Alexander Talks...Defense???

During this training camp, Seahawks running back Shaun Alexander has experienced a new phenomenon – being stopped, over and over, by his own defense. The Seahawks have not been known as a great defensive team during the Mike Holmgren era, but with team president Tim Ruskell assembling a dream front seven over the last year, that could very well be about to change.

Alexander himself had a lot to say about Seattle’s upgraded defense when he spoke to the media today.

“People are going to be surprised on how good our defense is. Even our defensive line surprised a lot of people last year getting a lot of sacks. Stopping the run starts with having a good defensive line and we stopped a lot of good running backs last year. I won’t be surprised if we do it again this year, that’s putting a lot of pressure on them, but teams that stop the run and run the ball well usually win. That’s something that we had last year and hopefully we can do it again this year.”

When asked if this year's defense seems better than last year's, and whether that made the 2006 Seahawks a better squad, Alexander didn't hesitate. “Definitely. Without a doubt. I think this year’s team would beat last year’s team pretty good. Defense always wins championships and you learn that from high school and you get to college and it’s the same way. Our defense is just better and anytime you have a good defense you have a chance to win.

“They have confidence. I think our linebackers, we have four great linebackers, not just your average run of the mill guys, and we have four great ones and you can only start three of them. Our defensive line, they make plays, and we don’t even have all our good defensive linemen out there. I think that that could be a lot of good things for us. Anytime you get Ken Hamlin back as a safety, your team is just better.”

Certainly, the acquisition of linebacker Julian Peterson has made an enormous difference. “It’s great," Alexander said. "Julian, he’s unbelievable and I can’t believe we got him. I think that he’s going to show the world that he’s a Pro Bowler and I think this is going to be another Pro Bowl season for him.”

“It’s amazing," the 2005 NFL MVP concluded. "I’m just proud of our defense. I’m proud of how they’ve grown since this time last year and going through the season. Even when they were playing last year people weren’t giving them respect and they won’t get it this year until we get out there and play a little bit. They play well, they play hard, and they play like a group. It’s almost like you see the growth of them like you saw the growth of our offense a couple years ago.

"We were just playing hard and we started gelling really well, and that’s what you see in our defense. You see the start of something special. They’re quick and I think that it’s one of those things that when you practice against someone every day you’re not sure is it that they’re that fast or do they understand your tendencies. They’re really challenged us this year, better than any other year in my career.”


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