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 with the subject line “Mailbag question” for him to answer it in The Mailbag.

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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.

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