Special teams coordinator Danny Smith with returner Brandon Banks during a preseason game against the Pittsburgh Steelers (John McDonnell/The Washington Post)

Shortly after his selection to the Pro Bowl, Redskins special teams captain Lorenzo Alexander gave credit to the unit’s coach, Danny Smith, who has helped him develop his skills.

Alexander went from practice squad player to back up lineman, special teams contributor and eventually special teams captain and linebacker. This season he leads the league with 19 special teams tackles, according to the NFL.

Smith, the longest tenured coach on Washington’s staff, wasn’t made available to reporters on Thursday. But the Redskins released a statement from him that said, in part:

Alexander “makes plays every week. He gets double- and triple-teamed at times. He has more big, solid hits than anybody. It’s really quite deserving and it’s something that he’s worked his butt off to achieve. It’s something that he takes very personal, very prideful. And he plays with a passion. You root for guys like that. You support people like that. They’re easy to coach. They’re fun to coach. They’re fun to be around.”