Tampa Bay Buccaneers' Defense Will Good, But Not 'Best Ever' In 2016

By Kareem Gantt

You can’t fault Tampa Bay Buccaneers linebacker Lavonte David for being supremely confident about his team’s defense heading into 2016.

David made his team trend on social media the other day when he proclaimed that the Bucs defense will not only be great in 2016, it will be the best defense ever. I’m not making this up. David really did say that.

“I think we can be the best defense ever, to be honest. I’m going to go out there and say it,” David told the Tampa Bay Times on Jun. 3.

Talk about putting massive pressure on your teammates.

In truth, the Bucs defense has nowhere to go but up in 2016. Tampa Bay was, for lack of a better word, atrocious defensively in 2015. To put David’s proclamation in perspective, the best defense the modern day NFL has ever seen was the 2000 Baltimore Ravens, who gave up only 165 points all season long.

The 2015 Bucs gave up 179 points, in the first six games of last season, en route to coughing up 26.1 points per game a year ago, bad enough for Tampa Bay to be near the bottom of the league in that statistic. The 2000 Ravens had 23 interceptions. The 2015 Bucs? 11.

So as you can see, the Bucs have a long, long way to go before reaching the lofty heights the 2000 Ravens set for the NFL, but the Bucs have a reason for hope on the defensive end of the ball.

Gerald McCoy is only going to get better, and with guys like Kwon Alexander, Bradley McDougald and Robert Ayers, the Bucs have the pieces in place to drastically improve on their performance from a season ago.

David may have gone a tad bit off the cliff with his “best defense ever” comment, but that doesn’t mean he’s wrong in being confident in his group. The Bucs defense has a chance to be something special next season, and that could translate into this team becoming a playoff contender.

Just don’t expect them to be the best defense ever.

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