TAMPA, FL (WFLA) – Tampa Bay Buccaneers rookie linebacker Kwon Alexander has had a tumultuous week. Just 48 hours after his 17 year-old brother was shot and killed in Alabama, Kwon turned in the performance of his young career against the Atlanta Falcons. Alexander made 11 tackles, an interception, and forced and recovered a fumble. He was named the NFC Defensive Player of the Week on Wednesday for his efforts.
“I’m blessed. With [my brother] by my side I can do anything,” Kwon explained. “That’s what I’m thinking now, with him by my side I can do anything. I’m not worried about anything, just dedicating this whole season to him.”
Alexander returned to Alabama to visit family after the Buccaneers win in Atlanta.
“It was tough, but I was strong for my family,” he said. “It was good to go see my dad, his sisters, my sister and my mother… Just keeping them up. We are making it right now, we’re just trying to be strong.”
Fellow rookie Jameis Winston theorized that the team rallying around Alexander on Sunday may have been a turning point for the Buccaneers.
“I’m sad to say it, but Kwon’s situation kind of helped our team out because now we don’t focus on ourselves,” detailed Winston. “We don’t focus on what we have to go through. We focus on our brother who’s hurting.”
“He’s in pain, so we have to tend to him and worry about him and how he’s feeling. Sometimes when you get a chance to step back and just look at how someone else is feeling you don’t want to be selfish anymore. All you want to do is fight for that man and make sure his day is good. You don’t care about your day. Sometimes being selfless is a good thing for a team.”
“I’m happy out of disappointment,” responded Alexander. “They’ve always been there for me since before this even happened and to see that they’re there for me even more when my brother passed, it meant so much to me that I got a lot of brothers, too, that are here. For them to be there for me means so much to me.”