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In Roster Push, Alexander Has His Head Up


He made a helmet-less tackle in the second half of the Aug. 11 preseason opener at Tennessee, in a sequence that led to a facial injury as well as the respect of his new coaches and teammates.

But was that enough for a first-year Redskins defensive lineman to stick around?

Lorenzo Alexander, the 6-1, 300-pound former University of California Bear, is just one of many Redskins looking forward to Saturday night's matchup with Baltimore at FedExField.

As all Redskin hopefuls are well aware, Week 3 of the preseason may represent a final opportunity to showcase their skills. The first round of cuts come next Tuesday, Aug. 28.

Asked recently about Alexander, who signed with the Redskins on Jan. 12 as a free agent, Gregg Williams said Alexander's enthusiasm for the game is what stands out.

Added Williams: "You can't help but love that passion. Lorenzo has been playing very well. He's another example of a young player who has taken an opportunity and run with it. He busted his tail last year on the practice squad going both ways."

"We gave him a chance to see if he could help our offensive line during the spring and OTAs," Williams continued. "He got all that offensive line work because he's really a good athlete over there.

"We moved him back during training camp to see what the best position is for him and to see if he can add something to our team."

On the much-discussed play at Tennessee, Alexander began his pass rush, lost his helmet and then pursued Titans quarterback Tim Rattay. The helmet-less Alexander and teammate Reed Doughty arrived on the scene simultaneously.

Subsequently Alexander emerged with a measure of admiration but unfortunately also with a scar on his face and chin that required six stitches.

On how that play was received in the film room, Alexander explained: "It was perceived very well. It was also a badge of honor. It is a tough man's game."

"I got a lot of phone calls after the game," Alexander added. "A lot of people just making sure I was okay and congratulating me, saying that I looked hungry out there and played a great game."

Williams puts it this way: "That play shows Lorenzo's passion for the game. Some people just say there's a player with his head down who doesn't realize his helmet's off. He knew his helmet was off, but Lorenzo also knew he had to get the quarterback down."

Alexander, who spent time on the Carolina practice squad as a rookie, says fellow Cal product Andre Carter is one of his mentors. In that context, he also cites Cornelius Griffin and the Panthers' Julius Peppers.

As young players such as Lorenzo Alexander are fully aware, the competition is stiff and the onus is really on to make a push this week.

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