We have another reason to the addition of Kwon Alexander is invaluable.
When the San Francisco 49ers started 2017, they gave Reuben Foster the green dot, the communications with the sideline to relay all the plays to the defense. As time went on, the 49ers realized that Foster may not be the one they want to relay plays to and switched over to Fred Warner. Someone who, for all intents and purposes, will be the green dot going into 2019.
Well, Alexander has experience doing the exact same thing while he was with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. After all, he was the first swing the 49ers made in free agency this year and he has far more experience than Fred Warner has in the role, you’d think he’d expect to be relaying plays to the defense. He’s shown that not only does he do it, but he’s good at it.
No, not exactly. He was the latest guest on Matt Maiocco’s 49ers Insider Podcast and is open to Warner continuing the playcalling:
As long as I get the plays, I’m straight. I’m ready to go. You need help with it? I got ‘em. I’ve been doing it for years. Going on five years. If you need help with it I can do it, if you want to do it, you can do it. Just get me the play and everybody get the plays around us and the communication is great, we great.
So why is this so important? Well for one thing, the 49ers had Foster demoted from the role in 2018 because Warner was better at it, and now Warner can keep his job, and Alexander can relay the role.
Now, in the even that Warner goes down with injury, the 49ers have a dedicated backup that, at the very least can relay the play calls and fill in with experience doing so. The 49ers defense had issues in 2018 with communication and Fred Warner botching calls.
I don’t think anyone wants to go back to 2018 Fred Warner—an inexperienced backup relaying the sideline to the other 10 men on the defense. That could happen with someone else. Alexander brings five years of experience in the role. Even better, he’s fine with letting the young linebacker take the role and jumping in when needed. Even ,even better, his style of play reminds John Lynch of the departed Reuben Foster.
I’ve transcribed the entire podcast below. You can listen using the widget above or click here if it doesn’t appear.
01:03 - What being the first move of 49ers free agency meant.
01:56 - Growing up in Anniston, Alabama.
02:44 - Viewing himself as a role model and his family.
03:41 - The death of his brother in a shooting and playing following the tragedy.
06:15 - Being called the heart and soul of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
07:08 - The knee injury and the indication his season was over.
10:03 - Kyle Shanahan’s comments about gameplanning against him/scheme.
11:01 - The chess match that is football.
12:25 - Story of his hair color.
13:20 - Calling the plays in Tampa and working with Fred Warner.
14:46 - Why the west coast felt right.