This past Sunday, the San Diego Chargers got to see first hand what their latest free agent departure, Vincent Jackson, looks like in a different uniform. His five catches for 59 yards were enough to remind the team of what it’s missing with V-Jack no longer in San Diego. That was to be expected, however. What wasn’t quite as anticipated was the emergence of the Bolts newest weapon at receiver in Danario Alexander.
In the final roster cut-downs prior to the start of the 2012 campaign, the St. Louis Rams severed ties with Alexander due to a hamstring injury that wouldn’t allow him to suit up at the time. Knee injuries had been the story up until that point for Alexander’s career having had five surgeries on his left knee from his sophomore year at Missouri to his rookie year with the Rams.
One team’s trash is another team’s treasure and Alexander is certainly proving to be of real value to the Chargers. He fits perfectly in the V-Jack mold as a long, athletic target at 6’5” 217lbs. and can really fly to get behind defenders. Those attributes showed through on his 80-yard touchdown against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday when he turned a short slant route into a long jog to the end zone.
His day ended with five catches for 134 yards and that lone score and appears to be a harbinger of things to come with quarterback Philip Rivers. According to Alexander: “Coming in around midseason, you have to maximize each rep in practice, and that means coming in prepared and ready to work. That means knowing the plays inside and out. With a quarterback like Philip, that’s most important. If you’re at the right place at the right time, Phil’s going to get you the ball.”
There is no denying the fact that Alexander has all of the tools to be a special receiver and at just 24 years of age, he still has plenty of time to blossom. The Rams may have given up on him due to worries about his ability to ever stay healthy believing that he knee would never again be fully stable, but the Chargers appear to have found that treasure I mentioned above.
The attitude alone should sell any fan on Alexander long-term as he said: “There were some issues after my last surgery (in 2010). But I have been able to maintain it and keep it as healthy as it is now. I’m fine. I feel great. I’m so excited to be a Charger. They gave me a great opportunity, and I’ll do anything I can to help this team win.” The Bolts can never have too many players like that in the locker room.
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