TAMPA, Fla. - Since the draft, Bucs first-round pick Devin White has gotten most of the attention but Bruce Arians had high praise for the linebacker who will line up next to White: Lavonte David.
“He’s got a resume and a really good one," said Arians. "Almost Hall of Fame... He’s a very quiet leader. You like those kind of guys because you just follow them. You don’t have to hear them, you just follow them.”
David has lead the Bucs in tackles in all but one of his seven seasons. David likes the new scheme Bucs defensive coordinator Todd Bowles is implementing but admits it has him feeling like he's starting all over again.
"I’m learning like I am a rookie again," said David. "Me and [White] are basically coming in at the same time. We’re going to learn together and try to turn this thing around together.”
With the loss of Jason Pierre-Paul due to a fractured neck, the Bucs are in need for someone to step up and fill the void. Noah Spence, who was the forgotten Buc last season, is the lead candidate.
“[Spence has] a great opportunity right now to get on tape and get many snaps," said Arians. "Noah looked very good out there today.”
“Seeing him, he is in a whole new attitude and mindset right now," said David. "His body is looking good, he is in great shape and he is having fun. Noah is communicating and talking and feeling more confident, so that is what I like to see. An unfortunate thing happened with [Jason Pierre-Paul]. That gives guys like Noah and other guys a chance to step up. We have all the faith in the world in Noah. We know what he brings to the table and we’re ready for him to bring it this year."
In three years, Spence went from five and a half sacks his rookie season to being barely utilized. He finished 2018 with no sacks and just three tackles, but the Bucs' new staff believes he's a fit for this new defense.