When McCoy heard Brooks' speech, he immediately texted David: "Why can't that be us? ... We can't ask for a better coach, a better situation. Two better mentors."
"They put that defense on their backs," McCoy added. "That's what Lavonte and I are working for. We want that Super Bowl title this year."
"Make no mistake, this is Gerald McCoy's team, his defense," Smith said Monday. "Gerald sets the pace. ... I want Gerald and Lavonte to be their own guys. And you want them to try and be better than Derrick and Warren."
Just last week, Smith also acknowledged David holds the key to the Tampa 2 defense.
David is one of the most underappreciated stars in today's NFL. He and McCoy were the NFL's premier linebacker-defensive lineman tandem last season. There's little doubt the talent is there to go on a multi-year run to match the heights of the Brooks-Sapp era.
The question is whether Smith can find his version of John Lynch, Ronde Barber and Simeon Rice to complement this All Pro tag-team.