Undaunted Kwon Alexander

June 28th, 2015

The Bucs’ youngest rookie says the NFL “is nothing different.”

Back in March at the NFL Owners meetings, minutes before Joe had breakfast with Lovie Smith, Joe chatted with the head coach about rookies in at corridor at the swanky Phoenix resort.

Lovie made the point that rookies are different than they used to be.

It’s a theme Lovie has repeated in different ways since. His underlying point is that rookies are more prepared physically and mentally than ever. That’s why he’s got no worries about starting a 21-year-old quarterback, America’s Quarterback. Lovie even said left tackles usually enter the NFL and sink or swim, rather than need a lot of time to develop.

Take Mike Evans, he was 20 years old at this time last year. Age didn’t matter. Evans managed a standout season despite inferior quarterback play and an offense in disarray.

That brings Joe to Bucs fourth-round pick Kwon Alexander out of Louisiana State University. The 20-year-old impressed in spring practices and was described to Joe as “outstanding” by an important Buccaneer.

Alexander is in an interesting boat. He’s the only drafted rookie on defense in 2014 and 2015. The Bucs are loaded with veterans on defense.

Joe talked to Alexander 1-on-1 at minicamp and asked what it was like to see all the offensive rookies sticking together and bonding while he’s by far the youngest guy in the mix for defensive snaps.

Joe found Alexander oozing with confidence and undaunted.

“I’m just out there with the team, man. This rookie and draft stuff is over with,” Alexander said. “I’m out here trying to get better. I got the teammates picking me up. We’re all supporting each other.

“It’s nothing different [than college]. I’ve been playing this all my life, man. It’s nothing different. You just go out there and ball and do the best you can do and stay confident. My veterans are right beside me and help me with whatever I need. I’m just enjoying myself.”

Pretty impressive attitude right there. And Joe could see in Alexander’s eyes that he wasn’t being lighthearted at all.

Alexander has spent plenty of time practicing at “Mike” linebacker, learning all the Bucs’ defensive calls, in addition to the strongside LB position.

Despite Alexander’s swagger, he’s still treated like a rookie and seeks veteran guidance. It was easy for him to pick the top lesson he’s learned.

“They biggest thing I’ve been told is, ‘Stay in your playbook. That’s what you gotta do. If you ain’t in your playbook, you’re going to be left behind,'” Alexander said.

11 Responses to “Undaunted Kwon Alexander”

  1. The Other Side of the Coin Says:

    LVD 2.0

  2. Buc1987 Says:

    How many more days til training camp?

  3. BlogTalkFootball Says:

    If we only choose one defensive player every couple of drafts, they had better be special! Looks like Kwon fits the bill. Can’t wait to see him out there in a real game!

  4. Buc-A-New Says:

    @other side of the coin: One can only hope.

  5. Buccfan37 Says:

    Forget a hat, it must be nice to have hair like that.

  6. PanthersSuck! Says:

    I just tackled my wife!!!

    Season needs to get here soon!

  7. Tom Edrington Says:

    Nothing different than college? Wait until he gets a dose of NFL talent when the season starts…..It IS different than college, if it weren’t half the college players would make it in the NFL.

  8. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Thanks, Tom for your reality check….but, lets just hope he’s with the half that makes it…..

  9. Buc-A-New Says:

    Hey TBBF you are in Mexico City aren’t you.

  10. LakelandBuc Says:

    I believe Kwon will be the starting ILB in a few seasons, he reminds you of Shelton Quarles. The same size, the same speed they both plays with that safety mentality. Play the run well and good in pass coverage.

  11. KfromFLA Says:

    Kwon is a VERY promising prospect, and a VERY good player right now. The good thing for Bucs fans is that he will not likely start, which speaks volumes for the talent currently in the LB group. Gonna be an exciting year!