A week after getting his first start at Mike linebacker in training camp, Kwon Alexander took center stage with the first-team defense on Monday against the Bengals and did not disappoint.
The fourth-round pick, who’s had an incredible rise this offseason, tallied four tackles and appears to be vindicating not only the Bucs’ decision to draft him, but potentially start him.
Bucs MLB Kwon Alexander – Photo by: Getty Images
“It was fun,” Alexander said of his first start. “I had a good time out there. First of all, it was just exciting to be at Mike for my first time, going out there, having fun and doing what I was supposed to do. Pretty excited about tonight.”
Alexander was bursting through the gaps against the run, as well as showing his ability to drop into coverage. Part of what made it look so easy for Alexander and the linebackers was the front four’s success applying pressure and keeping Bengals offensive linemen on their heels.
“Feels good when you have that front four in there and getting that pressure,” Alexander said. “Without them you don’t have a defense. With them going hard, getting sacks and turnovers – it’s just fun to watch.”
Of course, Alexander wasn’t the only linebacker in sync and flying around. Danny Lansanah put together another great performance that included a safety, making it difficult for coaches to take him off the field at the Sam position.
Like the secondary, however, the linebacker’s success starts up front. Ends George Johnson and Larry English were productive coming off the edge, but it’s the guys in the middle who the Bucs are relying on especially to collapse the pocket and set the tone in the trenches.
“When you have Gerald McCoy and Clinton (McDonald) in front of you and making it easy, I can play ball,” Alexander said. “I’m glad I have those guys in front of me, and the rest of the D Line, too.
“We got our first win in the home stadium. Now we have to keep improving and move on to the next step.”
Zach is entering his 3rd year covering the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as a writer for PewterReport.com. Since 2014, he's handled a large part of the beat reporting responsibilities at PR, attending all media gatherings and publishing and promoting content daily. Zach is a native of Sarasota, FL, and a graduate of the University of Tampa. He has also covered high school football for the Tampa Tribune and the NFL for Pro Player Insiders.
Contact him at: [email protected]
I made it a point to watch this kid Monday night. Wow, how did this guy last until the 4th round.
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Great to see we are getting competition at most of our positions. Go Bucs!
The BUC’s may have the best three linebackers in their history this year. Alexander-Lansanah-David!!! WOW!!!
Billbyme-I mean there’s a chance, but to say better than Brooks, Nickerson & Quarells? Let’s give them a couple seasons together first.
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