More Changing The Culture?

February 29th, 2016
Clemson CB Mackensie Alexander has the passion the Bucs want in a player.

Clemson CB Mackensie Alexander has the passion the Bucs want in a player.

A big theme over at One Buc Palace for the past year or so is the term “changing the culture” — because losing had become so ingrained it was a habit.

After Tampa Bay lost to the sad Saints ending any reasonable hope of a Wild Card hunt, Joe had four members of the Bucs’ defense on record saying the team came out flat.

Joe was, and still is, flabbergasted by those comments. How any team with so much to play for could come out as flat as Kate Hudson is beyond Joe’s comprehension. It reinforced how the culture of losing still needed to be deloused from the locker room.

Of course, the first big step in culture change was the drafting of America’s Quarterback, Pro Bowler Jameis Winston. Linebacker Kwon Alexander also has the same winning fire that burns within Jameis.

Could the No. 9 overall pick this spring have the same mental makeup?

Joe asks because of Mackensie Alexander, the gifted yet pickless Clemson cornerback.

When Alexander spoke at the NFL Scouting Combine Saturday, Joe was up close, sitting front row-center directly in front of the podium. Most impressive was the passion this guy has for football.

Dude is intense, maybe more so than Jameis, which is saying a lot. Talking about missing the second half of the national championship loss to Alabama with a hamstring injury, Joe thought Alexander was going to start throwing something he was so peeved.

Confidence? Wow, Alexander just exuded it all over the place. Just check out this quote about playing press coverage without safety help.

“Listen, there’s not many D-coordinators who are going to put a young guy on the line,” Alexander said. “They’re not going to [do] that. I don’t know a lot of D-coordinators who are going to do that, put a young guy on the line with no safety help. His job is on the line, too. So if [Clemson defensive coordinator Brent Venables] can do that with me, it shows his trust with me, because I show up every day in practice, I show up every day in game day. This is me. This is who I am, and he understands that. He knows that. He’s able to trust me and put me in situations where, ‘OK, I expect Mackensie to win.’ My teammates expect me to win.

“I mean, this is me. This is me. Imagine me on game day.”

On playing big receivers, Alexander offered:

“You’ve just got to know who they are,” Alexander said. “You’ve got to know their skill set. If I’m going against [Laquon] Treadwell – which I’ve studied, I know who he is, I haven’t played against him – my game plan, OK, he’s a big guy. He knows how to use his body real well. Another guy we have at Clemson, Mike Williams, same personnel. Not very fast, but you know they’re going to give you what they’ve got. They’re very aggressive, they’re very physical, they snatch the ball in the air. I’m taking what they do best. I’m taking those jump balls away. I’m doing stuff like that. I’m making them catch shorter balls. Their yards come from, we call them YAC yards, which means they get big-time plays. They’re averaging 18 to 17 yards per catch. my job is to take those balls away, and make their offensive coordinator change their route plan and go somewhere else with it. That’s how you win, you know what I mean?

“It’s the same thing if I’m covering Will Fuller. I know he’s the deep, vertical guy. He just ran 4.3. I’m proud of him. You know he’s a fast guy, I’m fast too. You know what I mean? I know he’s a vertical guy. If I take his vertical game away, I wouldn’t say he sucks, but he’s not that good. Then you force (Brian) Kelly to make him go in the screen game, which they did against us a lot just to get him touches. Feed him some kind of way. You want your playmakers getting the ball some kind of way.

“There’s nobody more dedicated than me, who’s put more time and who’s more of a competitor than me. I don’t care, you can line up a safety. We can break down film, we can break down anything. I’m here prepared, and I’m telling you I’m the best corner in this draft class.”

Alexander later suggested the most accurate comparison to him is Darrelle Revis.

Yeah, talk is cheap, but it struck Joe that Alexander has already studied film of Treadwell, thinking he will face him at the next level at some point. That is dedication and tells Joe this guy wants to win. Joe has never heard of a college breaking down tape of a player he would never face in college.

This is the type of mentality the Bucs want at One Buc Palace. Joe would love to see Alexander in a Bucs uniform, but man, about those no picks.

29 Responses to “More Changing The Culture?”

  1. godzilla13 Says:

    He’s exceptionally smart on the field, and he is a workaholic. He loves to study playbooks and spends as much time working in the film room and in game prep as he does on his physical skills. Sound like someone else on this team? Imagine what Brett Maxie could do with him? He is also well known for being a fiery competitor who is quick to mix it up with a receiver after the play. Watch the film, he is always in the opponents head. What else can we ask for? Alexander’s shadowing skills along with a strong jam at the LOS, to disrupt the timing of routes is just what the doctor ordered. A shut down corner with swagger and attitude who will set the tone for our defense. Draft Alexander and sign either Sean Smith or Adam Jones and our secondary gets scary. Draft best available DE in the second round then SS Karl “hitman” Joseph in the third and we are on our way.

  2. MadMax Says:

    I like that! You like that! haha, but yeah, really!

    I hope he falls to the 2nd, he’d be a great pick up there. Again, no CB has ever been drafted in the 1st when he has zero interceptions…..but I can get past that when I see that kind of work ethic and attitude. Looking forward to seeing him in the combine today.

  3. Bucwylde Says:

    I think he’s a great pick and even though we really need an edge rusher the draft is such a crap shoot with DE picked in the 1st round. I would rather see us take Alexander and DE in the 2nd and bring in FA DE to help while while our young DE continue to grow.

  4. Stanglassman Says:

    The players said they came out flat before the Saints games because Lovie berated Russel Shepard for cursing front of the whole team when he had the team fired up during his pregame speech. They didn’t only start the game flat they came out of the locker room flat and deflated. I think this along with the 4 game defensive slid did Lovie in more than anything.

    If Alexander drops to the 2nd round heck ya the Bucs should grab him but he is not a top ten pick. I realize there is a lot of DL talent in this draft but that doesn’t mean you wait til the 3rd round to start picking them especially when you need two. They are expecting 15 DL to go in the 1st round.

  5. thunderchunkyPA Says:

    I would trade down at this point and get extra picks if we could. Someone might want to trade up for Stanley and you could get an extra 2nd or 3rd round pick. This team is not one player away, make the most of this spot.

  6. 1nebuc Says:

    In 2 years opposing quarterbacks have tried this kid 104 times when he matched up man to man … They have only completed a whopping 32 passes. Last year they tried him 57 times and only completed 12 passes for “NO TOUCHDOWNS ” , YES “0” TOUCHDOWNS!!!!!!! Im a nole fan so ive watched the last 2 years and he gave up 1 play to Greene and honestly he slipped. Now Rashad may have made him “SLIP” but 70 out of the 307 yards he gave up all that season was Rashad. So interceptions will come but there wont be a boat load cause he wont get the ball tossed his way that much by year 3 . GO BUCS

  7. Stanglassman Says:

    Any talk about moving a big OLB like Leonard Floyd from UGA to DE? That guy looked like a Buc DE to me. This one of the 1st drafts I can remember that I don’t know the Def body type or style our team will be drafting. Buckner is a perfect example usually he wouldn’t fit the system now I have no idea.

  8. Bob in Valrico Says:

    in the national title game,Alabama was in a dogfight until Mackensie went
    out. I thought that changed the momentum of game.

  9. Destinjohnny Says:

    Those Clemson cAts are no joke man
    Great players with winning attitudes
    Roll tide !

  10. Phil Says:

    I like his attitude. We certainly could use more of that on the Bucs defense.

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

    No picks? As long as that’s followed up with no bombs completed for touchdowns on him as well I’m good wit him. Just not at 9,if Lichtenstein dose anything at cb in the first round it better had happened as result of trade down scenario.

  12. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    I’m also for trading down if we can….he would be a great pick late in round 1….I just don’t think he will last until round 2.

  13. The Buc Realist Says:

    Here is a question now that Joe and some of you are foaming at the mouth for a CB!! What if they grab Noah S with the first round, then second round roles around and some of those DT with 1st round grades are sitting there??? Who will flip out if the first two pick are DE and DT???

  14. biff barker Says:

    Realist, if we can stack the DL, then stack the DL.

    We need a Safety more than a CB anyway.

  15. Stanglassman Says:

    I think DE and DT too if one of the good DE don’t drop to the 2nd rd. It’s looking less and less like Dodd or Ogbah will drop but Bullard, Calhoun and Nassib might. Oakman may be a 3-4 round pk. Either way the Bucs need to get a that DT talent at some point in the early rounds.

  16. MadMax Says:

    Realist, theres no way we’re wasting our first on Noah Spence!

  17. tnew Says:

    I think there is very much a way that Spence, if on the board is the pick. People are overreacting on the 40 time, but his 10 yard split was faster than Mack. His off the field issues look to be behind him, but it is always a risk. My thoughts are that he might be the best edge rusher but is really a mid first round pick. His value after 15 would look a little better.

    I like some things with Alexander but some of his tape scares me. He played well off the line a ton. He played with the qbs under constant pressure. Love his confidence. Alexander not running today, so no combine 40 time. No cb has been drafted in any round that hasn’t registered at least 1 int.

    I’m in the lets hope we can trade back a bit so that we can get back in the top of the 1st. The problem is this is a deep draft and the top end appeal just isn’t there.

  18. tnew Says:

    Nole on Sat… How about a trade up for Ramsey? Pipe dream I know but he’s my hope.

  19. MadMax Says:

    Bummer that Alexander isnt running the 40 🙁

  20. LargoBuc Says:

    Man, that winning attitude is what we need. You cant teach that. Go look at teams like the 90’s Cowboys or the 80’s 49ers. Alot of teams in that era had talent but the two mentioned above had leadership, a desire to win that was unmatched. To guys like Michael Irving, Jerry Rice, Charles Haley, Ronnie Lott there was no difference between losing the sb and being the first pick in the draft because you still didnt win. And when your a team like the Bucs with a losing culture, your priority in the draft has to be talent and that passion to win. As much as I love GMC, VJax and LVD they gotta recognize that they been through two head coaches in four years for a reason and the locker room is changing like it or not. Guys like Jameis and Kwon are now the leaders because, well, they led their rookie year like a vet! Each kinda had a signature game and whoever we draft, esp in the first, better share that passion.

  21. MadMax Says:

    VH just ran a 4.52…..a 4.4 was expected…..dont think it matters that much though.

  22. Waterboy Says:

    Based on what I saw from the guys at the combine this weekend and looking at college game film I don’t see any dominate edge rushers in this year’s draft. I’d like to see the Bucs go after Olivier in FA and take Mackensie at #9 and maybe a DT or DE in the 2nd rd.

  23. Waterboy Says:

    Spence didn’t impress me all that much at the combine he’s measurables are similar to Olivier’s and Olivier doesn’t come with the off-field concerns.

  24. tnew Says:

    Bad times Max… know your watching but for the rest it was a 4.41 and 4.43. Love what is being said about him. Hopefully Alexander will be participating in the rest of the drills…

    Off Topic… Derrick Henry’s measurables are on par with Von Miller. Miller was a 2nd overall pick and is set to make close to 20 mil a year. Henry might late in the first and will be fortunate to make a second contract given the amount of runs that he was given at Alabama. I see that athlete moving away from the running back position. Plus with the NFL wanting to become a passing league, it just makes sense.

  25. tnew Says:

    feeling the need to be accurate. Hargreaves official time was 4.5

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

    tnew I think Ramey is going to be special so if they did I would not be opposed. They just better d@$! Well be going Dline in the 2nd round. Buckner didnt lift red flag, I’m now back on the Nkemdiche train. He showed his arse yesterday,and folks are raving about it. Everyone is ultra consumed with garnering a DE. Jay Hayes’s star in cincy was Gino Atkins my money says he’s looking at DTs.

  27. Bucsfanman Says:

    I’m glad we’re back to talking about DBs with name recognition. A couple of weeks ago we were talking about Eli Apple to which I said, “who?”
    DB is a position where if you play well, your name should be out there. I don’t put too much stock in combine #s anyway, the proof is on tape so the 4.5s don’t scare me.

  28. Chyno1 Says:

    I like Alexander’s attitude and competitiveness he sure talks the talk but is he that good or was he just part of a stacked defense in college? Is this another case of Byron Maxwell who shined because of a fierce pass rush and a pro bowl lineup in the back end with him? He has no INTs his whole college career and granted a lot of teams stayed away from throwing at him it is definitely a red flag for a guy if you’re considering taking him at 9th. I don’t think he allowed a TD at all this past season which is a plus. But the lack of causing turnovers really makes you concern because when he gets to the league you better believe that QBs and o-coordinators will test him early and often in the beginning of the preseason. Then we’ll really get to see what kind of corner he really is because right now it’s hard to judge whether he’s Trae Waynes, who struggled all preseason and couldn’t get onto the field his rookie season, or if he’ll be a Marcus Peters. Vernon Hargreaves has what you want in a corner with the turnovers but from the 40 he ran it might look like he’ll struggle with fast WRs especially if he has to catch up. I see a lot of people saying if Alexander drops to the 2nd round then we should take him. Of course that would be a steal but I don’t see it happening. In a draft that lacks overall top end talent especially in the secondary I don’t see Alexander dropping out the first. Unless he totally bombs his pro day or something. Other than that a team at the bottom with a need for a corner will definitely take him. Especially a team are already has a good defense but need a corner, examples Carolina, Arizona, or Seattle just to name a few. A guy who we should be looking at in the second is William Jackson III because he got good tape and he ran a 4.37 today.

    I’m not really sold on Noah Spence at 9th at all. His 40 was not impressive, even though his 10 yard split was good, but overall he didn’t look sensational to me. Especially with all the hype that he came into the combine with. Bosa lacks explosiveness and his numerous comparisons to JJ Watt are definitely overblown. If he slips to 9 that’ll be a better pick than Spence because overall Bosa is more well rounded but I think he lacks the explosiveness to be a premiere pass rusher. Buckner did a solid job but I’m still not sold on him. A few guys that might be in the mix if we do decided to trade in the first is Emmanuel Ogbah and Charles Tapper at DE or Andrew Billings and Sheldon Rankins at DT those guys really impressed yesterday.

    Overall, I don’t think we’re going to get a premiere pass rusher in this draft. I didn’t see anything special from the top ranked DL. I think Buckner might stay in the top 5 because of his size and athleticism. I think Bosa drops out of the top 5 but stays in the top 10 he’ll have to improve his 40. N Spence to me is more of a mid 1st round guy. Idk if he’s 9th overal worthy. At least I would be more comfortable taking him in the middle of the first opposed to top 10. If it were up to me, if Bosa happens to slide to 9th we take him if not then we trade back and hopefully get Spence or Ogbah in the middle of the first and target William Jackson III in the second. If Spence or Ogbah not there then take Alexander or Eli Apple from Ohio State.

  29. Waterboy Says:

    After not participating in the combine today I’m off the Alexander bandwagon with the #9 pick. I like the confidence and big talk but prefer guys that aren’t scared to compete and willing to backup the talk. I felt he had some things to prove today after not having any INT’s in college and he chose to not even compete that’s a red flag in my opinion.