Credit Kwon Alexander

August 19th, 2015
Your new Bucs starting MLB.

Your new Bucs starting MLB.

In what Joe finds to be a shocking move, Bucs coach Lovie Smith elevated rookie Kwon Alexander to the top of the depth chart at middle linebacker, despite the Bucs going out and signing free agent Bruce Carter to handle those duties.

As Joe has asked would Lovie had done this last year?

Not only, “hell no,” but the three free agents busts he brought in (and dumped after the season), Josh McClown, Ghost Johnson and Anthony Collins, were just begging to be benched (only when the season was lost and the team in the midst of the Chase for Jameis was Collins finally dragged to the bench).

The move, Lovie said, is not a slap at Carter, but instead, a nod to Alexander raising his game.

“It’s not like we are displeased with what Bruce is doing,” Lovie said. “We just really like what Kwon has done. Bruce now, if you have seen him practice, he’s working at the SAM linebacker position and he’s fighting for a starting position there. We need all of our linebackers. For us, we have to get to the game to see exactly what everybody’s best position is. For Bruce, that’s it. Bruce is working hard just as he always has been. He’s a big part of what we are going to do this year.”

So now it appears Carter, not Alexander, who will be pushing SAM linebacker Danny Lansanah, who has been flying all over the field in underwear football and training camp. We shall see.

At any rate, Joe has to applaud Lovie again for making this move and allowing the best man to start, not the man making the most money. Could it be that Lovie feels the urgency to get more than two wins this fall?

44 Responses to “Credit Kwon Alexander”

  1. The Buc Realist Says:

    Its still almost unbelievable!!! I mean, since the Bucs started getting wupped up on last year, all we heard was how this defense takes 1 year to learn!!! Then a 4th round rookie is going to come in and QB the complex defense in the NFL (according to all the lovie sheep)!!!!!!

  2. Cannon Says:

    As a rookie at mlb, would Kwon make the defensive calls?

  3. TheBucsAnthem Says:


    Either K.A. is one of the most amazing rookies to ever come out of college to NFL to beat out verteran NFL starters


    Bruce Carter isn’t “picking it up” lovies system…….(another free agent bust)


    Lovie has lost his damn mind

  4. Louis Friend Says:

    @Realist Your comment made me laugh. It’s a great point – although I don’t know if he’s going to be calling the plays. LVD might have that job.

  5. The Real Malloy Says:

    i have a feeling it would be like when lavonte was a rookie…atleast at first. let lavonte make the calls so kwon can just focus on playing mic

  6. TheBucsAnthem Says:

    @ Cannon

    Yes…the MLB has the headset from the DC and is the QB of the defense

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

    D@$! you fast Realist!!! . Seems to me someone is being phased out. I’ma hate to see a balla go.

  8. Louis Friend Says:

    @BucAnthem – I don’t think he’s lost his mind – but I wonder if Lovie isn’t burned out? He seems to be a step behind in game coaching and talent evaluation compared to a lot of other coaches. I don’t think he was always as bad.

  9. LargoSamIM Says:


    I am sure you are “shocked” at this development….. but, then again, over my years of following your “blog”, it is obvious that you have VERY LITTLE understanding of the MLB position (and, very little respect for the importance of the position in a cover-2). Soooo… it sure doesn’t “shock” me that it “shocks” you….

  10. TheBucsAnthem Says:

    @ Louis Friend

    I agree with your comment

    I’ve been thinking the same thing lately. Lovie won in Chicago because of great defensive play…..and that he had a Hall of Fame MLB Brian Urlacher calling executing his defense on the field

  11. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    @ Realist

    So….You think Joe is a “Lovie Sheep”? What qualifies a person as a “Lovie Sheep”?….simply agreeing wiith a move he makes?

    Is it possible that Kwon is a fantastic draft pick and has similar qualities to LVD?
    Is it possible that Bruce Carter is a very good linebacker that will provide depth at MLB & Sam?
    Do we need more than one linebacker?
    You call yourself a Realist…..

    To me the realistic view of this is that Kwon Alexander at this point looks to be a pretty good 4th round pick.

  12. The Buc Realist Says:

    Are you guys crazy? of course the middle linebackers call all the play. Its one of the 10 commandments in the Tampa 2 Bible, which Lovie is a devout follower!!!

    1. Thou shalt be passive!!
    2. Thou shalt play zone majority of the time!!!
    3. Thou shalt not adjust during games!!!
    4. Thou Middle Linebacker shalt make all play calls!!!
    5. Thou takes over 1 year to be a Tampa2-ite!!!
    6. Thou shalt rush 4 and only 4!!!!
    7. Thou shalt blame the offense if the great Tampa 2 is not working!!!
    8. Thou shalt gift jobs!!!
    9. Thou must hire Friends and Ex-head coaches
    10. Thou shalt give lovie a pass as being a devout follower

  13. Nick Says:


    Are you kidding? Jose states his reasons for “shock” perfectly clear. Also, what evidence can you point to that Joe de-values the Mike? 2 LBs are going to be on the field 90% of the time. To Joe’s point, have the best men on the field, not the one’s that are making the most (ie. Johnson, McCown, Collins).

  14. Lord Cornelius Says:

    Lol @ already spinning this as negatively as possible.

  15. pick6 Says:

    we are better off if Kwon earns the starting MLB gig. . it allows for an experienced backup at 2 positions and a rookie who can focus on mastering one. Carter is an OLB by training and MLB was a new position that he seems to be grasping well enough. with FAs like him and conte who ran the system under lovie or marinelli previously, it’s nice to have them on the bench because:
    a) their experience in the system makes them more reliable emergency backups at multiple position
    b) it means we have better players on the team than those guys, which i was hoping for from the day we signed them

  16. Nick Says:

    @pick 6

    To piggyback on your point, Kwon locking down the middle with an expanded coverage zone due to his speed, will free up Lavonte to make more splash plays.

  17. Lou. Says:

    I have been advocating the choice of a true ML for more than two years. In 2012, a choice of Kuechly would have allowed Foster to slip over to SAM, a role he was more suited for. (And don’t think that would have prevented the Bucs from getting David because Domenic went back-to-back several times. McCoy and Price. Benn and Williams. Clayton and Bowers. In fact, it would have been typical). Last year Shazier was my hope based on his speed and output, and may well have been the pick it we traded down. So getting a fast young Alan was a great step forward, and Kwon was likely there because he is lighter than most schemes look for.

    The knock on Alexander is in tackling and coverage. The next few games will either show him off or highlight those weaknesses. And, we should all remember that Lovie seldom trusts rookie defenders. It may all be signaling another building year rather than a straight vote of confidence.

  18. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    The Buc Realist Says
    Are you guys crazy? of course the middle linebackers call all the play. Its one of the 10 commandments in the Tampa 2 Bible…”

    Showing off your complete ignorance, I see.

    Dereck Brooks NEVER called defensive plays, did he?

    The truth is, when you have a first or second year MLB, the more experienced OLB usually calls the plays until he develops.

    Of course, that would not suit your racist hate Lovie agenda.

  19. DallasBuc Says:

    I guess we should be giving the HC credit for allowing competition and playing the best players?
    How low the bar is across the board with this organization.

  20. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    As far as Bruce Carter…you guys have no idea how much stress Kwon Alexander has saved you. Carter is entering his 5th year and has NEVER had an injury free season. He’s a glass figurine that probably would have shattered in the first game…provided he even made it that far.

    I told everyone this when he was signed, but everyone lived in denial saying he was the solution at MLB.

    I have no idea if Kwon Alexander will work out at the position in the long term, but at least he’s durable enough to make it through this year.

    And if we get lucky and he’s a future hall of famer…we have him on the cheap for a few years.

  21. celly Says:

    TheBucsAnthem Says:
    August 19th, 2015 at 9:16 am

    @ Cannon

    Yes…the MLB has the headset from the DC and is the QB of the defense

    Not always, but usually.

  22. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    @ Bonzai

    Like I’m saying….at the very least….it looks like Kwon Alexander was a very good 4th round pick…..if he is even in the same ballpark with LVD….we have a winner……cheaply!!!

  23. @Broy3434 Says:

    Bucs anthem – way to turn us pulling a Seattle and finding a fourth round stud to replace another stud who was a prize free agent. It’s preseason round two no way Carter is flopping that bad yet. You’re just a typical pessimist. This is good news, Lovie knows more than you. FACT

  24. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    Anyone here even know what a head coaches job is, as opposed to a general manager? ANYONE?

    Head Coach
    Expresses needs and vision to the GM. Develops the players he is provided. Has a big influence on the draft, because that’s where his vision is developed. If he is a defensive coach, he has a strong say in the defense. Same goes for offense if he is offensively minded. He is the face of the franchise. The public face. He has to convince the players on the team to buy into his vision and work their arses off to make it happen. Accepts the talent the GM brings in through trades and free agency and works them into his game plan.

    You can gauge how a head coach is doing by how the team responds to his vision. If they quit on him, it’s pretty clear.

    General Manager
    Heads up the non team talent evaluations. Heads up the scouting department (the boss there answers to him). Negotiates contracts with team players. Enacts his vision of how to manage the salary cap. Listens to the coach’s needs and vision, THEN the GENERAL MANAGER goes out and finds players who fit that vision (in his opinion). Works trade deals.

    So blaming Lovie Smith for free agency talent and signings just shows ignorance. Jason Licht is the one in charge of that…and JASON LICHT EVEN SAID SO ON THE RADIO THIS OFF SEASON.

    Lovie Smith has a huge influence on the players we draft. So far as free agency, he basically gets a yes or no option from whoever Jason Licht makes available. IF a certain player is available, he can voice his desire to have him, but then it is in Jason Licht’s hands. He either gets him or he doesn’t.

    So use your heads idiots.

  25. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    My last statement was not directed at you.

  26. TheBucsAnthem Says:




    ……I remember people clamoring over Mason Foster…..he was n average player

    LVD is on the only LB on the team that is above average because he is one of the best in the NFL

    Maybe lovie just envisions another LVD like in K.A.

    They only sense this makes is from purely:

    1. Developmental

    2. Physical aspects (exceptional speed for LB)



  27. James Walker Says:

    Carter has value because he can play multiple positions. I bet that Carter starts at least 7 games this year at some position.

  28. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    @James Walker

    If that happens he certainly will get injured. Just like every other year of his career.

  29. Pickgrin Says:

    Carter was progressing fairly well in his MLB role by all accounts – and looked pretty solid in practice to my eye. This is all about Kwon – coming in making plays and flashing undeniable talent.

    If Alexander can lock down the MLB position mentally and physically – then his speed and play making ability that he was known for in College will be able to shine and he can handle tight ends and backs in coverage over the middle.

    If Carter winds up as a $5M back-up because the 3 LBers in front of him are playing too well to come off the field – then so be it. Injuries are a part of the game and at some point this season – Carter’s abilities and experience are going to pay off. It’s a nice “problem” to have and an indication that L&L have succeeded at adding some high quality “depth” to a team that had none the last 6+ years.

    Kudos coach Smith. May the best player win the job at MLB – whether he be a rookie or your prized free agent.

    It sure is nice to have the best MLB who ever wore a Bucs uniform and excelled in the Tampa 2 teaching young Kwon how to play this defense at MLB the right way. If Alexander sticks at MLB – I would expect to see him bulk up about 10 lbs or so over the next 12 months. Have to find that perfect weight that allows him to keep his speed, but also have enough bulk to be an enforcer and take on bigger RBs and TE’s.

    Our Linebackers ROCK. Likely the best LB group top to bottom in the NFL. I feel really really good about the position as a whole with the emergence of Kwon Alexander.

  30. Supersam Says:

    I watched the bucs Vikings game 4 times already and on defense I focused squarely on KWon Alexander. And yes he made a couple plays, but didn’t play “outstanding” like Lovie is trying to feed us, he was out of position several times in the run game I saw him try and ankle tackle running backs a few times and they just drug him 5 yards down the field. Not where is supposed to be in passing game either. So what I’ve gathered is LOvie is panicking because Bruce Carter is yet another free agent bust, as well as Chris Conte and George Johnson looked slow and out of place to me. Lovie and Licht continue to fail this team over and over again with bad management. The Seahawks drafted a kid named Tyler Lockett which I pounded the keyboard on here month before the draft, he has a kick return touchdown already and almost had another. But we got Kaelin Klay instead hahaha.

  31. Idontwannahearitanaymore Says:


    Lovie has lost his damn mind”

    Let’s go with that option.

  32. ColoradoBuc Says:

    The Buc Realist Says:
    August 19th, 2015 at 9:36 am
    Are you guys crazy? of course the middle linebackers call all the play.

    …Except when Lavonte David was a rookie.

  33. Just Saying Says:

    “The knock on Alexander is in tackling and coverage. ”

    Where did you hear that? I thought it was BECAUSE of his coverage skills that he was put there. Now tackling MAY be a problem, but we don’t know that for sure yet. Do you people just throw this stuff out there to see if it sticks? Or arte you just using the negativity to troll this site?

  34. gracelivin Says:

    Carter was completely lost on Sat. most times he was standing still until everyone else had taken 3 steps, his drop-back was to shallow and tight and he didn’t tackle with authority. On the other hand Kwon seemed to be flying around and tackled with some pop. Though Kwon wasn’t always in good coverage position his hustle let him get to the receiver instead of letting the receiver get a free YAC like Carter. Just my observation, after watching the game 3 times, twice using slow motion.

  35. Jason McLaurin Says:

    This is the move of the offseason besides drafting Winston and Marpet. I still think Carter should be on the field using his speed to rush the passer. Lovie Smith needs to take that Tampa two scheme into a 3-4 defensive alignment to get that speed on the field instead of trading him or cutting him. We have only 4 total overall dbs that should start with the safety position up for grabs( cb1: Verner, cb2: Banks, fs: McDougald, ss: Swearing) and 3 defensive lineman that should start(dts: McCoy, McDonald, and Melton). The linebacking unit is the best on this team as far as talent and depth in Greene, Dean, and Williams for rest among the starters. Hardy Nickerson is doing a helluva coaching job down and should be promoted to defensive coordinator once Leslie Frazier bolts for a head coaching gig after this season. Hes done a great one coaching this kid up to be the middle linebacker that we needed and I see a big season from this kid too maybe even a sleeper for defensive rookie of the year but the outside rush in the 3-4 alignment is trendy right now and we do have the talent and need to try it

  36. CalBucsFan Says:

    Back in the day when Tampa-2 was the best in the NFL, it was always “DC Kiffin said this, DC Kiffin said that” because he was the genius behind it all. Fast forward to today and we never hear quotes from the DC, so I’m wondering, who made the call on Alexander moving to the first string, Lovie Smith or Leslie Frasier?

  37. Supersam Says:

    Lovie wanted total control over defense, that’s why Leslie was brought in, he’s just a warm body. It’s Lovies show.

  38. Supersam Says:

    Kelvin Benjamin Carted off the field with “serious knee injury” saw the video and it didn’t look good. Sorry for him but that’s good news for us.

  39. Damion Says:

    Some of you guys are so negative, what does being a rookie has to do with play-making ability. If you watched the game on sat #58 was all over the filed making plays. What is so surprising that he is giving an opportunity to see if he can be a consistent play maker at that position. Thats what good coaches do.

    Is he the first rookie to beat of a verteran players…some of you guys just talk to talk with nothing to say.

  40. Tiny Tim Says:

    The Buc Realist Says:
    August 19th, 2015 at 9:10 am

    Its still almost unbelievable!!! I mean, since the Bucs started getting wupped up on last year, all we heard was how this defense takes 1 year to learn!!! Then a 4th round rookie is going to come in and QB the complex defense in the NFL (according to all the lovie sheep)!!!!!!


    Derrick Brooks and Warren Sapp said it takes at least a year to learn this defense. But what do 1st ballot hall of famers know? Buc “realist” knows it all GTFOOH!!!

  41. Damion Says:

    supersam, do you know that the primary role of the mlb in cover to is to protect the deep middle. The lbs stand 5yrds off the LOS, and read run or pass. So yes in some cases the mlb will be making tackles 5yrds down the field depending on this read. this is not uncommon for this system. If he always attempted to make tackles in the backfield he would consistently get beat over the top with play action. Making him a bad mlb for this system, see mason foster for more examples.

  42. Stpetebucsfan Says:

    Either K.A. is one of the most amazing rookies to ever come out of college to NFL to beat out verteran NFL starters


    he’s simply another talented player who breaks into the league. This happens at positions all over the field every year in the NFL. Our own division has the example of Kuechly who lead the league in tackles his rookie season and won the defensive player MVP. Now THAT is amazing. Simply beating out a veteran takes place all the time.

    We’ll have to see if KA has Kuechly like talent is or is simply Barrett Ruud like.
    He’s obviously more athletic than Ruud but let’s see how he covers the run and pass from the middle. Maybe we get lucky and find another solid starter like Shelton Quarles.

  43. Lakeland Buc Says:

    Bruce Carter is a natural SAM linebacker, he might beat out Danny Lansanah for the starting job. Khaseem Greene is a natural MIKE linebacker, and he will push Kwon Alexander for the starting job. We only have one linebacker, who is set to start and that’s Lavonte David. The other two positions are still, to be determine. Kwon Alexander played good against the Vikings, but so did Khaseem Greene.

  44. Mo_Downs Says:

    At least we have enough talent at LB to have competition. I’ve seen Lovie’s teams (TB, Rams, Bears) over the years and there is a “silent assassin” vibe that is always present among the quiet leaders. Kwon and Swearinger remind me of MLB/Urlacher, CB/Peanut Tillman and FS/Mike Brown.

    The “perfect” player was Peanut Tillman. When you judge our players, use “Peanut” as the standard we want them to aspire to.

    LaVonte David “IS” a silent assassin. We need a few more with his attitude to wreak havoc and be the source of “TURNOVERS”. Kwon, David, McCoy, Greene and Swearinger represent “The INTIMIDATORS” on our defense. We need a few more guys like that who can “scare the lemonade” out of the opposition and make them tremble and alter their play calling to avoid individual players’ area on the field. Think: NINJA. That’s when the Cover-2 truly becomes: “Not in my House”.

    Mr Greene has a chance to join the Bucs’ “League of Silent Assassins”.
    The rest of the team better get with the program. Lovie, due to NFL PR on “Killers on the Field” can’t openly encourage “Da CRAZY”. But, his choices for starters tells the story. Let’s get through TC/PS and see who is really CRAZY and who are just “paycheck” players.

    Considering the size and weight of our WR’s and TE’s, I’d like to see a lot more “fierce” out of our offensive starters and less “Alligator Arms” who are “saving it for the RS games”. At this point “you play the real games the way you practice”. You can’t just turn it on and off. Jameis needs to know that guys are laying it on the line, every play.

    Evans was at fault for “allowing” himself to be held and not going “BS Crazy” before, during and after the interception. That, my friends is the sign of a “paycheck player”. Our WR’s and TE’s are SOFT. Big and soft makes an easy target for the opposition.

    Jus Sayin’..!!