Landscaping Will Have to Wait for D.J. Alexander
PHILADELPHIA (973espn.com) - D.J. Alexander was at a crossroads when he was released by the Seattle Seahawks and the 26-year-old linebacker admitted he was thinking about the next chapter of his life.
"You're going to laugh at this but I love doing landscaping,” he told reporters at his locker after a whirlwind day for him on Monday. “I can’t do an office job. I can’t sit in an office job all day. I have to go out and get my hands on something and actually work."
Turns out Alexander will get another opportunity to get his hands on other NFL players, mainly as special-teams support but also as further depth behind linebackers Jordan Hicks, Nate Gerry, Kamu Grugier-Hill and LaRoy Reynolds on Thursday against Atlanta.
The tricky part comes during Week 2 when the Eagles have to carve out roster room for two suspended players: star LB Nigel Bradham and recently-acquired safety Deiondre' Hall.
Alexander is taking the glass-is-half-full approach for now.
“I’m going to wait a little bit longer [to start the landscaping business], and that’s a good thing,” he said.
In about 48 hours Alexander relocated 2,800 miles to the east when he was picked up on waivers by the Super Bowl champion Eagles, arriving in Philadelphia during the early-morning hours on Monday before taking to the practice field later in the day.
“The whole process is a little overwhelming," Alexander admitted. "I don’t wish it upon nobody. It’s a stressful time in your life."
One involving more emotions that you might think.
“Happy, excited," Alexander said. "[But] leaving the family back home is always hard but you've got to do what you've got to do to feed them.”
Alexander has been a proven special-teams contributor in both Kansas City and Seattle, making the 2016 Pro Bowl but concussion issues ended his 2017 campaign early and he missed all of the offseason work in Seattle after getting various "clean-out" surgeries, including one on his shoulder.
There is a positive spin to that, however.
"I just had a couple little clean-out things, nothing major,” Alexander said. "The good news is that I was held out all preseason so I'm super fresh. I haven’t hit anybody else since last December. ... I’m excited to get out there and finally hit someone.”
Alexander could get that opportunity against the Falcons.
“I think my career is just getting started," he said. "I had some bumps in the road with injuries, but being here is another opportunity to showcase myself.”
-John McMullen covers the Eagles and the NFL for 973espn.com. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @JFMcMullen