Originally posted on FOX Sports  |  Last updated 10/18/12
Dos Equis has the Most Interesting Man in the World. The Washington Redskins can counter with Lorenzo Alexander. Like the outrageous situations involving that suave pitchman in beer commercials, Alexander's ability to forge a six-year NFL career is just as improbable. Alexander was once a 315-pound defensive tackle. He is now a 245-pound linebacker who is garnering Pro Bowl consideration as Washington's special-teams captain. He learned to play eight -- eight!!! -- different positions to stick with the Redskins after being cut by the Carolina Panthers and Baltimore Ravens. Along the way, the 29-year-old Alexander has established himself as one of the NFL's most benevolent players through his ACES Foundation and other charitable endeavors. The winner of the franchise's Walter Payton Man of the Year award for the past two seasons, Alexander was even invited to the White House to participate in the annual Easter Egg Roll with Barack and Michelle Obama. And to think none of this would have happened if Alexander failed to overcome a hardscrabble upbringing in Oakland, Calif. or quit the NFL, as he once contemplated in 2006 when told by the Panthers and Ravens that at 6-foot-2 he was "too small" to play on the defensive line. "I came up in an inner-city neighborhood, like a lot of people (inside the locker room) where you see guys with great talent but they end up in jail or gangs because they didn't have any structure or support for one reason or another," Alexander told FOXSports.com. "I understood that it took my mom, my uncle and several other coaches who really supported me as a young man to keep me on the straight and narrow. "It could have been easy for me to go the other way. I felt it was very important when I reach that level where I could give back that I should, especially as a Redskin and NFL player." That approach carries onto the football field. Alexander prides himself on helping younger players, especially those who need special-teams prowess to stick on the roster. Alexander himself appears on every grouping except field-goal protection. That's because Alexander says he lost 25 pounds this offseason per the request of Redskins coaches and subsequently "dieted my way off of that." "Now that I'm 245, I can't take those shots anymore," a laughing Alexander said. But he can deliver them. On a unit that Redskins special-teams coach Danny Smith wants to fill with "body punchers," Alexander has landed the most blows with a team-high 14 tackles entering the FOX America's Game of the Week against the host New York Giants (1 p.m. Sunday ET). Alexander also proved last Sunday that he can still pack a wallop on defense. Given rare snaps because of injuries at the linebacker position, Alexander recovered a fumble and notched 1.5 sacks in a 38-26 victory over the Minnesota Vikings. "It was an enormous feeling and boost to my confidence to know I can still play in this league at a high level," said Alexander, whose role on defense was curtailed after the 2010 season. "Sometimes, players get caught in a box. Coaches can put you in there unless you show them something different. This shows that I'm more than a special-teams player and I have the ability to do other things." Alexander wants his teammates to stay just as thirsty for success on and off the field. "It's important being a role model for younger players that are playing special teams and showing them, 'You can take this and play in the league for 12 years,' " Alexander said. "If it weren't for special teams, I probably wouldn't be in the league anymore." In turn, the league is better because someone as inspirational as Alexander is part of it.
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

NFL players wrote Roger Goodell seeking support for political activism

On the similarities between Kyrie Irving and Kobe Bryant

Tickets for 49ers-Rams game at Levi's going for $14

Sixers still open to trading Jahlil Okafor

Aaron Rodgers has funny quote on never beating the Bengals

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Raul Mondesi sentenced to prison for corruption as mayor in Dominican Republic

WATCH: Youth football coaches engage in ugly brawl

Richard Sherman critical of NFL injury report: It is for gamblers

Adidas hooked Giannis Antetokounmpo up with an entire truck full of sneakers

Carmelo Anthony trade rumors suggest he’s headed to the Rockets soon

John Farrell may use David Price as temporary closer

NFL Week 3 predictions

The 'MLB is as powerful as ever' quiz

After a decade in the WNBA, MVP Sylvia Fowles is ready for the spotlight

College football 2017 Week 4 predictions

10 teams that can unseat the Warriors in 2018

NFL Referee Hotline: Mike McCarthy is sick of these calls

The 'Kevin Durant has mad (Twitter) handles' quiz

Baseball's most underwhelming teams of 2017

The 'Remember the tight ends' quiz

Ranking the best college football fan bases

Getaway Day: Time runs short as postseason nears

Sports & Politics Intersect: White House sticks it to sports

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Yardbarker Privacy Policy and Terms of Service. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

NFL Week 3 predictions

After a decade in the WNBA, MVP Sylvia Fowles is ready for the spotlight

The 'MLB is as powerful as ever' quiz

10 teams that can unseat the Warriors in 2018

College football 2017 Week 4 predictions

NFL Referee Hotline: Mike McCarthy is sick of these calls

Baseball's most underwhelming teams of 2017

The 'Kevin Durant has mad (Twitter) handles' quiz

Ranking the best college football fan bases

The 'Remember the tight ends' quiz

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker