Well, if you didn’t know before, that’s how Lorenzo Alexander’s teammates feel about him.
Redskins safety and fellow special teams standout Reed Doughty tweeted that after last Sunday’s 24-22 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, a game in which Alexander made three tackles on special-teams plays like punts and kickoffs. And, when Alexander wasn’t making the tackle, he was making it possible for one of his teammates to get the stop.
And, with a quarter of the 2012 regular season already behind us, I don’t think it’s too early to say this: I agree with Doughty — Alexander, at this point, has definitely earned a postseason trip to Hawaii.
Doughty reiterated Monday what Alexander means to the Redskins’ special teams unit.
“If you watched the [Buccaneers] game, we had a lot of guys running down there and working hard, but he just made play after play on special teams, and he does it week in and week out and he does it whether he’s double-teamed or not,” Doughty said. “I guarantee you every single team game plans for [Alexander] and he still makes plays.”
Alexander said he appreciates having the support of Doughty and his teammates, but that none of his success is the result of an individual effort.
“A lot of my accolades and my ability to make plays comes from guys like Reed, because he’s a great special teams player, too,” Alexander said Monday. “Niles [Paul], Chris Wilson — if I don’t have these guys on my team, the teams are allowed to double-team me, sometimes triple-team me, and now I’m kind of, like, out of the game.
“So, as much as I’m doing it, they’re part of it as well.”
Alexander said there’s two other factors that contribute his success the past couple seasons: his weight and his coach.
He weighed 300-plus pounds his senior season at California as a beefy defensive tackle. Since joining the Redskins in 2006, Alexander has played on both the offensive and defensive lines, as well as a fullback and as a tight end on goal-line formations before transitioning full-time to linebacker in 2010.
Alexander currently weighs in at a chiseled 244 pounds, which makes it easier to track down speedy return specialists.
‘I think losing the weight also has helped me,” Alexander said. “I’m able to get down there a little bit faster, couple of steps quicker and get in good position.”
Alexander’s special teams coach, Danny Smith, is one of the best in the business, Alexander said, and always harps fundamentals, which keeps the special teams captain mentally sharp.
“I think it’s just a good job of Danny Smith coaching me up, showing me all the looks, having good technique really harped on me,” he said.
Already with 11 special-teams tackles through four games, Alexander is just 10 special-teams stops shy of tying his career high, set last season. Alexander said he thought he’s been worthy of a spot on the Pro Bowl roster in past seasons, but doesn’t let that affect how he plays the game.
“As far as me, if I’m playing at a Pro-Bowl level, that means I’m helping my team win games,” he said. “If our team is winning, the fans vote, the coaches vote and think, ‘They must be doing something special over there,’ and that’s when you get in.”
Doughty, by the way, is also having a solid season on special teams thus far. His six special-teams tackles are second on the team, while Paul and Wilson each have three apiece.
Doughty knows he can’t get Alexander on the Pro Bowl roster by himself, but said he’ll continue making a case for him.
“I’ve been pushing for his Pro Bowl selection the last couple years, and this [Tampa Bay] game, in my mind, solidified that,” Doughty said. “I think other teams see that, and hopefully they’ll respect that.”
CHIME IN: How important do you think Lorenzo Alexander is to the Redskins’ special teams unit? Feel free to comment below.
Tags: Lorenzo Alexander, Pro Bowl, washington redskins
Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment »