The Buccaneers have been off the national radar for quite a while now. Anytime has mentioned Tampa Bay, it was met with scorn, a laugh, a team not to taken seriously regardless of the talent on the team.
When your team is not talked about much and all those is on the teeams in big markets, or teams that are doing well, the media tends to overlook some talented players.
There are two players on the Bucs that no matter what they do are continually passed over for post season accolades and cording to some analysts do not even make the top 10 at their respective positions.
One player in on offense, the other is on defense.
I’m talking about wide receiver Mike Evans and linebacker Lavonte David.
Mike Evans was a top 10 pick of the Buccaneers in the 2014 draft and has gone on to become the best receiver in Buccaneer history.
Evans and Randy Moss are the only receivers in NFL history to start their careers with six consecutive 1,000 yard seasons.
Evans is the all-time Buccaneer leader in catches, receiving yards, and touchdowns.
Yet, when the the annual list of the best receivers in the game make their rounds, Evans is rarely mentioned in the top and doesn’t even crack the top 10 according to some reporters.
Here are some lists of top receivers have seen Stefon Diggs, Odell Beckham, Amari Cooper, Deandre Hopkins, Michael Thomas, Tyreek Hill, Julio Jones, AJ Green, Keenan Allan, and even that Antonio Brown who seems to go out of his way to emabarass himself every chance he gets.
With Brady and Gronkowski in Tampa, and the spotlight shining on the Buccaneers get ready to hear everyone extolling the virtues of Mike Evans and how great of a receiver he is.
These analysts are late to the party. In tampa we have known since 2015 what kind of receiver Mike Evans is and that he is even a better person.
There is not any receiver in the league that I would want on my team over Mike Evans.
It’s just amazing to me how a future Hall of Famer can get continuously overlooked.
On the defensive side of the ball linebacker Lavonte David is consistently overlooked and disrespected by almost everyone unless you’re in Tampa.
David has been rock solid as a linebacker since he calmed to the Bucs in 2012 out of Nebraska.
David has averaged over 100 tackles every season since he came into the league.
Every one talks about how great Bobby Wagner and Luke Kuechly are and they both put up solid numbers. Kuechly was defensive ROY in 2012 and a five time All-Pro. Wagner is also a five time All-Pro
David has one Pro Bowl on his resume, and has been voted All-Pro once in his career.
Kuechly who announced his retirement in January finished his career with 1092 tackles, Wagner has 1,088 tackles, and David 1,008 tackles.
In all other categories David’s numbers are better. David has 11 interceptions with two touchdowns, 14 fumble recoveries, 21 forced fumbles with 22.5 sacks.
Wagner has 10 interceptions with one touchdown, nine fumble recoveries, five forced fumbles and 19.5 sacks.
Kuechly has 18 interceptions with one touchdown, nine fumble recoveries, seven forced fumbles and 12.5 sacks.
David’s numbers are better in most categories than these five time All-Pro linebackers. Yet, David continues to play under the radar very little appreciation for his game outside of Tampa.
This year the whole nation is about to see how special these two players and how valuable they are to the Buccaneers.
Better late than never. But it is past time to cut out the disrespect and recognize that two of the best players in the NFL call Tampa home.