Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Lavonte David draws high expectations from Bucs

Chris Owusu, left, now listed as the starting kick returner, protects the ball from All-Pro linebacker Lavonte David during training camp.

SAM OWENS | Times

Chris Owusu, left, now listed as the starting kick returner, protects the ball from All-Pro linebacker Lavonte David during training camp.

TAMPA — Lavonte David was one of two outside linebackers named to the All-Pro first team last year, and despite a snub in the Pro Bowl voting, the Bucs star enters his third NFL season with high expectations.

Bucs coach Lovie Smith, joining players at a "Chalk Talk" luncheon at the Grand Hyatt Tampa Bay, said he believes David is "the best outside linebacker in the game," drawing comparisons to Hall of Famer Derrick Brooks as this defense tries to reach the same level of dominance as the Bucs' Super Bowl champs 12 years ago.

"We don't shy away from that. We're putting pressure on our players to think that way," Smith said. "There's a standard we set in the past. Derrick Brooks, Warren Sapp, they're looking over this group and wanting a certain brand of football to be played here. We don't want to disappoint them."

Bucs QB Josh McCown, RB Doug Martin, WR Vincent Jackson, WR Mike Evans and DE Michael Johnson took questions from fans during the hour-plus luncheon.

McCown's brother Luke, a former Bucs quarterback, is a backup with the Saints, but since he isn't starting, Josh joked that his family should have no divided loyalties this fall, even in the two games where the brothers' teams play each other.

"Unless something happens to Drew (Brees), I'll be playing and he won't be," Josh said. "I hope my parents would understand that and root accordingly. … But he's going into his 11th year and my 13th year and it's a tremendous blessing for my folks to be able to say they have two sons that have played that long in the (NFL). They win before they get to the stadium."

Depth chart: After saying little Monday about their lineups, the Bucs gave a glimpse into key position battles by releasing an updated depth chart Tuesday.

WR Chris Owusu is the starter on kickoff returns, and RB Bobby Rainey on punt returns. Newcomer Logan Mankins is listed as the starting left guard, with Patrick Omameh at right guard. Rishaw Johnson is Omameh's backup, and rookie Kadeem Edwards is the No. 2 left guard. Newly signed Garrett Gilkey, who had been considered a guard, is the backup center, behind Evan Dietrich-Smith.

Mike Jenkins, who missed all of August with a leg injury, joins Alterraun Verner as the starting cornerbacks, ahead of Johnthan Banks, who started every game as a rookie last season. Brandon Myers is listed as the top tight end, ahead of touted rookie Austin Seferian-Jenkins. Evans is the only rookie listed as a starter.

Contact Greg Auman at gauman@tampabay.com and (813) 226-3346 and Matt Baker at mbaker@tampabay.com. Follow @gregauman and @MBakerTBTimes.

Lavonte David draws high expectations from Bucs 09/02/14 [Last modified: Tuesday, September 2, 2014 9:16pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Luke Del Rio regains UF starting job, for now

    College

    GAINESVILLE — Luke Del Rio is once again the starting quarterback for No. 21 Florida.

    Luke Del Rio provided a needed spark when he replaced starter Feleipe Franks and rallied Florida past Kentucky.
  2. Four questions the Lightning still has to answer

    Lightning Strikes

    FORT LAUDERDALE — The Lightning made its biggest round of cuts Monday, with some of the big-named prospects heading out.

    Tampa Bay Lightning forward Steven Stamkos (91) looks on from the bench during a shift change at Lightning hockey training camp in Brandon on Monday (09/18/17). In background on right is Nikita Kucherov (86). DIRK SHADD   |   Times  

  3. Nine Florida football players, 62 felony complaints in fraud scandal

    College

    GAINESVILLE — The fraud scandal that has engulfed the University of Florida's nationally ranked football team for weeks exploded Monday with the first detailed accounts of criminal accusations that threaten to derail the Gators' season.

    Florida Gators wide receiver Antonio Callaway (81) runs the ball during the Outback Bowl in January at Raymond James Stadium. [CHARLIE KAIJO   |   Times]
  4. Where Rays shortstop Matt Duffy's lost season leads

    The Heater

    BRADENTON — In a perfect world Matt Duffy would have been in New York on Monday with his Rays teammates enjoying the final off day of the year. Instead, he was on Field 4 at Pirate City on a sweltering afternoon, trying to restart his season.

    Rays shortstop Matt Duffy plays in his first game (since rehab was aborted) with the club's instructional league on Monday at the Pirate City baseball field and spring training complex in Bradenton [DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD  |  Times]
  5. Vinny Lecavalier's jersey retirement will be another classic Vinny moment

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — He was the face of the franchise. He was taken first overall in the 1998 NHL Draft by a franchise at the bottom. Art Williams, the nutty Tampa Bay Lightning owner at the time, proclaimed the 18-year-old from Ile Bizard, a Montreal borough, "the Michael Jordan of hockey."

    Vincent Lecavalier makes a break for the net while playing an exhibition game on Sunday (9/24/17) with the 2017 U.S. Women???‚??„?s National Team at Amalie Arena in Tampa. Lecavalier was the captain of the Tampa Bay Lightning for the 2000???‚??€œ2001 season and between the 2008???‚??€œ2013 and spent his first 14 NHL seasons with the Tampa Bay Lightning before signing with the Philadelphia Flyers.