Shaun Alexander

Infobox NFLactive

currentteam=Free Agent
currentposition=Running back
birthdate=birth date and age|1977|8|30
birthplace=Florence, Kentucky
debutteam=Seattle Seahawks
* Seattle Seahawks (2000–2007)
* 3x Pro Bowl selection (2003, 2004, 2005)
* 1x First-team All-Pro selection (2005)
* 1x Second-team All-Pro (2004)
* 2x All-NFC (2004, 2005)
* AP NFL MVP (2005)
* AP NFL Offensive Player of the Year (2005)
* Bert Bell Award (2005)
* ESPY Record-Breaking Performance (2006)
* ESPY NFL Player (2006)
* Led NFL with 14 rushing TDs in 2001
* Led NFL with 20 rushing/receiving TDs in 2004
* Led NFL with 28 rushing/receiving TDs in 2005
* Led NFL with 1,880 rushing yards in 2005
* Led NFL with 27 rushing TDs in 2005
* Led NFL with 168 points scored in 2005
statlabel1=Rushing yards
statlabel2=Rushing average
statlabel3=Rushing TDs

Shaun Edward Alexander (born August 30, 1977 in city-state|Florence|Kentucky) is an American football running back who is currently a free agent. [cite web| url=| title=Bears cut Cedric Benson|| date=2008-06-09| accessdate=2008-09-15] From 2001 to 2007, he was the predominant starter for the Seattle Seahawks.

In the 2005 season, Alexander broke out by setting several records and was named the NFL's Most Valuable Player en route to a Super Bowl XL appearance with the Seahawks. Following several injury-plagued seasons, hindering his productivity, Alexander was released by the Seahawks in April 2008. [cite web| url=| title=Seahawks cut ties with all-time leading rusher Alexander|| date=2008-04-23| accessdate=2008-09-15] [cite web| url=| title=Seahawks release former league MVP Alexander| publisher=ESPN| date=2008-04-23| accessdate=2008-09-15]

On September 17, 2008, Alexander went to workout with the Detroit Lions. According to CBS sportswriter Clark Judge, NFL coaches and general managers have hesitated to sign Alexander because he is overpriced and injury-prone. [15]

Early career

Alexander was born and raised in Florence, Kentucky, a suburb of Cincinnati. In 1991, he entered Boone County High School. As a freshman, he played football for the junior varsity team and was voted Class President—as he was every year in high school. [cite web| url=| title=Shaun Alexander - Taking Action to Make My Community a Better Place to Live| publisher=Seattle Seahawks| author=Alexander, Shaun| date=2002-10-04| accessdate=2008-09-15] In his sophomore season, he was made the varsity team as the second-string running back. By mid-season, he was the team's featured running back as he rushed for 1,095 yards and fourteen touchdowns.

During his junior season in 1993, Alexander ran for 2,396 yards and forty-two touchdowns as Boone County made it to the state semifinals. In a game versus Campbell County, Alexander rushed for seven touchdowns. He was listed in "Faces in the Crowd" section of "Sports Illustrated" in January 1994. [cite web| url=| title=Faces in the Crowd| publisher="Sports Illustrated"| date=2004-01-10| accessdate=2008-09-15]

In 1994, in his senior season, Alexander rushed for 3,166 yards and a state record fifty-four touchdowns [cite web| url=| title=KHSAA state football records| format=PDF| accessdate=2008-09-15] and was named Kentucky's "Mr. Football". [cite web| url=| title=Mr. Football| accessdate=2008-09-15] In three varsity seasons, Alexander rushed for 6,657 yards and 110 touchdowns—both of which are Top 10 prep all-time records.

College career

Following graduation from Boone County in 1995, Alexander accepted a scholarship from Gene Stallings, head coach for the Alabama Crimson Tide football team. In his freshman season on campus, Alexander was redshirted.

In his first season, as a redshirt freshman, Alexander rushed for a school-record 291 yards [cite web| url=| title=Alexander gives Alabama something else to think about| publisher="Sports Illustrated"| date=1999-09-30| accessdate=2008-09-15] and four touchdowns in a 28–0 victory over rivals LSU at Tiger Stadium. [cite web| url=| title=Alabama vs LSU (Nov. 9, 1996)| date=1996-11-09| accessdate=2008-09-15]

Following his junior season, Alexander decided to return for his senior season rather than leaving early for the NFL. After initially being given Heisman Trophy consideration to start the season, [cite web| url=| title=Tide to begin Heisman campaign for Alexander at A-Day| publisher="Sports Illustrated"| date=1999-04-08| accessdate=2008-09-15] those hopes would fade as the season progressed and ended with a sprained ankle versus Tennessee. Alexander still played a key role in leading the Tide to the SEC Championship in 1999, with his game-winning 25–yard touchdown run against #3-ranked Florida in overtime. In the fourth quarter of the 1999 Iron Bowl versus rivals Auburn, Alexander led a comeback as he scored three rushing touchdowns in the 28–17 victory, finishing the game with 199 total yards. [cite web| url=| title=Alabama vs Auburn (Nov 20, 1999)|| date=1999-11-20| accessdate=2008-09-15]

Career statistics

NFL career

Alexander was drafted by the Seattle Seahawks with the 19th pick of the 2000 NFL Draft. The Seahawks acquired this pick by trading Joey Galloway to the Dallas Cowboys. Alexander played in all 16 games his rookie year but saw limited action behind starter Ricky Watters.

Alexander's became the team's feature back in 2001. He rushed for more than a thousand yards in his first five years as a starter, running behind blocks thrown by one of the league's best offensive lines, including All-Pro offensive tackle Walter Jones and All-Pro offensive guard Steve Hutchinson.

In a game played on November 11, 2001 against the Oakland Raiders, Alexander rushed for a franchise record 266 yards on 35 carries. In 2001, he led the NFL in rushing touchdowns with 14 and was tied for second with Terrell Owens with 16 total touchdowns.

In 2002, he started all 16 games en route to an NFC leading (and franchise record) 16 rushing touchdowns, four of which came in the first half of Seattle's September 29, 2002 game against the Minnesota Vikings where he also caught a touchdown pass. The five touchdowns in that half set an NFL record.

2003 was another productive year for Alexander. He rushed his way to a career high of 1,435 rushing yards and scored 16 touchdowns. Seattle also made its first playoff appearance since 2000. Alexander's success in the 2003 season earned him his first trip to Honolulu for the annual Pro Bowl.

In 2004, Alexander remained one of the key components of Seattle's offense. He finished second in the NFL in rushing yards (with 1,696) to the New York Jets' Curtis Martin by a single yard. After being passed over for a late game rushing attempt during his team's victory over the Atlanta Falcons, Alexander accused his coach Mike Holmgren of "stabbing him in the back" by denying Alexander an opportunity to win the rushing title. Alexander retracted his comments the following day, and expressed support for his coach.

2005 season

Alexander had a great deal of success in the 2005 season. In the first game, he rushed for 73 yards. Other highlights include an 88-yard touchdown run against the Arizona Cardinals on November 6, 2005, and rushing for 165 yards against the St. Louis Rams on November 13, 2005. Also, he had two 4 touchdown games, against Arizona on September 25, 2005, and against the Houston Texans on October 16, 2005. He led the NFL in rushing yards, rushing touchdowns, Pro Bowl votes, and points.

During the 2005 season he broke the franchise record for the most rushing yards in the Seattle Seahawks' history. On November 13, 2005, scoring 3 touchdowns, Alexander became the first running back in NFL history to record 15 or more touchdowns in five consecutive seasons. On November 20, 2005, in San Francisco, Alexander became the first player in NFL history to score 19 rushing or receiving TDs in only 10 games (Steve Van Buren had 18 in 1945). This feat eventually led to him breaking Priest Holmes record of 27 total touchdowns set in 2002, and his 27 rushing touchdowns also tied Holmes for the most in a single season.

On December 11, 2005, in Seattle's NFC West-clinching victory over the San Francisco 49ers, Alexander had his 9th 100-yard rushing game of the year, breaking Chris Warren's franchise record of eight 100-yard games. In the process he also set a more significant NFL record, running for 100 yards against divisional opponents in nine straight games, a record previously held by Walter Payton. On December 18th, 2005, in a game against the Tennessee Titans, Alexander passed the 1,600 yard mark for the second consecutive season, had a Seahawks franchise record 10th 100 yard rushing game, and scored his 24th rushing touchdown of the year (as well as the 86th of his career, tying him with Priest Holmes at 12th on the all-time rushing touchdown leader list). [ [ ESPN - NFL All-Time Leaders - National Football League ] ] Perhaps more substantial is that his 96th career touchdown moved him into an 18th place tie with Randy Moss and Eric Dickerson on the all-time touchdown leader list [ [ ESPN - NFL All-Time Leaders - National Football League ] ] , having already bumped Priest Holmes (94 TDs) into 21st. Alexander also became the first Seahawks player to appear on the cover of "Sports Illustrated".

On January 1, 2006, in a game versus the Green Bay Packers, Alexander set the single season touchdown record at 28, and tied Priest Holmes's record of 27 rushing touchdowns in a season. Alexander also won his first NFL rushing title with 1,880 rushing yards. In 2005, he joined Emmitt Smith, Priest Holmes, and Marshall Faulk as the only running backs to record consecutive seasons of 20 or more touchdowns.

Four days later, on January 5, he was awarded with the 2005 NFL MVP Award, becoming the first Seahawk to win the MVP award in franchise history. He beat out New York Giants running back Tiki Barber and Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning who had won the award the previous two years. Alexander garnered 19 out of a possible 50 votes. A day after receiving the MVP award, Alexander was named Associated Press Offensive Player of the Year. He received 34 votes of a panel of 50 NFL sportwriters and broadcasters. He was also named the FedEx Ground NFL Player of the Year. At the ESPY Awards Alexander received two awards, Best Record Breaking Performance and Best NFL Player.

In the 2006 Divisional playoff game against the Washington Redskins Alexander suffered a concussion early on and had to watch the rest of the game, a Seahawks win, from the sidelines. However, in the NFC Championship Game against the Carolina Panthers he had 34 carries for 132 yards and two touchdowns, which was easily the best playoff performance of his career.

Shaun Alexander and the Seahawks lost to the Pittsburgh Steelers in Super Bowl XL on February 5, 2006. Alexander was the leading rusher of the game with 95 yards. He suffered a sprained ankle towards the end of the game which kept him from playing in the Pro Bowl. At the end of the season, he was selected to be the cover athlete of "Madden NFL 2007". To date, Alexander is the only player that has been featured on both the covers of "Madden NFL" and "NCAA Football".

2006 season

In March 2006 Alexander signed an 8-year $62 million contract to remain a part of the Seattle Seahawks organization, becoming the highest paid running back in NFL history at the time of the signing. However, the Seahawks lost perennial All-Pro offensive guard Steve Hutchinson in free agency, weakening the offensive line that had been so integral to the running back's productivity.

Alexander's success in the 2005 season led to his being featured on the cover of Madden NFL 07 making him the first player to appear on the covers of both EA Sports football titles. Alexander previously appeared on the cover of NCAA Football 2001. Alexander fractured his toe in his left foot in Week 3 of the season, keeping the so-called Madden curse alive. That same game, he set a team record when he scored his 102nd touchdown of his career with the Seattle Seahawks which broke Steve Largent's record. He returned to action on November 19, 2006 against the San Francisco 49ers. On December 10, in a loss to the Arizona Cardinals, he broke Barry Sanders record for most consecutive games with a run of 10 or more yards.

Alexander's final regular season statistics for 2006 were 896 rushing yards on 252 attempts, (3.6 yards per carry) with seven touchdowns, all rushing TDs, in 10 games.

2007 season

The retirement of Pro Bowl center Robbie Tobeck further enfeebled the Seahawks' once-dominant offensive line, further contributing to the diminution of Alexander's productivity.

During Week 1's game against Tampa Bay , Alexander sustained a fractured left wrist. Alexander assured coaches and the press that he would still continue to play. Although Alexander decided to play despite his injury, his performance had taken a noticeable turn for the worse. During Week 5, Alexander's lead blocker, Mack Strong, was injured with a herniated disk in his neck, forcing him to retire; he was replaced by Leonard Weaver. Injuries plagued Alexander again during Week 9, where he twisted both his knee and ankle. In the final game of the regular season, Alexander became the eighth player in NFL history to score 100 rushing touchdowns.

Alexander's final regular season statistics for 2007 were 716 yards rushing on 207 attempts, a 3.5-yard per carry with four touchdowns in 10 games. He added 14 receptions for 76 yards and a touchdown to his rushing totals.

Alexander recorded only 20 yards on 9 carries and scored a TD on a one-yard run in Seattle's playoff loss to the Green Bay Packers on January 12, 2008.

Free Agency

The Seahawks released Alexander after he passed a physical on April 22, 2008. [Citation |last=Clayton |first=John |title=Seahawks release former league MVP Alexander |url= |publisher="ESPN" |date=2008-04-22 |accessdate=2008-04-22] After his breakout season, Alexander developed some nagging injuries that negatively affected his productivity, and the Seahawks began to search for other players to shore up their running game. When Seattle was able to acquire RB Julius Jones in 2008, they decided to release the suddenly injury prone Alexander.

Alexander has visited the Cincinnati Bengals, New Orleans Saints, and the Detroit Lions since his release, but left without any contract offers. In September, Alexander stated that signing with a team is imminent and has no plans to retire anytime soon.fact|date=October 2008


Alexander married Valerie Alexander (née Boyd) in April 2002 after a two-year courtship. Together, the couple have three daughters: Heaven, Trinity and Eden. [Bishop, G. [ "Alexander rushing to judgment"] "Seattle Times." January 8 2006. Accessed September 22 2007] A born-again Christian, [ [ "Shaun Alexander Biography"] Accessed September 22 2007] Alexander and his wife are very outspoken about their faith and are regular attendees at Federal Way's Christian Faith Center. Alexander believes strongly in Jesus Christ and also shows strong faith. [Ellison, J. [ "Alexander inspires congregation of fans"] "Seattle Post-Intelligencer." February 6 2006. Accessed September 22 2007.] Firm supporters of abstinence and sexual purity, Shaun and Valerie both were virgins when they married. Alexander has discussed the issue publicly on many occasions, including in his book "Touchdown.


Further reading


External links

* [ Official Website - Shaun Alexander]
* [ Player Bio]
* [ Shaun Alexander Statistics]

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