In the Hollywood hit “Jerry McGuire”, fictional character Rod Tidwell’s objective was the “Quan”. In last year’s draft, the Buccaneers might have landed that Kwon in the 4th round.
As a rookie, Kwon Alexander’s ability and upside were immediately recognized. After letting middle linebacker Mason Foster walk, the Bucs put the all-important MLB position into the hands of Alexander. Alexander, an OLB out of LSU, showed big time ability, and the confidence that he could handle calling the defensive plays. Unfortunately, three quarters into the season, Alexander was hit with a 4-game suspension for violating the NFL's policy on performance-enhancing drugs. The team certainly missed his presence, and this sophomore season serves as his retribution for his mistake.
Head coach Dirk Koetter was asked about Alexander’s training camp performance thus far.
“I love how Kwon’s working with ‘Smitty’ [Mike Smith],” Koetter said. “It’s great to see when I’m going down the hallway every morning at seven o’clock in the morning and Kwon and Smitty are in there on the chalkboard having a 45 minute 1-on-1. It’s awesome to see Smitty sitting at a desk and Kwon standing at the board with a grease pen in his hand - it’s awesome. As a guy that’s a quarterback coach to see ‘Smitty’ and Kwon in there in the mornings does my heart good.”
These are such powerful and comforting words for Bucs fans coming from the head guy. The middle linebacker position is considered the quarterback position of the defensive unit. Knowing that your second year linebacker is committing his time to become that piece of the puzzle is inspiring.
While Mike Smith and Alexander continue working together, Alexander was asked about his time with Smith, and he was gratified to talk about the time he’s been putting in.
“I get there every morning; it’d be right around 6:30 [a.m.], Alexander said. “I wake up probably about, like 5:10 [a.m.] eat breakfast, then go up there and study for myself probably for like 30 minutes. Then I go up there with him and I get on the board. That’s been great, it’s making me a better player now. If I’d have been doing that, some good things would come out, so I can’t wait for the season and show y’all.”
Bucs fans should be excited with Alexander’s willingness to learn and grow as an NFL middle linebacker. He’s been spending quality time with quality people as well.
“So I’ve been getting up early, me and [quarterback] Jameis [Winston] get up the same time, we leave at the same time. I told him before we got to camp, ‘I’m coming with you,’ and we’ve just been rocking ever since. He’s been doing good and I’ve been doing good, so it’s going to be a good season.”
If this quote doesn’t excite you, you better check if you’re a Bucs fan.