TAMPA, Fla. -- Bruce Carter was brought in to be the starting middle linebacker for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. It doesn't look like that's going to happen.
The Bucs appear to be giving that job to rookie Kwon Alexander. A fourth-round pick, Alexander has been one of the biggest surprises of the preseason. He has worked with the first team Monday and Tuesday and seems to have clinched the starting job. The Bucs are so happy with Alexander that they already have moved Carter to another position.
"It's not like we're displeased with what Bruce is doing," coach Lovie Smith said. "We're just really like what Kwon has done. Bruce now, as you've seen in practice, he's working at the Sam linebacker position and he's fighting for a starting position there. We need all of our linebackers. For us, we had to get to the [preseason opener] to see exactly what everybody's best position is. So for Bruce, he's working hard like he always has been. He's a big part of what we're going to do this year."
But Carter isn't guaranteed anything at strongside linebacker. That position is held by Danny Lansanah, who was one of the few bright spots last season. Carter had five interceptions for Dallas last season. But Lansanah also showed he can excel in coverage last year.
This is a win-win situation for the Bucs. Carter and Lansanah will compete for a starting job and the winner should be a very solid player.