Veteran players tend to develop a bit of wisdom in their career. Linebacker Lorenzo Alexander is one of them. Now fully recovered from a Lis Franc injury he suffered in 2013, he has been working as a first teamer in base defensive packages.
Whether he will continue to be a "starter" remains to be seen come training camp. But some comments he made to ESPN show he has the team in mind first and foremost.
"On this team, I don't even know if starting is the best way I can impact this team because I play so well on special teams," Alexander said. "As a starter, you can't be as dominant on special teams. They both kind of take away from each other. So, if it means me coming off, going on third down, second down and certain packages (and) still be able to play special teams and impact the team that way, like a Justin Bethel does, and still be an integral part of this team, I'm fine with that."
It is an earnest comment from a guy who has previously mentioned he would like a greater role on defense. Of course, his current role, at least in OTAs and mini-camp, was in base packages. If he is a base OLB, he might be able to "start" and play few enough snaps that he still can be dynamic on special teams.
The simple fact he can publicly say it might be better for the team with his focus being on special teams is evidence he is very confident in what he can do and it shows he understands the concept of team.
How will it play out?
Most fans would probably rather see someone else be better than Alexander, whether that is LaMarr Woodley, Markus Golden or Kareem Martin. We know Alexander can make an impact on special teams. How much greater will be hi role in 2015 now that he is healthy?