Lavonte David's eyes have seen a lot in Tampa Bay, and for his first eight seasons there, most of it wasn't good. Multiple head coaches, multiple coordinators, but just one winning season. But as the Buccaneers linebacker recalls, that all changed in March of this past year.
"I remember when I got a couple of homies hit me up, calling me or whatever, saying, 'Hey Lavonte boy, you all might be able to get Tom Brady,'" David said this week.
As he recollected on the All Things Covered podcast with Bryant McFadden and Patrick Peterson, David wasn't buying what his friends were telling him about the free-agent quarterback. Not for a second.
"Tom Brady ain't leaving New England. Man, you all tripping. He's stamped over there. That ain't going down no time soon," said the 31-year-old. "Then I woke up the next morning and seen it across the ticker and was like, nah, this can't be happening, this can't be happening. And then they finally announced it. ... I was like s---, my dream is about to come true now. Everything about to change."
And change it did. The Buccaneers had a winning season, qualified for the playoffs and now find themselves on the precipice of what was, in previous years, unthinkable: a Super Bowl title. And to give you a sense of how Brady has helped change the culture and the standard in Tampa, David spoke on the postgame locker room situation in Green Bay, after the Bucs had defeated the Packers to punch their ticket into the Big Game.
"When I realized that it was real, when I realized like all the other stuff doesn't really matter unless it's the Super Bowl, it was after we won the NFC championship," David said. "You know me, I'm all happy, it's my first. I'm geeked up. Then like, I guess somebody was crying. And I guess like, I heard (Brady) just like, 'What the f--- you crying for? We not done yet.'"
David wasn't sure if it was Chris Godwin or Jaydon Mickens but said he too found himself emotional in that moment, but quickly overcame that.
"Damn!" David said he thought to himself. "He's right, he's right. So I had a little, two tears, too. So I wiped my s--- real quick. I'm tripping. We still got work to do."
That work will conclude playing for a Lombardi Trophy, which is exactly what David hoped for when this 43-year old signal caller came aboard 11 months ago.
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