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At outside linebacker, Carter appears to have the edge over Alexander

August 25, 2010 - 08:17 AM
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No declaration has been made, but it appears that Andre Carter has won his competition with fellow converted outside linebacker Lorenzo Alexander for the starting job opposite Brian Orakpo.

Two weeks ago, Washington Redskins defensive coordinator Jim Haslett said his plan was to continue rotating Carter and Alexander as he evaluated them for the starting job.

Alexander -- previously a jack-of-all-trades backup with defensive tackle and end, tight end, guard and a member of each special teams unit listed on his resume -- spent the first week of training camp at the starting left outside linebacker spot.

The next week, Carter -- previously the team's starting left defensive end, who previously had one year of experience as a linebacker -- worked with the first team. He started in the preseason opener against Buffalo and made some plays, but some mistakes as well. 

Alexander was supposed work with the first team in the week leading up to the Baltimore preseason game, but a foot injury sidelined him the first practice of the week, and Carter remained the starter.

Both players are still adjusting to the new position, but say they're gaining comfort day by day.

"Just the more reps I get, you learn something each time," Carter said. "I'm not there yet, but I feel like I'm improving."

Said Alexander: "I'm figuring it out. From playing D-line where your first instinct is to get into the backfield, you just have to adjust and be more patient and see what's going on, if you need to rush, or drop back into pass coverage. I'm figuring it out."

Carter this week has remained with the starters while Alexander's role is being defined.

Alexander said that he is being used in the team's nickel packages -- when the defense features only one or two down linemen and five linebackers. Obviously the fourth-year veteran had hoped to start, but he sounds as if he is taking the decision in stride.

"It looks like starting, he's going to get the bulk of the snaps," Alexander said. "I'm seeing a lot of nickel snaps, and doing all my same special teams stuff, so I just focus on doing my best at that. Whoever starts, starts."

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