Don’t Blame Bruce Carter

August 22nd, 2015
Rookie Kwon Alexander has certainly impressed the Bucs hierarchy.

Rookie Kwon Alexander has certainly impressed the Bucs’ hierarchy.

More than a few Bucs fans immediately scoffed at Bruce Carter when Lovie Smith announced that rookie fourth-round draft pick Kwon Alexander was elevated to the starting gig at middle linebacker.

Naturally, these same fans began mocking Carter as yet another free agent bust. That allegation would be patently inaccurate, said Bucs AC/DC-loving general manager Jason Licht.

Appearing on SiriusXM NFL Radio Friday with co-hosts Booger McFarland and Zig Fracassi, Licht discussed what the very, very early returns suggest has been a fruitful May draft. And right now the biggest and most pleasant surprise is Alexander.

“Kwon Alexander for one, to move up this early and be anointed as the starting MIKE right now by Lovie and his staff, that speaks volumes for him and the trust that he has,” Licht said. “And Bruce Carter has been playing well. He was a big upgrade for us at MIKE but Kwon was just exceptional so we are really excited about him.”

The accolades for Alexander are breathtaking. Also Friday, veteran defensive tackle Clinton McDonald noted a play Alexander made in the first preseason game at Minnesota reminded him of Ray Lewis.

That may be bordering on sacrilege, but if Alexander can even come remotely close to Lewis, then grabbing him in the fourth round would become an outright steal.

If one looked at the laundry list of fourth-round picks by Tampa Bay in the history of the franchise, that is a pretty grisly sight.

44 Responses to “Don’t Blame Bruce Carter”

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

    Your future signal caller on the offense and defensive side of the ball snatched in the same draft. 😮Woah. Arrow pointing up.

  2. Erik with Clean Athletics Says:

    Alexander will rival and/or surpass Kuechly as the most productive/playmaking MLB in the league from Day 1.

  3. TheBucsAnthem Says:

    The last great Mike LB was Shelton Quarles

    …..and no Barrett Rudd never counted either

  4. Destro44 Says:

    I really don’t see it as Carter being a bust. Yeah he was brought I to be the starting Mike, but he has been outplayed by what appears to be a special rookie. I see Carter as excellent depth.

  5. Harry Says:

    My biggest fear about L&L was their ability for talent evaluation. Talent evaluation is as important, if not more important than coaching. It can kill a team for YEARS! What L&L did last year was terrifying to Buc fans. The Ghost decision was stupid, but what they did to to Oline was far beyond that. The 2014 draft was Rockstarish bad. But this draft appears to be Superstarish. It appears the Bucs will get 4 very good, potentially great, starters out of it and maybe more.

    Realist, my friend, DallasBuc, give some props up. They are fully deserved

  6. NoBucsGiven Says:

    Gotta be excited about the LB group this year.

  7. Tampa Tony Says:

    Carter is a expensive backup but it’s a good thing when a player U draft outplays a vet

  8. iamkingsu Says:

    Carter should start strong side. I love Denny Lanny and all but carter is a different breed of athlete. He’s the better thumper, blitzer, has more speed between the two.

  9. Jason McLaurin Says:

    Carter will eventually be the full time starter at SAM spot because of his youth but while Lansanah is going we should still use Carter to rush the passer from the outside though. Alexander is beginning to make a run at what I call greatness. The job these linebackers are doing in camp is superior too. This defense is going to be special and Lovie knows it too which is why he will be calling the plays this season

  10. jvato24 Says:

    Lansanah is a playmaker, everyone that thinks speed equals best player needs to lay off Madden, Bruce Carter’s problem is lack of instinct which is crucial for LB but I am still glad we got Carter in off-season

  11. Stpetebucsfan Says:

    Nole on Sat

    Couldn’t agree more. If we’ve discovered a starting QB and a starting MLB in the same draft that is exceptional.

    If either Fameis or Kwon turn out to be a franchise player at their position this draft has been a home run.

    If BOTH these guys are franchise players at these positions we’ve just hit a grand slam. Now if either Marpet or Smith become solid starters…whoa and if both Marpet and Smith turn out to be starters for a half dozen years or more…

    Then this year will go down as the best Bucs draft ever. I never thought there would be a comparison with the draft that brought us Sapp and Brooks but really if we get a franchise QB and a franchise MLB plus one or two starting OL this draft will be the very best. Again though only time will tell. Right now we are still discussing potential and I get that. These guys now have to go out and back up that potential with performance on the field.

    Gotta admit though…this potential is incredibly exciting to contemplate. Or at least it should be if you’re a Buc’s fan.

  12. jvato24 Says:

    Also I am excited about Kwon but can we Atleast see him against other 1st string players before putting him the hall of fame, too much hype at this point, but when we suck for so long little things become huge

  13. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    Destro44 Says
    “I really don’t see it as Carter being a bust.”

    Bruce Carter is as much of a bust as Bowers is. Carter has NEVER had a complete season in his entire career due to injuries. He is a very bad investment, and always has been.

    Anyone here that says otherwise doesn’t know squat.

  14. BuccaneerBonzai Says:


    Ali Marpet will be a very solid talent. So I consider him a lock.

    Kwon has proven nothing yet. Sure, he’s earned a starting role…in preseason games. With Bruce Carter’s durability issues (never had a complete season), if I were Lovie I would play him as little as possible too. Kwon has been energetic on the field, and fast. MLB means a lot more than that. We’ll see how he does.

    Winston is looking okay so far. Not great. But it’s early. While it can still go either way, I’m hoping for the more positive results.

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

    I concur St.Pete.

  16. Buc1987 Says:

    I saw 58 all over the field during the Vikings game…he’s gonna be a good one.

  17. Brent Says:

    Expensive depth but you gotta go with the best player. Excited about watching our defense this year. Still don’t have de but sounds like we have upgrade our depth. McDaniel Carter melton are guys who can start coming off the bench. Plus Lovie calling plays is an upgrade..

  18. rayjay1122 Says:

    Agreed. If Winston, Alexander and Marpet become solid starters and possibly future all-pro players, then this will indeed be a grand slam draft class. It will be fun to watch it play out. I think Marpet will be the better of the two OL drafted and Winston is going to be Winston. Alexander, in one game against back ups looked really great. He was all over the field and may have been a steal along with Marpet. I do not expect too much from Donovan Smith though I hope he can become a solid starter. I think Bell will make the team as well though his time to shine will be in a season or two. Glad to see Herron remembered how to catch a football so far this camp since he is speedy and could stretch a defense and it would be great for him to be some value from the previous draft class. I do not honestly know who is going to be the #3, 4 or 5 receivers on the roster though I do think Murphy will be in the mix if he continues to play as he did against the Vikings. I am the most disappointed in ASJ. That guy is too big to get out muscled by smaller DB,s and he needs to figure out that catching the ball and holding on to it are a big part of being a TE…geesh. Catching a football while wearing WR gloves is really not that hard. They are pretty tacky and the ball just sticks. Cmon ASJ, we need you to show up dude!!!

  19. P'cola Buc Says:

    Winston will eventually steadily improve due to his work ethic, football IQ, and natural talent. Alexander will also keep improving and become a steady Mike LB. Ali Marpet, will develop into being a fine RG/C. Ali Marpet I predict will become the most beloved Buccaneer since Mike Alstott. Yes Licht, just might have “come into his own” with this draft!

  20. Buccfan37 Says:

    Many picked the Bucs to be good and contend last year. This year the Bucs have added talent that fans are high on. Few pick the Bucs to be good or contend this year. Go figure.

  21. Stpetebucsfan Says:


    Certainly respect your position because you are factually correct, these guys haven’t really accomplished anything…..YET.

    I respect that you wish to remain even and objective in your analysis, but you gotta admit…at least the potential is exciting.

  22. Bird Says:

    Hey- no bust. Bucs had to take carter because mason was not that guy. The fact that we have a rookie stepping up and hearing about him in practice sounds like the truth. I think the bigger issue is will Jameis throw one or two picks in a game. All in on this guy but he is the guy that joe will say is better than himself So that means he is a hall of fame guy. Worried that joe s next question will be in the shower. Oooohhh. The sudes look perfect on his butt crack. Will that mean wins? God I hope so. Go bucs

  23. georgia buc fan 39 years Says:

    Doe’s anyone see that are smaller, lighter, altho faster LB’s seem to have trouble stopping the larger RB’s in the league? Maybe rotate Kwon and Bruce on run and pass downs get the best of both worlds. And maybe the most bang for the buc

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

    But Ga. Buc fan who are the larger rbs you speak of? Better yet where are the larger rbs in our division? I don’t know about you but I don’t see any. The days of Christian Okeoye are gone bro. And trust me LVD tackles any and everything regardless of size. Dude a tackling specialist. And P’cola you’re right bro,Mongo is going to be the most beloved Buccaneer over time. No doubt about it.

  25. Buc1987 Says:

    Stpetebucsfan…that’s actually a good question to ask Bonzai, seeing how he’s a self admitted major homer, or used to be anyways.

  26. Buc1987 Says:


    Love this kid.

    That is all.

  27. Jeffnycbuc Says:

    Some coaches are great at drafting a position. Tony Dungy in Tampa seemed unable to miss on corners, Donnie Abraham, Rhonde, Brian Kelly, Dwight Smith, and Al Harris. Maybe Lovie is the same, Briggs, urlacher, now Alexander? I hope he’s better at offensive lineman.

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

    Your assessment is correct jeffnybuc.

  29. DallasBuc Says:

    Like what I saw from Alexander. Plays bigger than his size, similar to our best player David. Bruce Carter was woefully invisible

  30. The Buc Realist Says:


    except that Lovie did not draft Urlacher, He was already a pro-bowler before Lovie got to Chicago!!!!

  31. Pickgrin Says:

    Alexander’s play has caused quite the Kwondry at LB. A 4th round rookie’s play forcing coaches to relegate their $5M prize free agent into a backup role – is a NICE “problem” to have.


    And yet again The Realist saves the day with his endless football knowledge. THANKS REALIST !!!!!!!

  33. I know why Says:

    We could have saved a lot of money and cap room if we’d have just signed back foster to the deal he got in Chicago. I wish I could be happy like many of you to bust in free agency again. Nothing has changed from last year and the oline just stincks. Winston deserves better, and I wasn’t a big fan of Winston.

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

    Maybe so realist!!! But Lovie put the chi on the map bro. I wasn’t hearing nothing about the windy city prior to Lovie coming to town.

  35. DB55 Says:

    Ron Rivera (cough cough). Lol just messin with you nole.

  36. DB55 Says:

    Mason Foster > Carter + Alexander

  37. Owlykat Says:

    The General Managers lean on the info gathered by the staff under them. Licht was leaning on DOM’s staff his first year but this year he has the staff he wanted and the difference shows in the two drafts. I think we are only one draft away from having what we need for a future elite team.

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

    And here a little homework for you if you care to participate realist!! show me the winning percentage of who ever was the HC of the Bears the nine years prior to Lovie talking over that team. Then compare it to Lovie Smith’s winning percentage during his nine year tenure. I know you already know whose would be better. That guy that got canned after a 10 and 6 freaking season. You say incompetent Lovie. False. Belicheat prior to the emergence of Brady is what you can say was incompetent. But you’ll say Lovie’s not in his class because of his now for rings

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

    continued-.. But imagine if you will what his resume might look like had he had a Brady like talent during his time in Chicago. But what you know he just drafted his own American bad a$$ Jamies muta@$!#in WINSton. So we’ll all see over the next ten season just how how incompetent he really is. I keep telling y’all defensive HC coupled with elite QB=multiple Superbowl wins.

  40. stopthemadness Says:

    DB55 put down the crack pipe. Alexander has the potential to dwarf Foster’s legacy with the Bucs.

  41. Harry Says:

    I like Foster, but I can’t go there with you. Foster’s run D was great, but his pass D could have gotten Greg Olsen in the HOF if Foster had stayed in Tampa. If. Foster was so good, he would have gotten more money in FA, too.

    I think Carter and Alexander will make the Bucs better, but there is likely to be a learning curve too. The MLB position is new to both of them

  42. Buccfan37 Says:

    Man, after reading all those upbeat comments my Bucs confidence meter is rising into previously unknown heights. I don’t know if my body can take it.

  43. DB55 Says:

    All I remember about Foster he that he brought the lumber and had 3 picks with 2 pick 6 under schiano. And if I’m not mistaken he a Sam not mike.

    Foster > Carter. How’s that?

  44. FuNkYxMuNkEy Says:

    Carter will still get his playing time. I personally would prefer David, Kwon, and Carter as our starting LB core. Not sure if that would happen but Bruce is too good to be on the sideline. I love the fact a rookie has come in and done so well in Lovie’s notoriously difficult D. He sure will be fun to watch beside LaVonte!