Bucs lag in Pro Bowl fan balloting

Linebacker Lavonte David, with a team-leading 113 tackles, five interceptions and six sacks, is sixth among outside linebackers with 137,593 votes.
Linebacker Lavonte David, with a team-leading 113 tackles, five interceptions and six sacks, is sixth among outside linebackers with 137,593 votes.
Published Dec. 12, 2013

TAMPA — Fan balloting is only one-third of the process that sends the NFL's best players to the Pro Bowl in Hawaii. And that's good for the Bucs, who have only two players among the top 10 at their position.

Lavonte David, who has six sacks and team highs of 113 tackles and five interceptions, is sixth among the outside linebackers with 137,593 votes, the NFL said Wednesday.

"Lavonte is, by far, one of the best linebackers I've seen in a long time," Bucs LB Adam Hayward said.

Darrelle Revis, a four-time Pro Bowl pick, is 10th among cornerbacks with 152,219 votes. That's fewer than half the total for leader Richard Sherman of Seattle. DT Gerald McCoy, who has a team-high seven sacks, does not crack the top 10.

The Bucs aren't the only team whose fans haven't been stuffing the online ballots. The Bengals, Dolphins, Steelers and Titans also have only two players in the top 10. The Giants and Falcons have one, and the Jaguars don't have any.

Fans can vote at Voting ends Dec. 26, and the rosters, also based on votes by coaches and players, will be announced Dec. 27.

David said it would mean a lot to make the Pro Bowl but he is not focused on it.

"Just going out, playing the game I love, been dreaming about being in this position my whole life, since I've been a kid," David said. "I'm just taking advantage of the opportunity."

MEDICAL MATTERS: It was only Wednesday, when veterans with lingering injuries often get a day away from practice. But the Bucs opened practice without starting C Jeremy Zuttah, RG Davin Joseph and WR Vincent Jackson and DE Da'Quan Bowers.

Zuttah and Joseph have shoulder injuries after colliding as they tried to make a tackle after an interception in Sunday's win against Buffalo. Both players seem likely to play Sunday against San Francisco.

Jackson, who was limited in practice by a hamstring injury all last week, started against the Bills and caught a touchdown. Schiano said Bowers has a knee injury.

STRONG day: DE William Gholston is a finalist for NFL rookie of the week after his 1½ sacks against the Bills. Other nominees are: Cincinnati RB Giovani Bernard, Baltimore WR Marlon Brown, Minnesota WR Cordarrelle Patterson and Jets QB Geno Smith.

Fans can vote at, and the winner will be announced Friday.

"It's just fun to be up for an award," said Gholston, a fourth-round pick out of Michigan State; "with everything that's going on, having to work for everything and build up to where I am now. I've still got a lot further to go. But it feels good."

Gholston, who was "full go" at practice after sustaining a concussion Sunday, has seen increased playing time since being inactive for four of the team's first five games.

"I feel like my pad level and my hand placement and my leverage has gotten better since leaving college," he said. "Every week, it gradually gets better."

THIS AND THAT: The team signed DT Richard Clebert, a former USF player, to the practice squad and cut TE Matt Veldman. Clebert, who was on the roster from January to May, saw time at center and nose guard on Wednesday. … The Bucs on Sunday were just the second team since 2002 to have seven sacks and five takeaways in a game. Green Bay did it in 2012. The only other time the Bucs did it was in 1987 against the Vikings.