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Lorenzo Alexander on the No. 4 pick: “Our O-line needs to be solidified.”
Good afternoon, folks. I’m back on a normal sleep cycle after the trip to Indianapolis, and our blogs are back up and running after some important maintenance yesterday.
Redskins defensive lineman–or outside linebacker, I should say, but I’ll address that in another post this afternoon–Lorenzo Alexander joined 106.7 The Fan’s Chris Russell, Sky Kerstein and me on the radio last night and offered his perspective on the upcoming draft and his switch to outside linebacker in the Redskins’ new 3-4 defense.
Alexander was asked which position he’d address with the No. 4 overall pick if he were the Redskins’ general manager, and he didn’t hesitate to state the compelling case for drafting an offensive lineman. In fact, he was quite passionate about it.
“I’m not the GM or the owner, so I don’t know how big of a mistake it would be [to draft a quarterback instead of an offensive lineman],” Alexander said. “I just know our O-line needs to be solidified. And getting a tackle with that high of a pick, like a Chris Samuels-type of player…a guy that could be his future replacement would be awesome. Guys like that are critical to protect your backside. I mean, if they draft a young guy and our O-line is not protecting him, he’s going to get back to being just like Jason [Campbell]. You might ruin his career. I mean, I definitely would start with the O-line. D-line and O-line know that games are definitely won in the trenches, so you’ve got to start to build your team inward [to] out.”
He isn’t alone in his belief, either. Other players have privately shared their hope that the Redskins select an offensive lineman in the first round.
Alexander plays a bit of offensive line, too, in goal-line situations, so he understands the importance of the position and exactly why injuries crippled the unit in 2009. He thinks an influx of youth would significantly help.
“Me personally, just being on the team, I just think we really need to get our O-line healthy,” Alexander said. “We’ve had a lot of great guys—you know, Randy Thomas and Chris Samuels—being banged up last year. So getting some young guys in there to maybe fill those spots or allow Randy to play another year so he can kind of groom a guy to come and step in for him. But we need an O-line. We’ve got to keep Jason off his back. The O-line tried last year, but when you have 16 different starting lineups (Alexander’s exaggerating, of course), it’s hard to have continuity on the offensive line, and that’s really what makes a great offensive line is that chemistry you have between guard and tackle, guard and center, and we need that. So getting guys that are young and healthy and can play the whole season is really going to help us out.”
If Washington drafts a quarterback instead, Alexander would immediately worry about Campbell.
“When you practice and work out and go through hard times and good times, too, you make a relationship with guys,” Alexander said. “He’s my brother on the field. Off the field we’re good friends. You know it’s the beginning of the end when something like that happens, if somebody gets drafted with the No. 4 pick. It’s kind of hard because you know he’s on the way out the door. It’s always hard to see guys like that leave your team.”
What do you make of Alexander’s belief? Would you like to see him calling the shots in the Redskins’ war room on April 22?