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    • michael89156

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      Kwon Alexander ahead of schedule for Bucs defense Rick Stroud,    Times Staff WriterTuesday, August 18, 2015 9:55pmkwon_zpsa8tzswhr.jpgOCTAVIO JONES | TimesAlexander, above, has reminded Gerald McCoy of Lavonte David, who McCoy called “The Flash.”TAMPA — Kwon Alexander used to pack his suitcase on Monday for the weekend road trip as a linebacker at LSU. He entered the NFL draft as a 20-year-old. After one preseason game, he was promoted to the Bucs' starting defense.So being ahead of schedule is something that has come naturally to Alexander."He plays very fast," general manager Jason Licht said. "He's a very serious guy. He loves football. He mentioned in one of our interviews how he prepares. He's very diligent about everything. … He's all business. That's what this football team needs."On Tuesday, in an early team drill, Alexander emerged from the bottom of a pile with a fumble recovery. That kind of aggressive playmaking has enabled him to replace veteran Bruce Carter as the starting middle linebacker after an impressive performance in the Bucs' 26-16 preseason loss Saturday at Minnesota."He's there because we feel he can make plays like that," coach Lovie Smith said. "He's warranted some time in this role, in this position. I think every day, you're going to see him do something better. He has big-play ability like that. And he still strikes you, and that's what he's supposed to do."Carter, a Cowboys free agent who had five interceptions last season, began taking reps Tuesday at strongside linebacker with Danny Lansanah. Carter recognized Alexander's precocious talent shortly after he arrived as a fourth-round draft pick."The kid has got an incredible motor," Carter said of Alexander. "He's running all day. He's very smart and intelligent as a player, and I don't think he's had any setbacks since he's come in. He's done an awesome job."Alexander admits he is playing with a chip on his shoulder. After being a first-team All-SEC linebacker, he didn't expect to last until the draft's fourth round."I think I had a pretty good year and I was just ready to go and pursue my dreams," Alexander said. "I felt I could get better in the NFL and learn more. And now the time is here."It's been crazy. It's a big move when you get to the NFL. But I'm working. I'm learning. I've still got a long ways to go. But I'm doing everything I can do. I make some little mistakes, but that's going to happen. I'm just trying to do better."It remains to be seen whether the Bucs will trust Alexander to call the defense as middle linebackers typically do under Smith."Just look at our history with (middle) linebackers," Smith said. "Any good defense starts there. He's the quarterback of our defense."Three years ago, the Bucs entrusted Lavonte David to make all the defensive calls as a rookie despite playing weakside linebacker. "When they let me wear the green dot on my helmet (denoting the helmet communicator), I realized if they trust me to call the whole defense, I could do something special in this game," Davis said.Defensive tackle Gerald McCoy said Alexander reminds him of David as far as speed and aggressiveness."I told him the other day, in 2012 we were in the spring and we were watching film, and I kept seeing this guy go fyew, fyew," McCoy said. "Who is this kid? I started calling this kid 'The Flash.' It ended up being Lavonte David. I told (Alexander) I haven't seen nobody run like that since when Lavonte first got here. He loves the game. He's doing all the right things to be where he's at. He's rightfully earned his opportunity to be with the ones (starters). When you talk about getting downhill or getting to the ball, he's at the top of the list."Alexander, who was the No. 2- rated high school player in Alabama (Jameis Winston was No. 1), is also fortunate to play for a coach who doesn't mind starting rookies in key spots."We all would prefer a veteran," Smith said. "But I prefer the best player. And a lot of times, he's young. It seems like more and more they're younger. I have no problem, and history shows that, playing young players. And for guys coming in, we let them know that early on. This is what our history says. If you're the best guy, it doesn't matter whether you're a rookie or whatever, we'll play you right away."And they know Alexander will never be caught unprepared.Contact Rick Stroud at rstroud@tampabay.com and listen from 6 to 9 a.m. weekdays on WDAE-AM 620. View his blog at tampabay.com/blogs/bucs. Follow @NFLStroud.

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    • Anonymous

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      Good to see him emerge. Him and Winston go way back to their 2nd year of high school. Licht may be having second thoughts about signing Carter, but depth is always something we need more of.

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    • twoodward

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      Post count: 30

      This is going to be another great addition to this football team. This guy is the real deal… Plays with a nasty chip on his shoulder for being selected in the 4th RD.. Could even bulk up a bit and add some more weight without slowing him down and in a few years could really see this guy becoming a pro-bowler caliber type player. He’s going to have his rookie mistakes this year, no doubt.. But this is more excitement for me personally because I want to get back known for our smash mouth defense with defenders flying to the ball.  Beautiful thing is he’s just 20The Bucs are definitely on the rise, and if you blink - could miss a worst to first type scenario in a hurry

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    • Anonymous

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      I’m excited about this young man’s potential.  Our LB corps has the capacity to be one of the best in the league given some time to coalesce and develop.

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    • Anonymous

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      I have this weird feeling that this tandem of ld and kwon is going to be a terrorfor opposing offenses. The new urlacher Briggs or quarles Brooks type. At least that’s what I hope. Carter doesn't even seem upset that he got switched maybe he knew he was fit for the mlb spot either? I don't know what all the complaints are about we now have a starting caliber backup that can play all three lb positions. And lansanah is a fa next year if he leaves his replacement is already in house.

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    • Anonymous

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      Post count: 2275

      Alexander is going to be a steal for us. Really excited to see David and him working together for years.

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    • Anonymous

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      I believe Bruce Carter played much better as a SSLB in Dallas.

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    • Anonymous

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      “Wrath of Kwon” was used in the Tampa Tribune. I like that nickname. :)

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    • Anonymous

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      Post count: 1507

      We have four linebackers who can play both the run and the pass and are freakishly athletic. I really wouldn’t mind seeing some 4 backer sets that allow David to be used as a blitzing missile to help generate rush.But I'm not naive enough to think we'll use our 11 best when we have "the system"

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    • Anonymous

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      Post count: 5572

      "Wrath of Kwon" was used in the Tampa Tribune. I like that nickname. :)

      Haha I love that.

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    • Anonymous

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      Post count: 814

      I'm excited about this young man's potential.  Our LB corps has the capacity to be one of the best in the league given some time to coalesce and develop.

      "Coalesce" easy on the SAT words...

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    • Anonymous

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      Post count: 1523

      i think its about time we catch a good break in the draft…i honestly didn’t think much of the pick but from watching him saturday i like his speed and tackling abilities… i hope he stays hungry and doesn’t get his head too big..

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    • Anonymous

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      Post count: 2697

      Hopefully we can pick up a steal at DE when the waiver wire heats up…

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    • Anonymous

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      Hopefully we can pick up a steal at DE when the waiver wire heats up...

      I think the Bucs can strike gold as they will have first dibs.

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    • Anonymous

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      Post count: 9276

      The Bucs are definitely on the rise, and if you blink - could miss a worst to first type scenario in a hurry

      imagine had we not whiffed on ASJ and Sims?

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    • Anonymous

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      Post count: 698

      This is going to be another great addition to this football team. This guy is the real deal... Plays with a nasty chip on his shoulder for being selected in the 4th RD.. Could even bulk up a bit and add some more weight without slowing him down and in a few years could really see this guy becoming a pro-bowler caliber type player. He's going to have his rookie mistakes this year, no doubt.. But this is more excitement for me personally because I want to get back known for our smash mouth defense with defenders flying to the ball.  Beautiful thing is he's just 20The Bucs are definitely on the rise, and if you blink - could miss a worst to first type scenario in a hurry

      ^^ Truth~That's the NFL..... I could see the same.... NFC South was WON last year with 7 wins.... If we somehow got 8-9 we could take it this year with the other teams injuries, issues and loss of players...Though I could see the Falcons coming hard with the Quinn coming in.

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    • Anonymous

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      Post count: 11045

      The Bucs are definitely on the rise, and if you blink - could miss a worst to first type scenario in a hurry

      imagine had we not whiffed on ASJ and Sims?

      We did?

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    • Anonymous

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      Post count: 9128

      The Bucs are definitely on the rise, and if you blink - could miss a worst to first type scenario in a hurry

      imagine had we not whiffed on ASJ and Sims?

      We did?

      I was just thinking the same thing.

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    • Anonymous

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      Post count: 698

      Hopefully we can pick up a steal at DE when the waiver wire heats up...

      I think the Bucs can strike gold as they will have first dibs.

      +1 I have the same thought! Not only on the DE front but also on the OL front as well.Let's go COWBOYS!!!!! I can't wait to see who they cut or try to sneak on the PS from their OLine....WARM UP THE FAX MACHINE JASON!!!!!

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    • Anonymous

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      Post count: 698

      The Bucs are definitely on the rise, and if you blink - could miss a worst to first type scenario in a hurry

      imagine had we not whiffed on ASJ and Sims?

      We did?

      I was just thinking the same thing.

      I think he was being facetious they were hurt last year.....They get a pass from me! Next year not so much if they are healthy....

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    • Anonymous

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      Post count: 11045

      The Bucs are definitely on the rise, and if you blink - could miss a worst to first type scenario in a hurry

      imagine had we not whiffed on ASJ and Sims?

      We did?

      I was just thinking the same thing.

      Nobody told us I guess.

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    • Anonymous

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      Post count: 3420

      The Bucs are definitely on the rise, and if you blink - could miss a worst to first type scenario in a hurry

      imagine had we not whiffed on ASJ and Sims?

      We did?

      I was just thinking the same thing.

      I think he was being facetious they were hurt last year.....They get a pass from me! Next year not so much if they are healthy....

      Hate doesn't like those two picks. Notice his font was not blue. I heard ASJ had a good practice yesterday.

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    • Anonymous

      Inactive
      Post count: 698

      The Bucs are definitely on the rise, and if you blink - could miss a worst to first type scenario in a hurry

      imagine had we not whiffed on ASJ and Sims?

      We did?

      I was just thinking the same thing.

      I think he was being facetious they were hurt last year.....They get a pass from me! Next year not so much if they are healthy....

      Hate doesn't like those two picks. Notice his font was not blue. I heard ASJ had a good practice yesterday.

      Well, TBH I don't dyck around with font color either.....

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    • Anonymous

      Inactive
      Post count: 3420

      The Bucs are definitely on the rise, and if you blink - could miss a worst to first type scenario in a hurry

      imagine had we not whiffed on ASJ and Sims?

      We did?

      I was just thinking the same thing.

      I think he was being facetious they were hurt last year.....They get a pass from me! Next year not so much if they are healthy....

      Hate doesn't like those two picks. Notice his font was not blue. I heard ASJ had a good practice yesterday.

      Well, TBH I don't dyck around with font color either.....

      He has said it on the boards before. He does not like those picks.

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    • Anonymous

      Inactive
      Post count: 9276

      The Bucs are definitely on the rise, and if you blink - could miss a worst to first type scenario in a hurry

      imagine had we not whiffed on ASJ and Sims?

      We did?

      I'm calling it now. Actually, i called it a while ago but time will tell. I have no problem admitting if/when they prove me wrong.

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    • Anonymous

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      Post count: 9276

      He has said it on the boards before. He does not like those picks.

      Not one bit. I think ASJ is soft and wanted Jeremy Hill at that pick. Winston, Evans and Hill would've made for a nice set of triplets to watch grow up!!As for Sims, i find the Matt Forte comparisons to be beyond ludicrous. Nothing he's put on tape, college or pro, would back up such a claim.

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    • Anonymous

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      Post count: 493

      I agree about sims being a wasted pick but ASJ will be our witten with time.

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    • Anonymous

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      Post count: 9276

      I agree about sims being a wasted pick but ASJ will be our witten with time.

      #settingthebarhigh

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    • Anonymous

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      Post count: 3420

      He has said it on the boards before. He does not like those picks.

      Not one bit. I think ASJ is soft and wanted Jeremy Hill at that pick. Winston, Evans and Hill would've made for a nice set of triplets to watch grow up!!As for Sims, i find the Matt Forte comparisons to be beyond ludicrous. Nothing he's put on tape, college or pro, would back up such a claim.

      I'm hoping Dougie continues his upward climb back to top form.  :)https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8OOr4x7Ws2s

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    • Anonymous

      Inactive
      Post count: 9276

      He has said it on the boards before. He does not like those picks.

      Not one bit. I think ASJ is soft and wanted Jeremy Hill at that pick. Winston, Evans and Hill would've made for a nice set of triplets to watch grow up!!As for Sims, i find the Matt Forte comparisons to be beyond ludicrous. Nothing he's put on tape, college or pro, would back up such a claim.

      I'm hoping Dougie continues his upward climb back to top form.  :)https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8OOr4x7Ws2s

      My fantasy team was very thankful for that performance. More of the same would be awesome.

      Please wait…

    • Anonymous

      Inactive
      Post count: 3420

      He has said it on the boards before. He does not like those picks.

      Not one bit. I think ASJ is soft and wanted Jeremy Hill at that pick. Winston, Evans and Hill would've made for a nice set of triplets to watch grow up!!As for Sims, i find the Matt Forte comparisons to be beyond ludicrous. Nothing he's put on tape, college or pro, would back up such a claim.

      I'm hoping Dougie continues his upward climb back to top form.  :)https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8OOr4x7Ws2s

      My fantasy team was very thankful for that performance. More of the same would be awesome.

      That has to be one of the top games by a Bucs RB ever. One guy even got hurt trying to tackle him before he scored.

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    • Anonymous

      Inactive
      Post count: 9276

      He has said it on the boards before. He does not like those picks.

      Not one bit. I think ASJ is soft and wanted Jeremy Hill at that pick. Winston, Evans and Hill would've made for a nice set of triplets to watch grow up!!As for Sims, i find the Matt Forte comparisons to be beyond ludicrous. Nothing he's put on tape, college or pro, would back up such a claim.

      I'm hoping Dougie continues his upward climb back to top form.  :)https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8OOr4x7Ws2s

      My fantasy team was very thankful for that performance. More of the same would be awesome.

      That has to be one of the top games by a Bucs RB ever. One guy even got hurt trying to tackle him before he scored.

      one of the greatest rushing performances, ever......i started to think the record was within reach.

      Please wait…

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