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Lavonte David’s coverage skills will be put to test tonight

Lavonte David, Jared Odrick AP

Linebacker Lavonte David hasn’t gotten the attention of some of the Buccaneers’ other new parts, but he has impressed in his short time there.

And tonight, they’ll get a good barometer of how the second-round pick from Nebraska will hold up to a frequent challenge.

The Bucs have put the rookie weakside linebacker in their nickel package, and will use him in coverage often. Tonight against the Patriots, that means Rob Gronkowski and/or Aaron Hernandez.

But that’s just the beginning of it for David, per Stephen Holder of the Tampa Bay Times.

The Bucs will have six games a year in their division against teams with legitimate big-play tight ends Jimmy Graham, Tony Gonzalez and Greg Olsen.

So David’s ability to drop into coverage will be as much of a key to slowing down that part of the game plan as safeties Mark Barron and Ronde Barber. Tonight will give an indication of how ready he is for that test.

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9 Responses to “Lavonte David’s coverage skills will be put to test tonight”
  1. bucrightoff says: Aug 24, 2012 11:19 AM

    Best lineback the Bucs have had since #55. Just an absolute tackling machine.

  2. bunjy96 says: Aug 24, 2012 11:38 AM

    If he holds his own against Gronks, he will be the first one to do it.

  3. jrillah10 says: Aug 24, 2012 11:38 AM

    The Bucs are in for some growing pains, but David look legit. I’m sure he’ll have fun tonight. Go Bucs!

  4. yelix says: Aug 24, 2012 11:53 AM

    This dude was a beast at Nebraska. The only reason they beat Ohio State was because he forced a fumble that sparked a comeback.

  5. profootballwalk says: Aug 24, 2012 12:05 PM

    Greg Olsen? Greg Freakin’ Olsen?

  6. crazyphatdude14 says: Aug 24, 2012 12:33 PM

    bunjy96 says: Aug 24, 2012 11:38 AM

    If he holds his own against Gronks, he will be the first one to do it.

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    Wrong. Tyvon Branch held Gronk to 1 catch for 15 yards last season. Week 4. Part of the reason the Raiders Franchised Branch and gave him a new contract. Branch has been superior in coverage against tight ends for the last few years. He shut down Gronk, Tony Moeaki, Antonio Gates, Tony Gonzalez, and a bunch more.

  7. rockthered1286 says: Aug 24, 2012 1:12 PM

    bucrightoff says:
    Aug 24, 2012 11:19 AM
    Best lineback the Bucs have had since #55. Just an absolute tackling machine.

    __________________________________

    Seriously? Through a few preseason games you’re willing to make such a bold assumption on a 2nd round pick? Has the LB core been THAT weak in Tampa over the years?

  8. mightyleemoon says: Aug 24, 2012 2:14 PM

    Seriously? Through a few preseason games you’re willing to make such a bold assumption on a 2nd round pick? Has the LB core been THAT weak in Tampa over the years?

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    Actually, yes. It has. 2 Pre-Season games is enough to know that he is better than pretty much anything they have had in a long while. Think about it, the best LB stud this team has had since #55 has been Ruud…who was known for getting dragged for the majority of his tackles.

    David probably is the best Buc’s LB in half a decade…not that this statement actually says anything.

  9. bucrightoff says: Aug 24, 2012 2:54 PM

    Sure does speak to how bad our LBs have been since Brooks was let go. Ruud might have led the league in tackles….from 5-8 yards downfield. Why he never chose to ever meet the runner in the hole is beyond me.

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