By JJ Regan
After an improbable 10-6 season, the Redskins’ efforts this year were rewarded with several players earning a Pro Bowl berth. Even with Robert Griffin III recovering and Trent Williams out after an unfortunate altercation in a nightclub Friday night, the Redskins were still well represented with Ryan Kerrigan, London Fletcher, and Lorenzo Alexander all making it to Hawaii.
Kerrigan appeared in the first Pro Bowl in his young career, replacing San Francisco’s Aldon Smith. The honor was well deservedas Kerrigan became the main outside rushing threat for the Redskins after the early-season injury to Brian Orakpo. He recorded two tackles on the day and an experience he will never forget.
London Fletcher made his fourth-straight Pro Bowl after another remarkable season in which he extended his consecutive games streak to 240. Fletcher was named an NFC captain for the game, showing the amount of respect he garners from around the league. He finished the game with four tackles.
But it was Alexander who stole the show tonight for the Redskins
This was Alexander’s first Pro Bowl appearance and he took full advantage of the spotlight. He was an impact player on special teams this year because of his ability to quickly make his way to the ball carrier.
It was no different in Hawaii.
On every kickoff, Alexander always was among the first down the field. Whenever the returner went down, you could see Alexander’s burgundy and gold helmet in the play. His efforts did not go unnoticed as Alexander began to get more playing time on defense in the second half. He finished the game with a team-high five tackles.
Perhaps the play of the game for Alexander came not on a kickoff, but on a kickoff return. In the third quarter, the AFC kicked off and Leon Washington took the ball seven yards deep in the end zone. He took it out, running down the right sideline and leading the way was Alexander. Alexander made the key block, sending Washington 92 yards to the AFC 15. It was the longest kick return in Pro Bowl history, and it was made possible by Alexander.
The Pro Bowl has come under scrutiny in the past few years as people question how much effort the players are really putting into the game. If the Pro Bowl is cancelled, you can safely say it won’t be because of the Redskins’ efforts today.