Sometimes, a man is not afraid to admit when he's wrong (well, sometimes).
During the preseason, in one of my articles, I said that Jameis Winston is not ready to be an starting quarterback. I didn't mean that from an ability perspective, but more from a maturity standpoint, due to his issues in college. I will say, he has really shown me that he's trying to improve as a player, and as a person, by staying out of trouble and working hard to improve his game.
So my apologies to Jameis and Florida State fans. I will eat crow now.
I also was interviewed before the season by Boydsbets.com, and asked how many wins do I think the Buccaneers will get this year. I said 6-8, which I will not apologize for, because regardless of what some NFL experts will say, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are capable of winning that many this year. If I'm wrong, so be it, but if Jameis keeps improving, Mike Evans stays healthy, Doug Martin picks it up and the defense can play like they have been playing the last 2 weeks, I totally see the Bucs doing 8-8.
Maybe I'm way too optimistic, or dumb, but any team can go on a run, no matter how off they seem at the beginning of the year.
Another thing I will not apologize for is thinking that Kwon Alexander is a future Pro Bowler. He's a rookie, and is already one of the most important pieces of the Buccaneers defensive scheme. Heck, Lovie Smith has him calling defensive plays on the field, so obviously the Bucs coaching staff sees things in him that we don't.
What I see in Kwon Alexander is a guy who knows where he's going to be at all times, knows how to get the tackle, and has amazing quickness and power. Look, will he make the Pro Bowl his first year in the league? Probably not, but he's got tremendous potential to help this Tampa Bay defense for years to come.
Vote for Kwon.
Last week, against Houston, he got the first interception of his career, not to mention 10 tackles and two passes defended. If Bruce Carter can be one of the Bucs' free agent busts of 2015, then Kwon Alexander can be one of the true surprises of the year.
Kwon Alexander's 2015 Season
|Games||Combined Tackles||Total||AST||Sacks||INT||Passes Defended|
Last year, at LSU, Alexander was the team's leader with 92 tackles and 1.5 sacks per game. His college coach Les Miles, says he's especially good when trying to grab receivers.
"He's got great speed", Miles told NOLA.com. "If you are after a linebacker who can step out into the flat and run with a wide receiver, you are looking at Kwon."
Despite the 28-point loss to Tennessee the opening week of the season, the Buccaneers have only given up 38 points in the last two games. And that's without a truly healthy Gerald McCoy.
Perhaps I'm too optimistic. It's too early to tell in this 2015 NFL season, but there's just something I like about this kid. He's got an amazing ability to learn, even though he's three games in. If he can stay healthy, there's no reason why he cannot be one of the team leaders in tackles this year.
And the 2016 Pro Bowl?
If he continues to improve, he's got a pretty good shot.