TAMPA — Despite a 4-12 season that prompted the dismissals of the head coach and general manager, the Buccaneers continued their run of individual honors Friday when defensive tackle Gerald McCoy and linebacker Lavonte David were named to the Associated Press All-Pro first team.
A week ago, McCoy and cornerback Darrelle Revis were selected to the Pro Bowl.
In balloting by a panel of 50 media voters, McCoy and David became the first Tampa Bay players to earn first-team AP honors since 2005, when cornerback Ronde Barber and linebacker Derrick Brooks were chosen.
“This is a dream come true because making the Pro Bowl is one thing, but being the best at your position ... to be considered one of the top two players at my position, that’s what you work for,’’ McCoy said. “You work to be the best. You don’t work to be mediocre, or work to be just a guy. You work to be the best, and for the year of 2013, I accomplished that.’’
McCoy’s partner at defensive tackle is Detroit’s Ndamukong Suh, who was selected one spot ahead of McCoy in the 2010 draft at No. 2 overall.
McCoy registered a career-high nine sacks and added 15 tackles for loss and 19 quarterback hits as Tampa Bay’s defense improved from 29th to 17th in the league.
David, a second-year pro out of Nebraska, led the Bucs in tackles (144) for the second consecutive year while becoming the first linebacker in NFL history with at least six sacks and five interceptions in the same season.
“I’d like to thank my coaches for helping me develop to be a great football player,’’ said David, who posted 20 tackles for loss. “It’s almost like a dream come true. To be honored as one of the best of the best at your position is amazing.’’
David is joined at outside linebacker by Robert Mathis of the Colts, who led the league with 19.5 sacks.
While Revis didn’t garner enough votes Friday, former Bucs cornerback Aqib Talib made the AP’s second team after a stellar season with the Patriots. Seattle’s Richard Sherman and Arizona’s Patrick Peterson are AP’s first-team corners.
For McCoy, Friday’s announcement represents sweet vindication for David.
“I thought he got slighted and snubbed in the Pro Bowl,’’ McCoy said. “There’s no way you could keep him off of that. He is one of the best outside linebackers in the NFL, if not the best, and that’s what this list is showing. I’m glad he got the credit he deserves, and it’s an honor to be on there with him.’’
In David, 23, and McCoy, 25, new Tampa Bay head coach Lovie Smith has two young defensive cornerstones to build around at key positions.
STAFF UPDATE: The team let go former coach Greg Schiano’s entire staff of assistant coaches, according to a league source. The team has retained its scouting staff and other members of the football operations staff, the source said, but changes could come following the arrival of a new general manager.
Editor’s note: Ira Kaufman is a member of the AP voting panel for the All-Pro team.
Reporter Roy Cummings contributed to this report.