Bengals running back Rex Burkhead isn’t the only former Husker finding some of the preseason spotlight.
Tampa Bay’s Lavonte David is emerging as a “strong, silent” leader for the Bucs according to the Tampa Tribune’s Martin Fennelly.
The first former Nebraska player taken in the 2012 NFL draft, David was a second-round pick (No. 58 overall) by the Bucs last April. The 6-foot-1, 233-pound linebacker racked up 139 tackles last season — 112 solo — in his rookie campaign. The 139 takedowns were the eighth-most in the league last season.
Now David, a Miami native, says he’s ready to take another step in his pro career.
“I have one year under my belt on this defense,” David told Fennelly. “I’m learning more about it, not only my position, but others guys’ positions as well.”
The Nebraska All-American is also gaining the confidence of the the Tampa Bay staff.
Buccaneers coach Greg Schiano said the experience he gained in 2012 will only help David — named the NFL Rookie of the Month last November — improve in his second NFL season.
“At this time last year, he’s still learning the calls and he’s a communicator; he makes the defensive calls,” Schiano said. “Now, that’s like second nature to him. Now he understands the defense and he makes the adjustments.”