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Bucs’ Kwon Alexander honored as NFL’s Defensive Player of the Week

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His personal tragedy, losing his younger brother the day before, would have made the Bucs’  Kwon Alexander a candidate for Defensive Player of the Week. How many players endure a pain that deep?

His 11 tackles would have made Alexander a candidate.

Ripping the ball out of receiver Julio Jones’ hands and his two interceptions (one negated by penalty) would have made him a candidate. Being the best defender of a team that won in overtime on the road on defensive stand wold have made him a candidate.

Together, the other defensive players of the NFL never had a chance.

Alexander is the first rookie linebacker to record an interception, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery in the same game since Demeco Ryans (2006) and the first Buccaneers player to accomplish the feat since John Lynch (1996).

Alexander is the first Buccaneers rookie to earn Player of the Week honors since RB Doug Martin in 2012 (Week 9) and is only the third Tampa Bay rookie to be named Defensive Player of the Week, joining Santana Dotson (Week 4, 1992) and Paul Tripoli (Week 4, 1987). Alexander, who earned Pepsi Rookie of the Week honors following Tampa Bay’s Week 3 contest at Houston, joins Martin as the only rookies in team history to earn both Player of the Week and Rookie of the Week honors during their first campaign.

Gary Shelton is one of the most recognized and honored sportswriters in the history of the state. He has won the APSE's national columnist of the year twice and finished in the top 10 eight times. He was named the Florida Sportswriter of the Year six times. Gary joined SaintPetersBlog in the spring, helping to bring a sports presence to the website. Over his time in sports writing, Gary has covered 29 Super Bowls, 10 Olympics, Final Fours, Masters, Wimbledons and college national championships. He was there when the Bucs won a Super Bowl, when the Lightning won a Stanley Cup and when the Rays went to a World Series. He has seen Florida, FSU and Miami all win national championships, and he covered Bear Bryant, Bobby Bowden and Don Shula along the way. He and his wife Janet have four children: Eric, Kevin, K.C. and Tori. To contact, visit garysheltonsports@gmail.com.

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