Redskins Notebook

Rookie Lineman Alexander Does a Little Bit of Everything

By Jason Reid
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, October 22, 2007

Lorenzo Alexander, a four-way contributor?

Alexander played on defense, offense and special teams yesterday in the Washington Redskins' 21-19 victory over Arizona in front of 85,640 at FedEx Field, and Alexander said his only regret was that he couldn't think of another way to help his team.

"I'm really trying to do whatever I can for this team, trying to do whatever I can to make plays, and I feel the coaches really helped me prepare to do that this week," said Alexander, a rookie defensive lineman. "Obviously, the coaches feel I can do some things, so I just wanted to make the most of all my opportunities."

In the third quarter, Alexander played on offense for the first time since high school, helping to block on Clinton Portis's second touchdown run. With backup center Mike Pucillo filling in for starter Casey Rabach, who was inactive because of a groin injury, Alexander took the spot Pucillo usually occupies in the jumbo package, reporting as a tackle eligible at the Arizona 1.

After fullback Mike Sellers was stopped for no gain, Portis scored to cap an 11-play, 59-yard drive, helping Washington take a 21-6 lead, and Alexander had a key block on the right side. Alexander worked at guard last week because Rabach, right tackle Todd Wade and backup tackle Stephon Heyer, who also was inactive, were hurt in last week's 17-14 loss to Green Bay.

Joe Bugel, assistant head coach-offense, praised Alexander for his attitude in practice last week, saying he would be comfortable turning to Alexander in key situations on offense yesterday.

"Zo never ceases to amaze us all the time," Rabach said. "He's a heck of a guy. . . . He'll do anything for the team. It just shows what type of character he has."

Samuels Is Spitting Mad

Pro Bowl left tackle Chris Samuels said he lost his cool in the third quarter after Arizona defensive end Antonio Smith spit at him.

"Spitting in my face . . . that's the lowest of the low," Samuels said. "To do that . . . you just can't do that."

Samuels and Smith traded barbs on the drive that ended in Portis's second touchdown run. As the teams walked off the field after the kick, Samuels said Smith spat at him and walked away. Samuels angrily sought help from an official, who said he didn't see what happened. Bugel reminded Samuels to stay focused on the game.

"We were jaw-jacking a little bit. That goes on all the time, but you don't spit in a man's face," Samuels said. "We were getting into it a little bit, and right when our guys came to break it up, he spit in my face and kind of walked away."

Cartwright Hurt on Big Return

Return specialist Rock Cartwright, who had an 80-yard kickoff return on the opening play of the third quarter, injured his quadriceps. Cartwright didn't return punts after the injury, but he remained in the game on special teams. . . .

Starting cornerbacks Carlos Rogers (knee sprain) and Fred Smoot (hamstring) also played with injuries and will be reevaluated today, a Redskins official said. . . .

Strong-side linebacker Marcus Washington missed his second consecutive game because of a hamstring injury and was again replaced by Randall Godfrey, who had four tackles (three solo) and forced a fumble.

© 2007 The Washington Post Company