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Arizona Cardinals training camp: Lorenzo Alexander doesn't need to be a starter

The veteran understands the whole team concept

Dilip Vishwanat

We will be getting into the linebackers on Tuesday in our training camp positional preview, but veteran linebacker Lorenzo Alexander was on Arizona Sports 98.7 last week on the Doug and Wolf Show and talked about, among other things, whether or not he expects to be a starter, now that he has been moved to inside linebacker.

The veteran, who is in the mix along with Kevin Minter, Larry Foote and Ernie Sims, had an interesting answer, at least in terms of football players and their pride.

Alexander said that it doesn't matter whether or not he starts this year. He has had about every role, whether it is a starter, backup or practice squad guy. He has played offensive line, tight end, fullback, defensive line and inside and outside linebacker, in addition to being a special teams ace. He was an outside linebacker last season and was moved inside with the loss to Daryl Washington to suspension for the season.

He said, "My thing is, put me where I'm going to be the most effective of getting us to the Super Bowl and the other guys around us, too."

He elaborated further about what he means, knowing that he, Kevin Minter, Larry Foote and Ernie Sims are all "in that mix as far as starting."

"(You) gotta worry about special teams, (you) gotta worry about defense -- there's a lot of moving parts," he said. "People say, 'you ought to be a starter.' But if I'm the starter, do Kevin Minter and Larry Foote bring the same type of caliber on special teams? Maybe we're more equal at linebacker, so there's really not a big difference who's out there. Let those guys play and let me play special teams, and I'll go out there and I'm going to dominate a game there and win it for us and come in on second or third down under Todd's crazy schemes and play defense as well, like I did when I was with the Redskins."

As a 10-year veteran, he truly understands the team concept. He does want to play, as you can tell, and you can tell he knows that he can go out and dominate on special teams. in that sense, he knows his value and that he will have a job on the team. Knowing he has a spot, he can focus on the team and making it better.

What will his role be? It will likely be just as he described it. He will play special team and come in on some sub packages on defense, probably for coverage, as the coaching staff is not sure that Foote can be a three-down back and Minter's coverage ability is unknown so far.

Whatever that role is, Alexander just wants to know it.

"Just put me where I need to be," he said. "Just let me know what my role is going to be, define it so I can go ball out."

That's exactly what Cardinals fans should hope he does.