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Lovie Smith thinks Lavonte David has Derrick Brooks qualities

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Many coaches, especially the former ones on television, use hyperbole as a second language. Whatever player they’re talking about at that moment is the best player ever in the history of ever.

But new Buccaneers coach Lovie Smith is more understated, but dropped a heavy comparison on one of his new players.

Via Pat Yasinskas of, Smith compared linebacker Lavonte David to Derrick Brooks, a guy he coached as a Buccaneers assistant in the 1990s.

“There’s not a lot of players like Derrick Brooks,” Smith said. “It’s not even fair to compare some guys in that way. But, Lavonte David, he has a chance. He’s that younger version coming up. I hear he’s a great guy.”

Smith hears correctly. After he was somehow overlooked in Pro Bowl voting, David was correctly named All-Pro after his second season, a six-sack, five-interception performance.

But invoking a guy who could be heading to Canton one day is also a burden of responsibility.

Smith’s smart to latch onto David as soon as he walks in the door, because he’s clearly one of the key parts on defense he can build around, as he tries to get the Bucs back to an era where their defense carried them.

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17 Responses to “Lovie Smith thinks Lavonte David has Derrick Brooks qualities”
  1. citizenstrange says: Jan 7, 2014 11:43 AM

    ” After he was somehow overlooked in Pro Bowl voting, … ”
    I think it was because Polamalu was playing a lot of linebacker this year and he has the hair and everything.

  2. bucrightoff says: Jan 7, 2014 11:45 AM

    Actually his first two seasons were statistically better than Derrick Brooks. He would probably win DPOY if he played for a winner. Wouldn’t trade im for any other defensive player in the league.

  3. leeeroooyjeeenkiiins says: Jan 7, 2014 11:51 AM

    Statistically, he just had a better season than Brooks ever did. Obviously it’s no guarantee that he puts together a Hall of Fame-caliber career like Brooks, but the potential is certainly there.

  4. belichickdominatedjoemontana says: Jan 7, 2014 12:03 PM

    “Rex is our quarterback.”

  5. fishfiletkray says: Jan 7, 2014 12:06 PM

    One of the best linebackers in football in only his second year. He’s got amazing sideline to sideline ability and great instincts. It’s scary to think what he can become.

  6. pcullotta says: Jan 7, 2014 12:17 PM

    This is from the very same guy who said Kellan Davis was as good as the top TEs in football, Devin Hester was a #1 WR and “Rex is our quarterback”. Hahahah. Good luck Bucs fan.

  7. antimeatball says: Jan 7, 2014 12:23 PM

    This is going to be a train wreck

  8. rodh32340 says: Jan 7, 2014 12:27 PM

    As long as he didn’t say he was Derrick Thomas….

  9. mrbullgator says: Jan 7, 2014 12:31 PM

    you mean comparing a guy that IS heading to Canton.

  10. enochmh2 says: Jan 7, 2014 12:39 PM

    This is why its important not to get too caught up in size, many ‘experts’ said he’s undersized but he seems to be doing pretty great.

  11. youngry says: Jan 7, 2014 12:51 PM

    leeeroooyjeeenkiiins says:
    Jan 7, 2014 11:51 AM
    Statistically, he just had a better season than Brooks ever did. Obviously it’s no guarantee that he puts together a Hall of Fame-caliber career like Brooks, but the potential is certainly there.

    Don’t get me wrong I love Lavonte but Derrick Brooks had quite possibly the best year ever for a defender in 2002. He scored 4 defensive TDs in the regular season and another in the Superbowl for god sakes. Brooks is the G(OLB)OAT

  12. milkmandanimal says: Jan 7, 2014 12:59 PM

    Lavonte David is right now one of the singly best defensive players in the game, and it’s only because he’s played in a small market during two seasons that can be best classified as a train wreck occurring inside a dumpster fire that everybody doesn’t know his name. He is ridiculously fast, seems to just run through blockers, and there is no way somebody that young should have the instincts he does. He is simply amazingly good, and he’s going to be All-Pro for many years to come.

    That being said, to agree with Mr. Jenkins above, nobody should be compared to Derrick Brooks at this point. Brooks is an all-time great who will walk into Canton on the first ballot, and you need way more than two really great seasons to get into that discussion. It’d be like comparing a basketball player to Jordan or Bird after a couple games, or saying RGIII’s first few phenomenal games his rookie year means he’s as good as guys like Unitas or Montana.

    David is going to be a great player, but you have to be a great player for about a decade before you start getting compared to Derrick Brooks.

  13. scubasteve4930 says: Jan 7, 2014 1:00 PM

    Best linebacker in the league

  14. lgbarn says: Jan 7, 2014 1:32 PM

    Just goes to show how much of a joke the Pro-Bowl is. Lavonte David is voted All
    Pro 1st team but doesn’t get voted to the Pro-Bowl…just silly

  15. dtownsportslions says: Jan 7, 2014 1:40 PM

    I was so mad when the Lions passed on this guy in the draft. Such morons.

  16. beedubyatoo says: Jan 7, 2014 1:53 PM

    “We get off the bus running.”

  17. philtration says: Jan 7, 2014 1:56 PM

    While in Chicago Lovie was really bad at managing the clock and his timeouts.
    He sucked at making adjustments and game planing.
    He was stubborn to a fault and he was NEVER EVER wrong but the area that he lacked the most in was talent evaluation.

    Good luck Tampa and get used to seeing key coaching positions filled by Lovie’s fishing buddies.

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