Quietly, Lavonte David emerging for Bucs


TAMPA, Fla. -- Understand one thing going into this -- Tampa Bay Buccaneers linebacker Lavonte David isn't much of a talker.

And he sure as heck isn't about to declare himself a special player.

"I can't really say," David said after Tampa Bay's 27-6 victory against Buffalo on Sunday. "I'm just playing the game that I love. I just love the game of football. Every Sunday I'm going to come out and try my hardest, give my heart for the team and guys that's on the field with me."

Or let's take another sampling of David's modesty. After a two-interception game, David was informed he's only the seventh player in NFL history to record five sacks and five interceptions in a season.

"It's just an accomplishment," David said. "I really don't pay attention to the statistical things, but it's just all a matter of just playing hard."

If you want to know how good a player David is, just turn to Sunday's stat sheet. In addition to the two interceptions, David finished with nine tackles and a sack. Or, if you want more evidence, turn to some of his more talkative teammates.

"He's one of the best players on defense in this league," safety Dashon Goldson said. "He's overlooked, I feel. But he just keeps playing and I'm sure he'll get on that map sooner or later and they'll start respecting him across the league."

Or turn to David's head coach.

"There are certain types of leaders," Greg Schiano said. "There are vocal leaders. There are leaders by example. Lavonte is a leader by example unquestionably. His work ethic, his attention to detail, his practice habits. If you could say, 'As a Buc, how do you want a guy to perform?' You just point to him."