Joe always pays attention when lifelong Buccaneers fan and former Bucs quarterback Shaun King talks about his beloved team.
King dove in head first during his recent visit to the Locked on Bucs podcast. The pride of St. Petersburg and VSiN host is always about what’s best for the Bucs long-term. He’s not trying to make anyone feel good.
One subject that drew some chatter was linebacker play.
Pending free agent Lavonte David? Keep him, says King.
“There were some guys on defense I was not happy with their performances this year. Lavonte David was not one of them,” King said. “You know, I still thought he played with the same love for the game, the same enthusiasm unknown to mankind that made him a fan favorite.”
Joe will note that David edged Devin White for the team lead in tackles. King says David is a “Ring of Honor guy” and the Bucs should find a way to make him a Buc for life. King even approached hallowed ground when comparing David’s stature to that of Derrick Brooks’.
Devin White? He’s got a lot to show in 2023, the last year of his contract. King thinks the big spotlight and a fat wallet got to White a bit.
“I don’t think he maybe handled success as well as he anticipated,” King said. “… I didn’t think he played [in 2022] with the same level of physicality that he had played with in years previous.”
King said White’s occasional effort-related criticism is justified but only the Bucs know if injuries played a role in White’s decline. Bottom line, per King, White needs to turn in an All-Pro type season 2023 if he wants to get a huge contract in free agency the following year.
King added that he expects White to have that big bounceback year and the Bucs’ success in 2023 likely depends on it.
This content was originally published here.