Bucs MLB Kwon Alexander - Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR
While it would be a stretch to say the Buccaneers would have made the playoffs had rookie middle linebacker Kwon Alexander not been suspended for the final four games of the 2015 season, it does make you wonder what might have been. Would Lovie Smith still be the head coach if the Buccaneers had won two of the final four games and finished 8-8 instead of 6-10?
While it doesn’t matter now, Alexander understands his self-described mistake certainly was a detriment to his team during the final stretch run in 2015, but the standout from LSU vows it won’t be an issue moving forward.
“It’s very important – I take all the heat for that,” Alexander said. “I was supposed to have been there; that’s my fault. But it won’t happen again, though. That’s one thing, it won’t happen again. I’ve never been in trouble [before] or anything, so that surprised me when that happened and it hurt me so bad, to the point like, every game I was still there, watching it and calling plays so I was making sure that I stayed on my game regardless. That’s why I just can’t wait to get back to the field and let everything out.”
Alexander was popped by the league for violation of their performance enhancing drug policy during the season, but choose to take his medicine – no pun intended – and serve his suspension before the season ended, as opposed to appealing it, and it possibly lingering into 2016. Alexander, who claimed the positive test was a result of a banned substance found in an energy drink, spoke to the media last November prior to the suspension.
“It’s very disappointing, and I’m just disappointed in myself because all (our coaches) keep saying, ‘If you’re going to drink something, ask somebody first.’ So I hold myself accountable.’’
Alexander, who finished his rookie season with 93 tackles, three sacks, two interceptions and two forced fumbles, continued on Thursday talking about being more responsible.
“You just have to be way smarter – you have to be very smart when you’re in the league. There are a lot of rules. In college, you don’t know that. It’s way different in college. So you just have to be way smart with what you do and just be a leader and always stay on top of your stuff.”
While also talking the media, Alexander could hardly contain himself and beamed with excitement when talking about the new Mike Smith-designed defensive scheme.
“(Mike Smith’s defense is) very different – a lot of schemes,” Alexander said. “I love it though. I love it. We all love it. We’re going to have fun with the defense. I feel like everybody’s going to be out there flying around. I just can’t wait to get back on the field.
“It’s going to be more aggressive. You guys can just see it for yourselves. You just have to be ready for this season. It’s going to be fun. Y’all are going to enjoy it, for real.”
Photo: Mark Lomoglio/PR
Before finishing up his press conference Alexander spoke about slipping into the fourth round of last year’s NFL Draft, and also had a word of warning, clearly showing he has a bit of a chip on his shoulder.
“I don’t know why I think I fell,” Alexander said.” I don’t even worry about the draft anymore. I’m way past that. To tell you the truth, I don’t know why I fell that far down, but whoever missed me, that’s their fault and they’ve got to see me every game, so I can’t wait to play again.”
Mark Cook currently is the director of editorial content and Bucs beat writer and has written for PewterReport.com since 2011. Cook has followed the Buccaneers since 1977 when he first began watching football with his Dad and is fond of the 1979 Bucs team that came within 10 points of going to a Super Bowl. His favorite Bucs game is still the 1979 divisional playoff win 24-17 over the Eagles. In his spare time Cook enjoys playing guitar, fishing, surfing and family time at the beach. In addition, Cook can be found in front of a television or in Doak Campbell any time the FSU Seminoles are playing. Cook is a native of Pinecrest in Eastern Hillsborough County and has written for numerous publications including the Tampa Tribune, In the Field and Ya'll Magazine. Cook can be reached at email@example.com
Kwon said he took an energy drink he didn’t know contained anything banned. It is best to stay away from the hyped up energy drinks of today. Things sure have changed from back in the day when a 6oz Coca Cola and a BC powder would take the top of your head off.
I remember when it was safe to drink a soda – some say soft drink, soda pop, or just plain-old pop. My grandmother called it soda water. The last time I had a soda water was a Nehi Grape circa 1960. Lol. BTW, Nehi is still around. Mark Cook posted a twitter pic of his son drinking a Nehi Peach soda while on vacation in South Carolina. Good stuff!
Best to stay away from the “hot” soda water, Kwon! With the 5th most difficult schedule in the NFL this year, we’re going to need all hands on deck. Drink Zephyrhills 100% Natural Spring Water. Lol.
Being from Pittsburgh, we always called it “a bottle of pawp”. Orange Nehi was 10 cents in those days. We didn’t need any help to give us energy.
The drink of choice for Radar O’Reilly from M.A.S.H.
Kwon will be leader of this defense going forward, and McCoy can use the break. I liked also what he said at his presser that he’ll be working hard, so everybody else better be. I’ve always wondered how good David, and Kwon would be in a more aggressive, attacking D. Let’s face it, how many times last year did our LB’s drop further back at the snap, using their speed to move backwards? I hope Kwon’s right, and we’ll love what we see.
Hard to believe a energy drink got him. You know the Buc’s would put that out there right from the get go. Just hope he learned a BIG lesson cause he is needed.
Mac…..loved Nehi Orange soda. Haven’t seen it in years,
Loved Nehi lime and strawberry; don’t forget Vernors too.
Vernors is even good hot. Love the Nehi though.
Oh what memories! Remember collecting pop bottles and getting 2 cents each for them to buy a Twinkie or Snowball. Jack the grocer at Emma’s store would then take the bottles outside the back door where we would gather them again for a second refund. I think he knew we did it.
Energy drinks are bad news anyways. He is better off avoiding all of them. He was a gift to this team. Getting a 4th round pick who performs this well is not something we are use to. I think he will be a NFL Superstar and am thrilled he plays for us. We just need more like him.
We are going to be fast this year at most of our positions. Go Bucs!
I’m not sure I agree @horse – i actually think we are speed-deprived at most positions:
VJax and Evans are big but not fast
Dougernaut may be quick for a few yards but gets caught in open field all the time
WINSTON may run at times but it’s more like lumbering
Our secondary….maybe Grimes used to be sort of fast?, our safeties are not good in coverage and not fast, Banks us tall but slow
Our Lines….idk they may be fast but certainly not at DE getting around the corner and sacking the QB where speed would matter
I think the only position we may actually be fast at, is LB. Let’s hope winning won’t be reliant on our speed.
I think this kid is the real deal and this year he will show he made a mistake and it won’t answer again. Go Bucs
George, are you okay with us staying at the 9th pick? I’m okay with it because I know we will pick the best player available. The more quality and motivated players we pick up in the draft will help us get further into the play offs.
What a steal he was in the 4th rd. Hope Licht’s Magic continues. Going to fun watching Kwon develop he had hell of rookie season.
Kwon was known as a high character guy coming into the draft. So the hope is that he is as obsessive about what he puts into his body as he is about studying game film. If he isn’t, a 2nd suspension would be for 10 games, 3rd is a two year, basically career ending deal. So be smart young man.
I’m a Nehi Orange man myself.
A coke and a BC powder?
Geeze macabee, did you take that right before you and your pals went out to club that Brontosaurus to death for dinner.
Whatever the Bucs do it is imperative they put more pressure on the QB and you don’t do that with an average sized CB with mediocre speed.
The Broncos showed the blueprint of how to beat both Brady and Newton last year in back to back games.
As David Bowie sang, “Pressure.”
You leave us old folks alone. Youth is wasted on the young. Lol.
Youth is the gift of nature, but age is a work of art! – Stanislaw Jerzy Lec
Bucs seem to have some wisdom when it comes to the Draft as of late. I have confidence that if they need to trade down to get a few more picks, this draft is strong with defensive players and they have a lot of holes to fill.
I’m very curious to see how our players perform in this new defense, particularly Kwon. I don’t expect much of an effect from not drinking the energy drink, but I did read he’s been drinking it before every game since high school so it may be more of a mental than physical boost. Also, he flourished in the Tampa 2 which we obviously won’t be playing this year. I expect L. David to perform better in this defense if he’s asked to blitz more like he did in Schiano’s defense, but there’s a chance Kwon could do worse. Again, I’ll be watching the defense very closely because I expect some players to get better and others to get worse in it since it’s so different than the Tampa 2.
I’ll show my age real quick, in about 1955 I was 13 yrs.old. Coke would take the paint off cars and if you added BC powder or even asperin? it would make someone high….
How about Upper 10 soft drink of the late 70’s or so? Nehi Grape rocks as well. Anyway, what is so special about Kwon’s athletic abilities and future potential is the fact that he is a great player with a chip on his shoulder! That bodes well for the Bucs if he can channel all that energy into wins! After all these years, the Draft is still one of the most exciting time of the year for me! At 9, you are drafting a Top 10 in the country type player… that is exciting! Lastly, the more I think about it, I think the most prudent thing for the Bucs to do/be thinking about is protection for the Franchise! A beast of a man about 6-6 or 6-7 320 pounds or so… he would have Jamesis singing,”Whose your best friend!” Peace.
Had a relaxing day yesterday trying to stay off my hurt foot (plantar fasciitis)by watching the Caught in the Draft marathon. Since, I have watched every draft since it has been televised since the early days of ESPN, it brought back a lot of memories. What was so revealing was how many mistakes were made and how wrong the “experts” have been over the years. This year will likely be no different. What I do know is the talking heads that make these endless Mock Drafts, to which we often give too much credibility, will criticize any choice that doesn’t match their opinion and then at the conclusion, give a grade to each team’s effort. A grade on a test for which no one knows the answers? As jonnyg would say, “hysterical”.
Before we bemoan any of the Bucs choices when they don’t necessarily agree with Mike Mayock, Charles Davis, Todd McShay, Mel Kiper, Charlie Campbell or our own Scott Reynolds; remember the words of Bill Tobin. “Who the hell is (fill in name here)? He doesn’t know any more than my neighbor the postman”.
Lol Scubog…let’s also recall that Bill Tobin didn’t know much better than the postman either, at least when it came to that pick!
Let’s not forget how well the Titans G.M. Robinson, and Licht know each other. He was our personal director, I’m sure he knows what our plans are, and what it’d take to move up with us. If the Bucs are set on Rankins, he’d be gone to rival N.O. if we trade down to 14. Side note, would love to see us draft the best center Kelly Ryan from Bama in the second round. Him with Winston for the future, and road graders Sweezy, Marpet, on either side. Could become best interior O line in football.
Be a great start to the draft if it went that way. Love to see us draft one of the top 2 centers. We need help there.
A new Center would be great….our OL outperformed last year…wouldn’t want to count on outperforming every year.
I hope he’s right…can’t wait to see him on the field again this year. Highlight of the season for me was watching Kwon unleash his pent-up aggression on Atlanta. There should be much more of that coming up this year!
Yes, let’s hope he learns from his mistake and avoids Thunder Muscle from here on out!
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