Underrated: Lavonte David
David is the kind of guy you love to have in your building. He started at Northwestern High School in Miami, went the community college route, then went to Nebraska in late June, won the job, and never turned back. David is a quiet guy, but he has the respect of his peers across the league. He’s similar to Derrick Brooks in the way he plays the game, particularly when it comes to his instincts, speed and the way he hustles and sprints to the tackle. You see him passing teammates on the way to the football.
Overrated: Roberto Aguayo
Yes, he turned his preseason around, but don’t let that distract from the truth: The Bucs could have waited on Aguayo and still gotten him much later in the draft. There were a lot of good football players left in the second round at that point. I’m sure [general manager] Jason Licht feels justified in making that decision, but my feeling is he went far too early. We’ll see how it plays out in 2016.
This is a team that can make the playoffs right now. They aren’t a year away. Licht has done a good job adding talent. He’s had a clear plan—he’s spent time around some great people in New England and then in Arizona with [Cardinals general manager] Steve Keim. Usually I don’t expect much from a first-year head coach but Dirk Koetter is able to effectively communicate with his team, and he’s a guy who’s held in high regard by all the players and coaches he’s been around.