Buccaneers' Lavonte David: If Pro Bowl wants me, I'll go

TAMPA, Fla. -- Tampa Bay Buccaneers outside linebacker Lavonte David was denied a Pro Bowl berth again, but he made it clear he will go if the chance presents itself this month.

"It's an opportunity of a lifetime to get to Hawaii ... and have my family come out and support me and be out there with a lot of great athletes," David said Monday. "So I tell you, I would take the opportunity without a doubt."

Running back Doug Martin and defensive tackle Gerald McCoy were the two Bucs voted to the Pro Bowl. David and guard Logan Mankins are Pro Bowl alternates and could fill in for players who are either injured or preparing for the Super Bowl.

David's inability to make a Pro Bowl roster throughout his four-year career has become a source of frustration in the Bucs locker room. "He's been the most dominant at his position probably since 2013," McCoy said the day after the Pro Bowl announcement, "and this has got to stop."

David, named a first-team All-Pro for the 2013 season, must overcome the fact that outside linebackers in a 3-4 defense tend to receive more attention in Pro Bowl voting than 4-3 outside linebackers, like him, who cover space in the open field. Those in a 3-4 scheme primarily rush the passer, and David had just three sacks this season.

Still, there are other areas where David stood out. His team-high 147 tackles ranked third among all linebackers in the NFL and the best among outside linebackers. His career-high 13 passes defensed were the most among linebackers in the league, and his three interceptions were one fewer than the NFL-high total for a linebacker. He also had two forced fumbles and a pair of fumble recoveries.

Despite it all, David said he could have been better. In November, he told ESPN.com, "It's not what I wanted it to be," when asked to assess his play after eight games and just 69 tackles.

On Monday, he said he will focus on becoming more consistent next season.

"Started off slow at the beginning of the season, but I picked it up in the second half," David said. "But that's something I can't allow to happen. ... I've got to start fast and finish strong. So that's something that I need to fix. That's probably me just going back to work out and changing my workout regimen and taking on better preparation throughout the week. So it's just something that I can't allow to happen.

"The sky's the limit for me," David continued. "Where I've been, [it's about] just me continuing to dominate and me being a force on the field -- every time I'm out there, making sure people have me marked on their offensive game plan that I'm a guy that they need to stop. So that's just my mentality. I'm going to go out there week in and week out and give my heart and play my heart out and try to help this team get a win."

David's production continues to impress coach Lovie Smith.

"Lavonte David was outstanding yesterday, too," Smith said Monday, after David had 12 tackles, one sack and one forced fumble against Carolina, "like he's been all throughout the year."