Former Alabama standout Shaun Alexander has a set of big shoes to fill in the coming weeks. Considered by many to be the number one backup running back in the NFL, Alexander will have to fill the void left for the Seattle Seahawks when starter Ricky Watters went down with a shoulder injury.
Seatlle head coach Mike Holmgren said Monday that Alexander has improved recently. "Early in the training camp, I thought his focus wasn't what it should be. He dropped a number of passes....and I was most concerned with that. To be a total back, he has to be able to catch the ball. I don't think anyone argues with the fact that he's a fine running back. But he has to work on two things, pass protection and catching the ball in our passing game. But he has listened and I think during the season now with not a lot of reps in practice (he has) done fine. He's heard me and he's responded well."
Alexander says he's been patient and is ready to contribute to a team that has been struggling. "I didn't really start my first game in college until I was a junior. I had broken a lot of records just coming in off the bench. That's the same way it was in high school. I had All-Americans in front of me in high school and All-SEC players in front of me in college. That I kind of understood. It was like God was preparing me for the waiting game. Patience is a very big thing. If you have it, you can do some great things when it's finally your turn to go. That's what I kind of did, suck every kind of information out of Ricky and coach Holmgren until it was my turn and next week will be my turn." Alexander says he "always want to go out there and play well." He adds,"Good things happen at different times. So I'm just going to prepare to make those things happen."
Alexander was drafted in the first round of the 2000 NFL draft. He played in all 16 games for the Seahawks last season rushing 64 times for 313 yards. At Alabama he became the Tide's all-time rushing leader with 3,565 yards in four seasons. He also set school records in rushing attempts with 727, 100 yard games with 15, rushing touchdowns with 41 and total touchdowns with 50. Alexander was named first team All-SEC as a senior when he rushed fro 1,383 yards on 302 attemps and scored 19 touchdowns. As a junior, he rushed for 1,178 yards on 258 carries and had 13 touchdowns.
He was born in Florence, Ky and has a foundation for helping others named the Shaun Alexander Family Foundation.