Lavonte David Talks Tom Brady, New Uniforms
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will look the same in many ways this season, but there will be a number of big changes, as well.
For starters, they signed the greatest quarterback of all time in Tom Brady, bringing immediate national relevance and higher expectations for a team that hasn't won a playoff game in 18 years.
More recently, the team unveiled new-but-also-old uniforms that pay homage to the past, with a little flair for the future.
Bucs linebacker Lavonte David is thrilled about both developments.
"When I first saw them, basically it kind of reminded of back in the old times when I first got here, my rookie and second year,” David said following the team's official uniform unveiling Tuesday, via Zoom call with local media. “They were similar and then they came out with the different ones, the color rush uniforms, and I was blown away by those. I thought those were fantastic. I’m pretty sure everyone likes them, I see we’re getting a lot of responses to them. I feel like everybody is pleased with them."
Tampa Bay made their first uniform change in 1997, and enjoyed the most successful stretch in franchise history wearing a look that closely mirrors the one they just revealed. In 2014, they made a drastic change to a more futuristic look, but the vast majority of fans have never been thrilled with them.
David isn't just happy about the updated threads; he's also excited about Tom Brady's arrival in Tampa Bay.
“He’s going to have a lot of knowledge," David said of Brady. A lot of knowledge for me, helping be a better leader, be a better teammate, find all the little things to put us over the hump, put us over the edge. What he brings is that winning mentality, that attitude. He knows what it takes to get there and he knows what it takes to win it all, and that’s what all the guys in the locker room want and he’s the perfect guy for it.”
David has been one of the NFL's best defenders since the Bucs selected him in the second round of the 2012 NFL Draft, but his incredible career has flown under the radar. That's in large part due to the fact that the Bucs haven't made the playoffs in his career, something he hopes changes in the near future now that Brady's on board.
"I've been itching for [the playoffs] for a very long time, the past eight years," Davis said. "And then having somebody come in who has that winning pedigree, it's going to be a lot to learn from. He's going to have a lot of knowledge for us, a lot of knowledge for me, just helping me be a better leader, be a better teammate. [He'll] help us find all those little things to help us get over the hump, help us get over the edge."
One thing that's not changing? The look of their promising defense, which returns every starter on the front seven, including NFL sack leader Shaq Barrett, veteran trench-warriors Ndamukong Suh and Jason Pierre-Paul, and David's linebacker running mate in Devin White. A young secondary that improved greatly down the stretch last year also gets another year with Todd Bowles, one of the league's best defensive coordinators.
There's plenty to be excited about in Tampa Bay, and David can't wait to live up to the hype on the field.
“It was kind of a different feeling when we put those uniforms on,” David said. “It reminds you of the times when everything in Tampa was going on the up and up and now we’re trying to get back to that way. New uniforms, new team, new look and we all have to just put it on the field now.”