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. Jones: Koetter-Winston exchange highlights latest 'Hard Knocks'

    Bucs

    There are certain things that make HBO's Hard Knocks must-see television.

    Jameis Winston, left, has an exchange with Dirk Koetter that highlights Hard Knocks.
  2. Trevor Plouffe is DFA'd by Rays, Kittredge recalled for now

    Blogs

    INF Trevor Plouffe didn't do much with the opportunity the Rays gave him, and time ran out Tuesday when he was designated for assignment after the game.

    Plouffe hit just .178, with one homer and two RBIs, in 31 games for the Rays, his primary playing time from starting at first or third against lefties.

  3. Rays journal: Offense shows signs of waking up in win over Blue Jays (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — The drought was so severe that it's still probably too soon to say the Rays are out of it, but scoring a half-dozen runs in Tuesday's 6-5 win over the Blue Jays was another promising sign.

    Corey Dickerson high-fives Wilson Ramos after hitting a solo home run in the third inning, putting the Rays up 2-1.
  4. Marc Topkin's takeaways from Tuesday's Rays-Blue Jays game

    The Heater

    C Wilson Ramos, coming off right knee surgery, often takes it easy on the bases, though it's not always a good look. But he hustled when he needed to Tuesday and got the Rays a run by beating out a two-out infield single, finishing with three more hits.

  5. Rays are full of ideas they'd like to share when commissioner visits

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Commissioner Rob Manfred is coming to the Trop today. Hmm. Rays principal owner Stuart Sternberg will be there to greet him. Hmmmm. And they have a scheduled joint media session. Hmmmmmmmmm.

    Commissioner Rob Manfred isn’t expected to say anything definitive about the Rays’ stadium situation when he visits the team today.