Football is the great equalizer. Many coaches and players have understood this since the birth of the sport. Regardless of social status, if you can play the game, you can play.
What isn’t equal is the perception of players based on their team’s market share.
A quick reminder of some stats would come in useful around here, so let’s not delay.
With 137 NFL games played (all starts) over 9 seasons, accumulating 1125 tackles, 24 sacks, 24 forced fumbles, 16 fumble recoveries, 12 interceptions, 3 total touchdowns, and 1 safety; those are numbers that every linebacker in the league would love, yet few can achieve. Include the fact that this player has been a fixture of leadership for the Buccaneers, through coaching and personnel changes, and mostly through losing seasons.
Consistently one of the highest performers in his position group, his single All-Pro, and single Pro-Bowl accolade is something of a mystery.
In fact, it wasn’t until the Buccaneers added Lombardi number 2 that a national spotlight was shone over the 2020 Tampa Bay Buccaneers. While this spotlight was shining the rest of the league took notice. Although, to Tampa fans, this was just the same player we’ve watched and loved since the 58th pick of the 2012 NFL Draft.
While Lavonte David has made a career of flying under the national media’s radar, the newly acquired attention will surely mean some much-needed recognition for the league’s most underrated player.