Buccaneers middle linebacker Kwon Alexander begins working well ahead of the sun each day, studying opposing offenses on his own for about half an hour before entering into a private tutoring session where he and Defensive Coordinator Mike Smith do more of the same.
The habit is one Alexander picked up after he watched quarterback Jameis Winston do something similar while the two shared a house last year and Alexander says he began to notice the benefits during the Bucs 31-24 season-opening victory over the Falcons on Sunday.
“I’ve spent a lot of extra time preparing this year, getting up earlier and studying more and now I’m feeling it,’’ Alexander said. “I already knew what was going to happen (before) it happened, and that’s what allowed me to play so fast.’’
Alexander was down-right mercurial against the Falcons, recording a team-leading 17 tackles (15 solo), including two for a loss, a quarterback sack and another quarterback hit. It was all the result of those study halls he’s added to his daily schedule.
“I know I can play in this league, but last year I was just out there playing,’’ Alexander said. “Now I’m playing smart. Now I know what’s really going on, and (on Sunday) I was like, ‘Man, this preparation is really working,’ so you’re going to see more of it.’’