On Thursday, defensive tackle Gerald McCoy took the comparison to another level, comparing himself and David to the greatest duo in Bucs history: Brooks and Warren Sapp.
"You get me and Lavonte David partnered up and we cover each other up, the same way Sapp and Brooks did that made their careers so great," McCoy told NBC Sports Network, via ProFootballTalk. "Of course, they did a lot of other things individually, you know, preparing the stuff, but just on the field as far as covering each other up, I think that's what me and Lavonte are going to have the opportunity to do. They're going to put us in the best positions to make plays for the team; the rest is going to be on our backs."
The comparison stems partly from Smith bringing in the same defense in which Sapp and Brooks dominated during Tampa's only Super Bowl run.
"They say it's about to be a track meet, meaning we're going to run on defense, that's what we're going to be about and, you know, I love it," McCoy said. "I've watched a lot of the old tapes with Sapp and Brooks, those guys when they were in that team, and you know, if you look at them at practice it looks like a game, because you've got 11 hats to the ball, and it looks they're just trained soldiers. And Lovie was around the system, coach (Leslie) Frazier was around it, so the mix of those two is going to be a lot of fun."
McCoy has progressed with each season, including his nine sacks in 2013. However, he has a long way to go before he can be compared to the NFL's greatest 3-technique defensive lineman.
Having said that, between McCoy, David and Darrelle Revis, the Bucs have the pieces in place to be one of the stoutest NFL defenses in 2014.