Alexander's name is bigger than his game right now. The former MVP has been out of work all season and couldn't even catch on with his hometown Cincinnati Bengals -- the worst rushing team in the NFL.
The Redskins aren't asking Alexander to come in a dominate. They just need him to take on the Ladell Betts role of backing up Clinton Portis, the NFL's leading rusher. Betts will miss the next couple of weeks with a knee injury. Third stringer Rock Cartwright can also contribute but his main role in Washington is as a kick returner.
Alexander will see the ball. The question is now how long will he be around Redskins Park?
"Shaun is the kind of guy who is smart enough to understand the situation," [Redskins head coach] Jim Zorn said. "Clinton understands the situation. We said it could be temporary or it could run the full season. We are not going to put some sort of limitation on where we are at in four weeks, two weeks, however long it takes Ladell to get back."It seems as if the "situation" is in the realm of temporary. Unless Alexander shows some of his old form and becomes a productive part of the offense, he will take his veteran minimum salary and go home when Betts is healthy.
Even though the Redskins are running the same passing offense Zorn and Alexander ran in Seattle, the running game still has a lot of elements from Joe Gibbs. Portis, Betts and Cartwright all are capable of catching the ball in routes. All are also capable in pass protection and routinely asked to block in the passing game.
Alexander isn't known for either of those things.
That's where Redskins fans end the love for the move. Alexander represents the past. He used to be good, he used to play with Zorn in Seattle and the Redskins used to sign washed-up players. The last two are now brought to the now, but I doubt the part of Alexander being good will.
Let's just hope he does minimal damage over the next couple of weeks.