This has been a very odd offseason for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in terms of national attention. On one hand, you have the additions of players like DeSean Jackson and Chris Baker, who have certainly brought positive attention. Then you have places like Pro Football Focus pointing out that certain players on the Buccaneers, such as Mike Evans and Brent Grimes, had some of the best production in the league for their positions.

But then, there’s the other side of things. The most glaring oversight of the 2016 season seems to be the success of the Bucs linebacker position, specifically, the work of second-year linebacker, Kwon Alexander. Alexander was left off the NFL’s All-Under 25 team and was also left off the NFL Network’s Top 100 players list, despite leading the league in solo tackles.

Now, this Bucs unit is being overlooked again, this time by not being considered as one of the Top 10 linebacking units in the NFL, according to NFL Network’s Willie McGinest.

The Top 10 went as follows.

  1. Denver Broncos
  2. Kansas City Chiefs
  3. Carolina panthers
  4. San Francisco 49ers
  5. Oakland Raiders
  6. – 10. Atlanta Falcons, Pittsburgh Steelers, Houston Texans, Minnesota Vikings, Arizona Cardinals

The main counterpoint to the Buccaneers not being on this list is that, though talented, they only have two solidified linebackers, Alexander and Lavonte David – since the team plays in nickel defense more than 60 percent of the time. If you’ll notice, most of the teams on that list were 3-4 teams, so they have four linebackers contributing instead of just two. More names, to some, could mean more talent.

A few of the teams on that list are there for having great depth, and that should be a factor – one that would hurt the Bucs chances of being on this list. But, I feel as though there wasn’t much of a chance given to a Buccaneers group that often has to do the work of three linebackers with just two. It feels like that should have been taken into account, and I’m not sure it was.

Regardless, I guess it will just be more motivation for an already motivated Alexander to take into the season.

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About the Author: Trevor Sikkema

Trevor Sikkema is the Tampa Bay Buccaneers beat reporter and NFL Draft analyst for PewterReport.com. Sikkema, an alumnus of the University of Florida, has covered both college and professional football for much of his career. As a native of the Sunshine State, when he's not buried in social media, Sikkema can be found out and active, attempting to be the best athlete he never was. Sikkema can be reached at: [email protected]
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Pewter Pirate
Pewter Pirate
5 years ago

I hope these articles keep coming out. Kwon is going to go crazy out there on the field. He has passion like no other on defense. They are fueling his fire.

macabee
macabee
5 years ago

Like Rodney Dangerfield, the Bucs can’t get no respect and Kwon Alexander doesn’t like it one bit!

Kwon Alexander‏Verified account
@kwon
I swear every chance I get this year I will be trying to break somebody face mask !
Li-Ti-Rilla

Don’t disrespect me, Bro! lol.

Dman
Dman
Reply to  macabee
5 years ago

A little bird told me Beckwith will be ready for the season opener! Put that Thumper along side Kwon and Lavante and look out!!!!!

Brandonges
Brandonges
5 years ago

Nothing to see here. As it usually goes with LB awards/recognition, they’re giving mention mostly to the guys who get sacks.

fredster
fredster
5 years ago

Yep it’s all about sacks with LB ratings unfortunately. Like been said already love it. Just fuels Kwon and David to make more noise!

surferdudes
5 years ago

If they’re judging from last year let’s be honest the whole defense struggled in the beginning. D. Smith at the end of his career ,adjusting to Smitty’s new D, I didn’t see the L.B.’s play as stellar. This is the year we need to break out. The addition of Baker, Stevey T. will help keep Kwon, and David clean, and now they know what they’re doing. I think we should expect big things from the whole defense this year. Kwon needs to rule, I think he will.

dbucfan
dbucfan
5 years ago

Bucs are on the way back in the minds of their fans – not the minds of fans throughout the league. Players will have to show experts and other teams they belong further up the rankings. It has always been that way.

dbucfan
dbucfan
5 years ago

It sure angers the D… makes for a lot of fun

seat26
seat26
5 years ago

Probably our strongest unit on Defense. I’ll take David and Alexander over any two other LB’s in the league.

plopes808
plopes808
5 years ago

More blatant disrespect toward our team! It’s all good though, the fire keeps getting stoked for Kwon to have a breakout season. Surprisingly not many people know the names David and Alexaner (ridiculous) but that will all change come August with Hard Knocks. The stage is set and I believe our Bucs will rise to the occasion. Go Bucs!

WiltheBrewer
WiltheBrewer
Reply to  plopes808
5 years ago

I agree about Hard Knocks being some of the national exposure that these guys can use-
Obviously, they need to shine in the nationally televised games too – Yeah, surferdudes, that added size on the DLine will help out

tnew
tnew
5 years ago

PFF is not favorable to this group. Many of these lists are made from lazyish guys that combine high profile names with PFF data. The addition of Baker and Stevie T are important, to this group, especially Stevie T. I love what GMC does but a ton of his “disruption” is caused by offensive coordinators using his aggressiveness and allowing him to disrupt while allowing the Olineman to direct him then occupy linebackers. Also, Trevor hit the nail on the head. Most are 3-4 teams which makes it easy to count sack numbers into the equation.

Buc 1976
Buc 1976
5 years ago

Just a thought:
Beckwith looks like a MIK if he proves to be the thumper as people say would the thinking of the Bucs be to move Kwon to weak side? And if a team offers a very high draft pick for David do they do it. Just a thought.