The NFL preseason got here fast but for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers that isn’t the only thing going fast.
Sports Talk Florida caught up with linebacker Lavonte David to talk about how the defense is coming into this season after really finding its way midway through last season.
“We know what we are capable of, the things we accomplished last season,” said David. “We’re just trying to hit the ground running, come into next season and starting fast. That’s our motto right now, ‘start fast.'”
While the offense saw many additions during the offseason, the defense has stayed relatively the same. Throughout training camp, the defense has stepped up and shined against Jameis Winston and DeSean Jackson.
“Everyone is communicating; everyone is on a different level with the defense, so it’s a real positive to look at.”
Communication was a big key in the defense’s turn around last year. During the first eight games of the 2016 season, the Bucs forced 11 turnovers. Then from week 10 to 17, they forced 18, which turned out to be the most in the league. They had 81 passes defended and 17 interceptions, four of which turned into touchdowns.
While communication really helped the Bucs defense step up and play aggressively, David and fellow linebacker Kwon Alexander also stepped into new rules to help this adjustment. The two have helped take on a leadership role.
“Kwon has the mic, he wants to take charge and put everything on his shoulders, make sure everyone is doing what they are supposed to do,” said David.
“My job is just to back him up or just make sure everybody is getting calls.”
The Buccaneers kick off preseason play tomorrow night in Cincinnati at 7:30 p.m.