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)

Tampa Bay Bucs rookie linebacker Lavonte David shows good hands, timing

MIAMI — Lavonte David grew up mere miles from where his NFL journey began Friday night.

Playing in front of 25 family members at Sun Life Stadium in Miami, the former Miami Northwestern High standout and Bucs second-round pick burst onto the scene in his first NFL action.

He made his presence felt against the Dolphins, notching a tackle for loss and an interception, but most important, he hardly seemed like a wide-eyed rookie in his first professional game.

The increase in the speed of the game barely fazed David, who started at weakside linebacker and could very well be a fixture there for a long time.

"It was definitely faster," he said. "But I kind of got used to it. As the game went on, I just adjusted."

Did he ever.

David showed himself to be the sideline-to-sideline pursuer he was at Nebraska. It's one thing to show that in practice, quite another to translate it to game day at this level.

"He's done a real good job since he started," coach Greg Schiano said. "And I think he continued to do it (Friday). … He flew around out there, and he looked comfortable. I was happy for him to do it in his hometown, too."

David's interception, off starter Matt Moore in the second quarter, came after defensive tackle Frank Okam tipped the ball. From there, it was up to David to react quickly and show off his skills as a pass defender. It's an area where the Bucs think he will excel.

It seems they are on to something.

"I want to thank the D-line for the tip," David said. "The ball was in the air for a long time. It was right there, and I just had to get to it."

He made it all sound routine. And watching David, it looked that way. The Bucs are counting heavily on the rookie to be a playmaker on a defense that needs more of that.

To let him tell it, there's more to come.

"This was Step 1," he said. "I have a lot more to go."

Stephen F. Holder can be reached at sholder@tampabay.com. Follow him on Twitter at @HolderStephen.

Tampa Bay Bucs rookie linebacker Lavonte David shows good hands, timing 08/11/12 [Last modified: Saturday, August 11, 2012 12:19am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Marc Topkin's takeaways from Friday's Rays-Yankees game

    The Heater

    Did the Rays make the right call in picking RHP Austin Pruitt rather than top prospect Brent Honeywell? Though Honeywell had tweeted he was as ready as he'd ever be, the Rays felt better going with Pruitt, who gave them the five innings they were seeking.

  2. Damion Lowe returns to Rowdies after eventful Gold Cup

    Soccer

    ST. PETERSBURG — Pretty well emotionally spent, and not at all rested physically having just finished a life-changing stint with his native Jamaica in the Gold Cup, Damion Lowe wants the Rowdies to know he's ready.

    Damion Lowe, right, returns to the Rowdies — though he is likely to get a rest in tonight’s 7:30 home game against Pittsburgh — after an eventful six Gold Cup matches.
  3. Rays journal: Lineup dominated by Masahiro Tanaka in loss to Yankees (w/video)

    The Heater

    NEW YORK — Sometimes you just have to dig out the good news, and for the Rays on Friday it may well have been that they didn't get no-hit in a 6-1 loss.

    Austin Pruitt waits for Brett Gardner to round the bases after leading off the first with one of three homers Pruitt gives up.
  4. Rays at Yankees, 1:05 p.m. Saturday, New York

    The Heater

    Today: at Yankees

    1:05, Yankee Stadium, New York

    TV/radio: Fox Sports Sun; 620-AM, 680-AM (Spanish)

    Rays starting pitcher Blake Snell throws against the Rockies during the first inning Tuesday. He left after allowing just one hit and striking out nine in six shutout innings.  {Associated Press}
  5. Steve Cishek latest bullpen upgrade for Rays, who now must translate that to wins

    The Heater

    NEW YORK — The Rays made another addition to change the look of their bullpen Friday in acquiring veteran side-armer and former closer Steve Cishek from Seattle.

    Reliever Steve Cishek has a 3.15 ERA in 20 games after recovering from offseason hip surgery and a 1.86 ERA since a rocky second outing of the season.