Redskins confident they can replace Alexander’s contributions on special teams

July 26, 2013

Niles Paul lays a hit on the Rams’ Austin Pettis during kickoff in a 2011 game. (Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)

RICHMOND—The Washington Redskins lost one of the league’s special teams standouts when linebacker Lorenzo Alexander signed with the Arizona Cardinals in the offseason as a free agent.

Alexander was the Redskins’ special teams captain. He also was a Pro Bowl selection on special teams last season.

But veteran safety Reed Doughty said Friday he’s confident that others will fill the void created by Alexander’s departure.

“Lorenzo is a great player,” Doughty said.  “But we’ve had a lot of good players in here over the years on special teams. And they’ve come and gone. Khary Campbell was one … He was a phenomenal, 30-some special-teams tackles a year, maybe didn’t get the notoriety — Rock Cartwright, Mike Sellers. And new guys step up — myself a long time ago. Niles Paul has stepped up, D.J. Gomes. You constantly are filling voids regardless of special teams, defense, offense. We’ll miss Lorenzo. But we’re gonna have other guys that will step up.”

The Redskins also changed special teams coaches in the offseason when Coach Mike Shanahan permitted Danny Smith to leave for the Pittsburgh Steelers and hired Keith Burns to replace him.

“Everybody has a different vibe the way they coach, the way they teach technique, the way they run practice,” Doughty said. “It’s just an adjustment and it’s no better, no worse. I think in the end it’ll bring kind of a revitalization to the special teams and hopefully we’ll show some new stuff.”

Have a Redskins question? E-mail Mike Jones at mike.jones@washpost.com with the subject line “Mailbag question” for him to answer it in The Mailbag.

Follow: @MikeJonesWaPo | @MarkMaske | @john_keim @Insider | @PostSports

What’s ahead:

The team practices at 3:20 p.m.

Mark Maske writes about Tony Pashos this afternoon.

Owner Daniel Snyder and Richmond Mayor Dwight Jones hold a news conference at 2:30.

More from The Post on the NFL and Redskins:

D.C. Sports Bog: Orakpo unveils ‘Bane’ facemask

Rookies Reed, Thompson are learning on the fly

Reid: Shanahan enters this season with plenty on the line

D.C. Sports Bog: RGIII on six newspaper front pages

With leadership role, CB DeAngelo Hall steps up his game

D.C. Sports Bog: Hall says Redskins have ‘unfinished business’

LB Robinson expected to miss three to five months

DE Carriker needs four to five months to recover

Mike Jones’s Day 1 camp observations

D.C. Sports Bog: Cowboys jerseys at Redskins’ camp

Jarvis Jenkins in spotlight with Carriker out

Robert Griffin III takes it slow as Redskins open training camp

Reid: Offense will pave Redskins’ way to sustained success

Training camp photo gallery: 2013 season gets underway

Mark Maske covers the NFL for The Washington Post.
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John Keim · July 26, 2013