Eric Alexander Scouting Report
Measureables: 6'2, 240 lbs.; 28-years old- LSU
Eric Alexander has played in 45 games in six years with the New England Patriots without a single start. In those 45 games, Alexander recorded 48 tackles and a forced fumble.
Scouting report from Jon Scott, publisher of PatriotsInsider.com—
Eric Alexander has moved on from the New England Patriots after six seasons. Quite honestly, it's amazing that Alexander had the run he had in Foxboro considering the limited contributions he made on defense. Alexander is a solid person, a great community member and all-around hard-worker. The trouble is that he's limited in what he can do to help a team – at least he was in New England.
Alexander played mostly special teams for the Patriots since they signed him as an undrafted rookie out of LSU in 2004. A proud Tigers alum with a national championship under his belt, Alexander made a point to remain connected to his college roots. Those roots, based on Nick Saban's philosophies, served Alexander well under Saban's good friend Bill Belichick in New England, a team based on many of Saban and Belichick's defensive systems.
Alexander took some time to get into the mix for New England. A scrappy player, Alexander did his best to make it hard for the team to cut him. But cut him they did – four times. Yet each time the team brought the 6-foot-2, 240-pounder back (except for this season).
Perhaps the best opportunity Alexander had was in 2006 when the Patriots, desperate for healthy bodies, gave Alexander his first start in the AFC Championship game against the Indianapolis Colts. The Patriots believed that Alexander had better speed than veteran Larry Izzo and could help cover the Colts targets over the middle better than Tedy Bruschi or Mike Vrabel.
Alexander took over for Vrabel at inside backer as Vrabel moved back outside opposite Roosevelt Colvin replacing Tully Banta-Cain – the LB who was supposed to replace Willie McGinest.
Alexander had a rough game, constantly getting exploited in coverage by the Colts Dallas Clark. To be fair, the Patriots entire defense melted down in the second half, allowing a 17-point lead evaporate as the Colts won 38-34. That game was probably the pinnacle of Alexander's contributions to New England. He missed four games in 2007, but participated in the Super Bowl loss to the Giants. In 2008, Alexander was sidelined by a hamstring issue, and appeared in just one game – the game Tom Brady got hurt against the Chiefs. Like Brady, Alexander finished the season on I/R.
2009, the movement was on to replace longtime name players like Tedy Bruschi – who retired – Mike Vrabel (traded to the Chiefs), Colvin (not re-signed) and their backups including Alexander. The team held out hope that EA could still be a contributor after many of the new faces the team brought in were jettisoned. Gary Guyton nailed the inside backer job ahead of Alexander, while veteran Sam Aiken had supplanted Alexander as team leader on special teams.
Alexander is a humble guy. He's a hard worker. He's a guy who even when sitting out of games would lead the team in wind sprints at practice. Alexander, while wearing the red (injured player) jersey, would spend time running sprints while other injured players watched practice from the sidelines. Alexander's motor never quit, and Bill Belichick spoke highly of the longtime Patriot when admitting releasing him was a hard decision this year. But Alexander's upside is limited. He's got some wear and tear on him, and doesn't' seem to have what it takes to be a full-time starter in the league at linebacker. Certainly he can fill in as needed, but if he's on the field with the regular defense, that team has trouble.
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