Lorenzo Alexander is a special teams wrecking ball.
Last year Alexander led the team with 20 special teams tackles, earning him Redskins special teams player of the year honors. He’s defending his title so far this year, and has accumulated a team leading five special teams’ tackles.
Alexander believes that his special teams units inject a lot of energy into the rest of the team.
“We are not getting too many opportunities back there, people are scared to kick to Banks, and with the new kickoff rules people are kicking it out of the end zone,” Alexander said. “But the opportunities that we do get we gotta take advantage of.”
Because of the new kickoff rules, the name of the special teams’ game has changed a little bit. Touchbacks are a much more common occurrence, which means fewer opportunities for Alexander and the rest of the special teams unit to blow someone up.
However, Alexander maintains that keeping a high level of intensity is a must.
“You have to,” Alexander said. “You have to, and I think that’s why there have been so many returns this year because guys assume it’s gonna be a touchback or a fair catch.”
There is one area of special teams that the new kickoff rule did not affect, and that’s on punt coverage. The Redskins have made their presence known of punt coverage.
“After the St. Louis game, even if Sav doesn’t have a great kick people are not going to return balls, Alexander said. “They are going, ‘Well, let me fair catch this because I might get broke off.’”
Alexander has noticed that fewer teams want to return the ball against them.
“It’s definitely out there that we play hard, play fast, and we are going to hit you if you decide to return one.”
So while the special teams may not be put as many highlight-reel-type hits, Alexander believes their heavy hitting has caused teams think first before taking a chance returning the ball.
In his weekly Sportsbuzz webchat Alexander also talked about the Bills, and not panicking over the back-to-back losses.
“You have to stay even-keel, no matter if you win or lose,” he said. “You are never as bad as people say you are and you are never as good as people say you are, so you have to keep an even-keel.”
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