Ex-Seahawks running back Shaun Alexander talked to Seattle-area reporters for about 20 minutes this morning. Alexander, released by Seattle last spring, was picked up by the Washington Redskins midway through the season.
Alexander said he was not surprised at how long it took for him to get picked up because he was still recovering from a wrist injury that did not fully heal until the beginning of the regular season.
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Alexander is the third-string running back behind Clinton Portis and Ladell Betts. In four games, Alexander has 24 yards on 11 carries for a 2.2 per game average.
Alexander said he's the healthiest he's been since Seattle's Super Bowl season in 2005. He understands his role with Washington. Alexander was brought in by head coach Jim Zorn, the former quarterback coach with Seattle, because of his familiarity with the offense. However, Alexander said he could still be productive if given the opportunity to carry the ball 20 times a game.
He said he's disappointed and feels for his teammates going through a 2-8 record, and wishes Seattle head coach Mike Holmgren could have gone out on a higher note. And he's not too concerned about the reaction he'll get when he returns to Qwest Field on Sunday.
Here's some outtakes from Alexander's interview.
And you can listen to part of the conversation here.
On suiting up for game days knowing he will not play much: "Actually I've always been a person that's been real up front with the situation and things that are going on. So I'm not coming to the game like, 'Aw, man. One thing and I'm going to be the guy to get 30 carries.' That's not reality. So I'm hoping that it will happen again one day. But Clinton is playing well. And when a person is playing well, you've got to ride that horse so it can take you as far as you can go. And that's what we're doing right now."
On watching the Seahawks struggle from afar: "Honestly it still kills me on the inside because I love those boys. I've seen just about all of them come in and watched them mature as players. And to see Lofa (Tatupu) go through all those bumps and bruises, and know that he can't move as well as he did. I feel that. I went through that. And seeing Matt with the whole back thing, and people looking at the team and wondering what's going on. So I feel that for the boys because those are my guys.
On what the crowd reaction will be this Sunday: "Well, I'm the third running back. Who was the third running back when I first got there? It was me, Ricky Watters, and Charlie Rodgers. I mean what are we talking about here? I don't think it will even be a topic. I think people will say stuff because we did great things while I was there. There is not like a taunting thing that can go on, and there isn't a jovial thing that can go on because I'm just a part of the system out here instead of an impact to the system in Seattle."
On being surprised to how quickly fans turned on him: "The squeaky wheel always gets the oil We had, what 60,000 fans? If 5,000 fans are disgruntled it sounds a lot worse that it is. My fan mail was really, really, crazy high with 'We love you. We're embarrassed for the fans for booing you. Five thousand people are a lot of people, but when you are saying they're 60,000 cheering then you just say it is what it is. I don't think anybody could ever make everybody happy."
On having a feeling of revenge against the team: "I'm the third-stringer and I was actually surprised you guys asked me to do the interview. I think reality has to set in and that is role my role on this team. Do I want it to be more, of course, do I think I could take 20 carries and I think last week and this week is the first time I could say I can handle 20 carries and go do some damage. That isn't my role on this right now and that could change in two, three weeks and it could change this week but that isn't the role right now. I have one carry last week and one carry the week before that, so what are we talking about. I will be excited and see the guys and go eat some food at the Pearl. I will be ready to go and if I get my number called I will go out there and try to do some great things and I hope the Redskins win."
On being cut by the Seattle Seahawks: "From the very beginning Tim [Ruskell] called and said there will be some changes and Coach Holmgren will not be here in a year and if we get some guys to replace you, then you'll be out of here. I was like, 'OK'. That is reality and part of football. [T.J.] Duckett comes in, Julius [Jones] comes in and I ask Tim do you want this thing to be a competition, me versus Mo, versus Duckett, versus, Julius and he said no. I said I respect that. I went up there and saw Mike and he said he was definitely not happy with that and I said coach good luck, Tim good luck and of course Gil Haskell. I had to go in there and talk to him (Gil Haskell) and nobody was happy about the decision. Coach Holmgren and Gil did not get to make that decision and it is what it is."