carolina and Philadelphia, with three players each, had more selections in the entire league.
While the Pro Bowl gives a player a trip to Hawaii, the All-Pro honors are harder to come by -- Bucs players have gone to the Pro Bowl 82 times in the team's history, but have been named to the AP All-Pro first team just 23 times. In the franchise's first 21 years in the NFL, the Bucs had just two AP first-teamers: Lee Roy Selmon in 1979 and Hardy Nickerson in 1993.