Play of Bucs LB Kwon Alexander comforts parents after murder

TAMPA, Fla. -- The parents of Tampa Bay Buccaneers linebacker Kwon Alexander watched as their son played in honor of his slain brother, both proud of a tribute to remember.

Peaches and Broderick Taylor are still dealing with the murder of 17-year-old Broderick Taylor II, who was shot in the chest during a fight Friday night in Anniston, Alabama.

Alexander's play in the Bucs' 23-20 overtime victory against the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday, however, was an appropriate tribute that gave them joy.

"Amazing," the elder Broderick said by phone Monday. "I saw my youngest son that died in him. I saw him all the way with [Kwon] the whole while. He made this special. He took the madness out of me."

"It was very emotional," Peaches said. "Just the intensity. He played with so much emotion. And we know that he was doing it for his brother. They loved each other."

Alexander, a rookie, had a season-high 11 tackles, forced a fumble and had an interception. After the game, when speaking about his brother, Alexander said, "I know he'd want me to be strong for him, and I came out here and dedicated this game to him."

Video from the team's postgame locker room Sunday night showed a touching moment with Logan Mankins presenting the game ball to Alexander while the latter wept.

"What I thought you saw in that locker room was real, unscripted," Bucs coach Lovie Smith said Monday. "Sometimes when you go through something like Kwon was going through, for him to find out just how much he really means to the group [was important]. And Logan asked me if he could do that. Logan, of course, handed the ball and presented the ball to him, but all of his teammates were feeling for him the entire game. And when I say we have a special group of men, I could go on the rest of the day. We have a special group of men."

Peaches said Alexander, 21, enjoyed a close bond with his brother, with the two "always laughing, all the time." She said the younger brother was proud of Alexander's football journey that included the Bucs drafting the LSU product in the fourth round in May.

"He followed him close," Peaches said. "They were real close. He was real excited, especially to have a big brother to play for an SEC team and then to go into the NFL. You don't hear about that a lot around here. So he was real excited to be able to say, 'That's my brother.'"

News of his brother's death struck Alexander hard -- so much so that he considered not playing Sunday.

"It was real close," Peaches said. "And he wanted to come home. He wanted to come right home when he heard the news. It was very hard to call to tell your child that. But he wanted to come home right then.

"My husband pretty much talked to him and told him, 'You know how Brod was so proud of you and how he loved to see you play football, and he wanted you do so well. So if you're going to do anything, do it for him.'

"And it was pretty much that he had it in his mind that he was going to do it for his brother."

That's what happened. On Sunday, both parents received a call from an emotional Alexander after the Bucs' victory.

His message: I did it for Broderick.

"He followed him close," the elder Broderick said of his late son's bond with his brother. "And the love that they had for each other -- it's hard to explain."