The Bucs are confident they’re a better team now than the one that lost its last four games in 2015. One reason they believe that – and a big one – is because this team has Kwon Alexander.
Bucs MLB Kwon Alexander – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR
It wasn’t a coincidence that the late collapse coincided with Alexander serving his suspension for violating the league’s substance abuse policy. Take it from Mike Evans, who was asked Wednesday what he learned from that experience.
“I learned that we needed Kwon Alexander – a lot,” Evans said. “He’s a great player. When he got suspended we lost every game after that. He was a big piece.”
Evans wasn’t making any excuses; that’s not what he does. Playing without Alexander was just the first thing that came to his mind when he thought about why his team, still in postseason contention at the time, couldn’t find another win. And that’s telling of Alexander’s value on the defense and, in turn, the entire team.
Before Alexander failed a performance enhancing substance test – one he claimed was due to an energy drink – the fourth-round rookie compiled 93 tackles, second most on the team though 12 weeks, three sacks, two interceptions and two forced fumbles. His performance against the Falcons in Week 8 was one of the best for any player last season and out of it emerged a new leader on the Bucs defense.
Simply put, the return of Alexander could be as significant of a reason for the defensive improvement this year as Mike Smith’s new scheme or the addition of multiple draftees and free agents.
Before leaving the interview Evans, in staying true to form, issued some of the blame for the four-game collapse on his own performance and expressed confidence in a better tomorrow.
“And we just didn’t make plays offensive, as well, myself especially,” Evans said.”But this year I think it will be a different story.”
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]
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I just can’t see how this defense won’t be much better this season. With Kwon back, the free agent additions and our defensive heavy draft, we have to be stronger on D.
Can’t wait for Pre season to start. Go Buc’s.
His game against the Falcons was not a best performance for a season. It was one of the best games a Buccaneer ever played. Top 10 at the very least.
I feel opportunity here, this could be a great post of poll.
Excluding games played in 2002.
What was the greatest performance for a Buc in a single game. GO BUCS
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