The 2015 season has been a challenging one for the Buccaneers. More so for the defense.
All week, fans and media have debated on Lovie Smith’s future while pointing at his flawed defensive structure. But that hasn’t stopped one of the defensive captains from reliving one of his greatest moments of this year.
Speaking on his weekly radio show Wednesday night, defensive tackle Gerald McCoy had fond memories of one particular play from one of the team’s rookie leaders.
“[Kwon Alexander] had one of the best plays of the year,” McCoy said. “The best receiver in the NFL, Julio Jones, was on the run. Kwon — hustling — runs him down and just takes the ball from him. Doesn’t knock it out, literally grabs the ball and takes it from him. That right there epitomizes what our coaches have been coaching us.”
Who can disagree with McCoy there? In a season filled with defensive issues, rookie linebacker Kwon Alexander has been perhaps the lone bright spot on that side of the ball and that play against Atlanta in Week 8 proves that. Many will even go as far as saying the reason for the recent defensive failures have been due to the suspension of Alexander.
Regardless, Alexander deserves the credit. He was one of the few exciting features of the 2015 Buccaneers. But one thing that sticks out in McCoy’s praise for the rookie is his last sentence.
The defense has slipped more often than it has been able to stand. Although McCoy reveals what the coaches often preach, he also revealed that they were unable to overcome another early mistake once again last week which seems to have been the norm throughout the year.
So why is it that Alexander, according to McCoy, was able to execute what the coaches have been asking them to do and not others? Clearly there is a disconnect somewhere as the defense has not had the consistent play outside of their rookie linebacker.
It’s been the story of the season. It’s hard to imagine a fix for it is in sight given it’s struggles last year as well.
All we can do is wait and see what transpires in 2016.