Another year of preseason cuts and another spot secured on the roster for the Redskins Swiss Army Knife, Lorenzo Alexander.
Alexander has been cut three times in his NFL career, and knows what it’s like to be in roster limbo.
“It’s hard, it’s a rough experience for guys who put so much into this sport and come out practicing hard and making a lot of sacrifices and putting your body on the line,” he said. “When somebody tells you you’re not good enough, it’s hard. Especially as an athletes, everyone’s a competitor, you been one of the top guys in high school and college, and then here, somebody tells you no for the first time, it’s hard.”
Alexander also attributed some of his motivation to proving those teams and those people wrong.
“It motivates you, and a lot of the guys who don’t make this team can play in this league and will get picked up.”
After learning that he had made the roster for the 2011 season, he reminisced over Twitter back to his days at No. 79, as a defensive tackle:
The 2010 Redskins Special Teams Player of the Year was all smiles after the game on Thursday night, and rightfully so. Alexander did not start the game, but finished with four tackles and a hit on the quarterback. He also had a critical pass defensed in coverage, on the final drive of the game.
“I felt pretty good, I’m just locking-three on those plays,” he said. “Y’know, practicing against Freddy D. and Chris Cooley and those types of tight ends, I felt very comfortable on those guys. I think I can cover any tight end if I can cover those guys.”
For the man who started his career as a defensive tackle, coverage is not necessarily second-nature. But thanks to a dedicated offseason plan, he’s found a comfort level in coverage.
“It’s light-years past where I was last year, a lot more confident fluid, understanding what receivers do, understanding how to cover them,” he explained. “Little tips of the trade that you learn after rep after rep after rep. It was good to be able to get out there and finish on something that I’ve been working on so hard in the offseason with.”
The game featured two big defensive stops, on the first and final drives. Both times, the Redskins defense stone-walled the Bucs offense and yield zero points.
“We came up with big plays when we needed them,” Alexander said. “I still wanted to finish the game off a little stronger, we still gave up some cheap touchdowns there, I believe third or early fourth quarter. But we did come up with the win and big plays when we had to.”
Alexander isn’t the type for brash predictions, but he seemed pretty confident to say that the Redskins were ready for the regular season.
“We’ve just gotta go out there and play hard, play four quarters, and we can compete with anybody in this league,” he said. “Offense is moving the ball great this year, so if the defense can get in there 40 plays or less, we’re gonna play fresh. We’ll be out there flying around.”
With his change in body type, flying around will be a little easier for the One Man Gang.
Tags: Lorenzo Alexander, special teams, washington redskins
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