Kwon Alexander's second NFL season is off to a hot start. Despite learning a new system under recently-hired defensive coordinator Mike Smith, Alexander has recorded 24 tackles, which are tied for the most in the NFL. Buffalo's Preston Brown, Washington's Mason Foster and New Orleans' Craig Robertson share the lead, all with 24 tackles each.
Of Alexander's 24 tackles, 21 are solo, which leads the league. Los Angeles' Alec Ogletree has 19 solo tackles while Robertson and Arizona's Tony Jefferson both have 18. In addition to his 21 solo tackles, Alexander also has a sack, a claim that none of the top-ten tacklers in the league can claim.
Equally as impressive as his stats is Alexander's role he has played within the Bucs' defense. As the MIKE linebacker, he's required to act as the "quarterback of the defense" by relaying Smith's play calls to the rest of the defense. Alexander routinely reports to team facilities early to meet one-on-one with Smith to ensure he's up to speed with the latest game plan.
"He has a will and a desire and when you have that will and desire on the football field, it's going to show up," Smith said of Alexander. "He's a very good athlete and he also has a great desire off the field because he's not only coming in and sitting down with me every morning, but he's also getting extra time with [Linebackers] Coach [Mark] Duffner. He just is a sponge right now and he wants to take as much as he can in and we've got to go through baby steps."
Lavonte David has led the Buccaneers in tackles in each of the past four seasons, but at the pace Alexander is on, he could finish the season with the team, and league lead.