TAMPA — Lavonte David had to keep secret the design of the Bucs’ new uniforms. He modeled them last month for a promotional video released Tuesday by the team. Before then, his lips were sealed.
The new design is mostly a replica of the older uniforms worn by the Super Bowl 37 championship team in the 2002 season.
Even though David has had time to get used to them, he said reality won’t hit until he sees new quarterback Tom Brady wearing No. 12 for the Bucs.
“Ah, man, it’s going to hit. I feel like it’s going to hit. Reality is going to set in that we’ve got one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time,” David said Tuesday. "One of the great dudes, one of the greatest guys to play the position. It’s going to bring that winning mentality to that position and I know for a fact guys are going to have his back and he’s going to have our back.
“It’s going to be a team thing. It’s not just going to be about him. It’s going to be about everybody out there in those uniforms and getting out there and going out there and putting in the work to us to that level.”
Brady wore the New England Patriots uniform for the past 20 seasons, appearing in nine Super Bowls and winning six of them. The Bucs, meanwhile, haven’t been in the postseason for the past 12 years, including all of David’s career.
“I’ve been itching for a very long time, the past eight years,” David said. "And to actually have someone come in who has that winning pedigree? There’s going to be a lot to learn from him. He’s going to have a lot of knowledge for us. A lot of knowledge for me. Just helping me be a better leader, be a better teammate and find the little things to help us get over the hump, help us have an edge.
“You know, what he brings is just that winning mentality. That attitude. Knowing what it takes to get there and what it takes to win it all. That’s what everybody in our locker room wants and he’s the perfect guy for it. I know a lot of guys are going to lean on him. ... I feel like he’s going to bring that edge that we always needed.”
David said his favorite uniform has always been the red jersey, and he wore a similar combination his first two years in the NFL. He was “blown away" by the color-rush pewter uniforms.
Bucs tight end Cameron Brate also enjoys the new look.
“I think they’re great," Brate said. “I didn’t hate the old uniforms. I know some people did. But the new ones are awesome, I think. I’m a big fan of the white and pewter ones. I think they look great and it’s obviously something the fans can get excited about so it’s all good.”
Hopefully Brady will also be a perfect fit for the Bucs.