Zac Boyer will be entering his third season covering the Washington Redskins for The Free Lance-Star this fall. Make sure to follow Zac on Twitter (@ZacBoyer) for the latest updates or e-mail him with any questions at email@example.com.
Loss Of Weight The First Step In Lorenzo Alexander’s Move Inside
ASHBURN – Lorenzo Alexander weighed more than 300 pounds at the start of his senior season at California in 2005. He was listed as weighing 275 pounds at the start of training camp last year.
By moving to inside linebacker in the spring, Alexander knew more weight would have to come off. He reported to Washington Redskins training camp on Wednesday weighing 245 pounds – the lightest he’s been since eighth grade.
“Oh yeah, it’s way different,” Alexander said. “You can see it on the film. Guys can see it. It’s definitely a huge difference, and it’s helping me play inside a little bit.”
Alexander spent the last two seasons as an outside linebacker in the Redskins’ 3-4 scheme, though he saw limited defensive snaps – no more than a dozen – as the backup to durable rookie Ryan Kerrigan in 2011.
With no clear backup to London Fletcher at middle linebacker, Alexander and the Redskins’ coaches mutually decided a move inside would be beneficial. Alexander’s understanding of the defense is comprehensive, and his role as the special teams captain last year makes him a natural leader.
“Any time you go from the outside position to the inside position, you’re covering some of those wide receivers and those tight ends and you’ve got to be fast,” head coach Mike Shanahan said. “You’ve got to be a lot quicker, and he cut the weight very quickly. He’s done very good.”
Alexander’s diet was simple – essentially cutting out fried foods – but it was a gradual process. He weighed approximately 265 pounds at the end of the season and took the four months leading up to the start of voluntary workouts in April to lose the next 20 pounds.
Fletcher, at 5-foot-10, weighs 248 pounds. Perry Riley, the other starting middle linebacker, weighs 240 pounds. Three others fighting for a spot inside – Bryan Kehl, Jonathan Goff and rookie Keenan Robinson – all weigh between 238 and 247 pounds.
“That’s 20 pounds that you don’t have to carry around or push around, and of course you’re going to last longer,” Alexander said. “It’s definitely helped me, you know, running with [tight ends] Fred Davis, Niles Paul. Those guys can fly, so I had to lose it to keep up with them.”