Focused On Confidence

May 10th, 2015

Rookie fourth-round linebacker Kwon Alexander has strict orders

One Buccaneers rookie wasn’t allowed to drink an ice cold beer last night after wrapping his first minicamp as a professional.

There are strict rules in place for a very special draft pick.

Joe’s talking about outside linebacker Kwon Alexander, the fourth-round pick out of LSU. Yeah, he’s special, the Bucs have drafted exactly one — one — defensive player in two years, and speedster Alexander is that guy.

No beer? Alexander won’t turn 21 years old until after training camp begins.

A virtual lock to make the 53-man roster, Alexander is relaxing and going all out under the direction of Bucs icon and linebackers coach Hardy Nickerson.

“He just wants us to play hard, give it all we got, just come out there and compete,” said Alexander of Nickerson, as documented by Buccaneers. “Be confident, go out there, call the plays, and just be confident and play ball. He’s a great coach. These past couple days, I really enjoyed it. He’s coaching me up well; he’s coaching everyone up well. Everybody likes him, so we’re all just having fun.”

“It felt great,” he said. “I love to compete out here. I’m in love with Tampa. [I’m] very confident. I’ve got to have confidence to play ball. If you don’t have confidence, you aren’t going to do well. So I just come in and just have a lot of confidence and just have fun and do my job.”

Joe took a few peeks at Alexander, and he doesn’t blend in perfectly with his peers: tryout players and undrafted rookies. That’s a good thing. There were glimpses of Alexander’s elite quickness during the underwear football sessions.
Lovie Smith has said many times that the majority of his linebackers must be special teams studs. Alexander will get plenty of work there, as he tries to learn the nuances of the Tampa-2 on the fly and compete with Danny Lansanah at outside linebacker.
That learning curve might hold him back this season, but that’s just fine. Lansanah is a good linebacker and should be able to step up and outplay a rookie fourth-rounder.

27 Responses to “Focused On Confidence”

  1. JMan Says:

    How is he in coverage?

  2. brandonbucsfan Says:

    Sounds like we are actually building some depth at different positions. In the last couple of years as soon as a starter (some of which weren’t that great anyway) went down we were in serious trouble..can you spell GILKEY? Some of our UFA’s Were actually possible 6th or 7th round picks. Sounds like our scouting is getting better.

  3. Kevin Says:

    Only thing I noticed that I did not like about him was he would kind of wrap around and allow the ball carrier to run pas this as he tried to bring him to the ground from the side or behind. Looks scared to go man to man head to head with hard runners. His speed and coverage skills are obviously what Lovie is looking for but hope this guy learns to brace for a hit and take someone down. I could imagine Marshawn Lynch running full steam and having this guy in his crosshairs. He’s wilt like a little flower in an oven. Hope I’m wrong but thats what it looked like on tape.

  4. Buc1987 Says:

    Gee whiz Joe.

    Can we get any Winston coverage on this site anymore? 🙂

  5. Destinjohnny Says:

    Went to the bama lsu game this year. This kid can play man he is a poor mans 54 great pic

  6. Pickgrin Says:

    If Nickerson can help mold this young speedy linebacker into an NFL starter over the next couple of years – then that would likely be the 4th and possibly 5th (Kenny Bell) starter that was procured in this draft.

    Its certainly way too early to be high five-ing and ass slapping over the quality of this draft class – but if 4 or even 3 of the players drafted this year become solid starters or better – then Licht and his scouting dept did a fantastic job over this last year identifying young players who will help this team get better and procuring them.

    We know nothing of how Carter will look at MLB – so that obviously is the biggest question mark on defense coming into this season. But if Carter does turn out to be what Lovie is obviously hoping for- then the Bucs have a pretty solid bunch of LBers top to bottom considering you have All Pro talent at Will in LD54. Lansanah was pretty impressive at times last year so if the rookie can beat him out at any point then it will be a solidly held position at SAM. And lets not forget Lemon who definitely showed that he belongs in the NFL as well when he got some playing time last year. And a # of these guys can play different positions as well which gives great versatility and options in case of injury. Kwon Alexander is a true Will – but is moving to strong side because he has no chance to supplant L. David. But Alexander will probably also train at WLB and once developed, might be a good insurance policy in case LD54 were to become injured and have to miss any games.

  7. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    You just can’t have too many good LB…..S…..DE….Oline….TE….WR…..RB…..CB

  8. JoeJoes Fungi Nails Says:

    Winston Moss…comes to mind

  9. BuccaneEric Says:

    I’m wondering if he can play the Mike spot. Speed over size I’m the Tampa 2.

  10. Howard Cosell Says:

    KA says “I’m in love with Tampa”

    You had me at hello.

  11. TouchDownTampaBay Says:

    Uh oh TBBF! The Bucs do not have a starting caliber safety or defensive end on the roster as of now. I can’t wait to see the offense in action but I think this defense is going to get picked apart every Sunday next fall.

  12. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Maybe Kwon can move to safety…..we had two starting caliber safeties last year and neither one is as good as the crew we have this year……

  13. BuccaneEric Says:

    I know this is off topic but most of these threads end up that way anyway! I was thinking about the draft. I wonder if we didn’t draft any FSU teammates of Winston because Lovie wanted to distance Jameis from his college days, and I wonder if we didn’t draft any of the Oregon O Lineman who were both on the board in rounds 2 and 3 because of the Oregon players singing “no means no” to Winston after the Rose bowl. Just curious if anyone else here thought the same way??

  14. BuccaneEric Says:

    I know it’s off topic, but I was wondering about the draft. I was thinking maybe Lovie didn’t draft any other FSU players was to distance Winston from his college days. Also, if the fact that we didn’t go after the 2 Oregon O Lineman who were both available, was because of the Oregon players chanting “no means no” to Winston after the Rose Bowl?? Maybe???

  15. Nole on Sat.-Bucc on Sun. Says:

    Man I don’t want anything Oregon on this football team. That system makes all their players soft. Haven’t noticed a single dominant NFL player from Oregon since Phil Knight started pumpin money into that program.

  16. drdneast Says:

    Gator – Buc, don’t see the Bucs picking a used up vet off the waiver wire. If they see someone young and promising like they did with Jacques Smith last year, they will pull the trigger.

  17. drdneast Says:

    Tampabaybucfan, are safties were starting caliber last year if you like bad tackling and pass coverage.
    The NFL Network used to run a short clip of Steven Jackson shedding an inept tackling Goldson when he was running sideways in the offensive backfield.
    Barron got run over by the Saints RB on the last play of the game for a game winning TD.
    Add to the fact Barron had one INT last year on a deflected Matt Ryan pass that he promptly fumbled back to the Falcons.
    Goldson didn’t have any.
    Starting caliber safeties my A$$.

  18. WS99 Says:

    John lynch had 3 int his first three years. All of which came in his third year. Lynch never had more than three int in any given year of his career.

    Barron had 4 int his first three years. And he hit just as hard as lynch.


  19. Tampabaybucfan Says:


    I guess I should label sarcasm when I post it……anyway….we had a “Pro Bowler” and a 7th overall pick……they should have been “starting caliber” but weren’t……like I said….the crew we have now is better than they are….however, they may not be good enough….we will see…

  20. Brandon Says:

    WS99 Says:

    May 10th, 2015 at 3:58 pm

    John lynch had 3 int his first three years. All of which came in his third year. Lynch never had more than three int in any given year of his career.

    Barron had 4 int his first three years. And he hit just as hard as lynch.


    uhhh, no way he hit as hard as Lynch. in order to do that Barron would have to actually make tackles. He was also not nearly the same presence in the middle of the field as Lynch. Barron was an overrated prospect with marginal athletic ability that was a product of the system he came from and all the excellent players around him. He’s played under 3 defensive coaches with 3 different defensive philosophies, two of which are actually excellent (Bill Sheridan being the one that was in over his head), and he didn’t stand out for any of them. The Rams don’t care for him. He’s not getting any playing time for them. He’s a bust. After Lynch left the Bucs, he went to the Broncos and played FS for them and excelled for several more years. That was a testament to his smarts, leadership, and underrated athletic ability. Barron will be out of the league in the next 2-3 seasons.

    #revisionisthistory #sacrilegious

  21. The Buc Realist Says:

    Barron’s biggest career hit was when he knocked out Brian Price for sitting in Price’s seat as a rookie in a defensive meeting!!!

  22. Teacherman777 Says:

    Grrrreat pick.

    Lets just pray he stays healthy.

    He was the 2nd fastest linebacker in the draft.

    And we got him in the 4th round?


  23. BuccaneEric Says:

    Ok. I can see that nobody cares about my inquiries. Nole/Buc, I wasn’t asking if you guys wanted Oregon players. I get why you wouldn’t. Just hypothesizing that there was a reason behind it! Comment on that please!

  24. Danati74 Says:

    I know they are high on him and surprised they got him when they did. In training camp they said he was faster than the other linebackers, but his stats in college were not eye popping.

  25. WS99 Says:


    Their first two years 202 vs 176 = 26 tackles in two years or less than 1 tackle per game. That’s combined tackles their first two year and lynch played in two more games.

    Nevertheless water under the bridge.

  26. Caleb Says:

    This guy will be starting at some point the season.

  27. Caleb Says:

    As for the guy that said Mark Barron is as good as John Lynch was… Hahahahaha, you clearly never watched him play, and just so you know buddy John Lynch didn’t make his presence on the field know by his ballhawking skills, he knocked people out bro and the ball would go flying and someone else on the team would pick it off. I never saw Mark Barron do that. They used to have a show called “Jacked Up” and it was a show about the top ten hits of the week. John Lynch was always on that show every week and usually sitting at #1. Plus, my final word on this Barron being as good as Lynch, if Barron played like Lynch used too he would have so many fines he’d be broke by now. John Lynch would laugh in your face for saying Barron is as good as he was, and then knock your dumbass out for saying something so stupid. They need to quit making football less physical. These guys get paid millions, if they get hurt along the way, suck it up.