ShAMELESS PLUGS and other stuff
After another spring practice with the first-team defense Wednesday, followed by a few minutes of catch with a teammate, Mackensie Alexander attempted to loop around the assembled media for the safety — and air conditioning — of the locker room.
When a pesky reporter picked him off to inquire about his quiet rookie season, the young cornerback was courteous but not particularly colorful as he talked about being more comfortable in his second NFL season, how he has matured over the past year, how he is ready to do anything he can to help the Vikings win more games.
Seconds before the voice recorder was about to be powered off, Alexander, the glare of the sun off his clear helmet visor obscuring his eyes, suddenly opened up.
"Not playing as much as I wanted to, I did that to myself last year," he said.
The 23-year-old admitted that at times during his rookie year, he tuned out words of wisdom and instructions from Mike Zimmer, who had a reputation as a defensive backs guru while becoming a successful defensive coordinator and then the Vikings head coach.
Alexander, who boldly declared at last year's NFL scouting combine that he was the best cover cornerback in the 2016 draft, believed he should be matching up with top wide receivers on the outside instead of lining up in the slot as a nickelback. So when asked to learn both positions in Zimmer's complex scheme, Alexander neglected the latter.
"I was very resistant," he said. "I didn't want to learn nickel, and they knew that."
Read the rest of the story at StarTribune.com...