During his NFL playing career, Shaun Alexander amassed 9,453 rushing yard and scored 100 rushing touchdowns.
The runningback also had 215 receptions during his playing career and caught for 1,520 receiving yards for 12 touchdowns.
2005 was surely his year. The runningback was awarded the 2005 NFL MVP Award. That’s a big deal because he became the first Seahawk to win the MVP award.
In doing so, he beat out New York Giants running back Tiki Barber and Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning who had won the award the previous two years.
Alexander was a top back. The No. 19 pick in the 2000 by the Seattle Seahawks out of Alabama, Alexander was a three-time NFL Pro Bowler, First-team All Pro, NFL Most Valuable Player, Bert Bell Award winner, NFL rushing yards leader NFL touchdowns leader all in 2005.
As accomplished as he was during his eight year career, it seemed as if he wasn’t always acknowledged in the same breath as other notable quarterbacks like Barry Sanders, Emmitt Smith and more.
On today’s episode of the Scoop B Radio Podcast, Tiki Barber, and I discussed that notion.
Check out my notes from our dialogue below:
Tiki Barber on Shaun Alexander:
“Aww man! My brother from another mother! The dude stole my rushing title in 2005! [laughing] You know the story? This one hurts me…[laughing]…In 2005, I had a great season. I rushed for 1,800 yards and I had 560 or so receiving yards, so it was 2,300 All purpose yards. I mean, it was THE year for me. I knew it was going to be because it was the season that Wellington Mara and Bob Tisch, both of our owners were and we knew that they were going to pass away. And Coach Coughlin kept telling us, “We are the team of records to Bob Tisch and Wellington Mara.” So, every game meant something to me. I mean, I rushed for 200 yards 3 different times that season and so going into our last game, that year we were playing the Oakland Raiders. So we’re out in Oakland and I crush it man. I have like – maybe I had 200 yards in that game and I jumped over Shaun Alexander for the rushing lead. Now he was handling some personal business on the East Coast, their record was like, 13-2 at the time and he wasn’t going to play that last game of the season. But he saw me rush for like, 200 yards and jump over him, so he flew back home and played in the last game and ended up getting 160 something yards and took the rushing title away! Like, we literally look alike so whenever we see each other I’m like, “Brother! You stole my rushing title!” and he’s like, ‘I couldn’t let you have that!’ like it was his rushing title [laughs]…So he went and played that last game even though he wasn’t scheduled to play that last game and ended up taking the rushing title from me. I’ll never forgive him for that! [Laughs]…”
Tiki Barber on Shaun Alexander being underrated:
“Without a doubt. There’s no doubt man. Shaun Alexander was one of those players who – first of all, he was big, reliable and durable. And I think he only played nine years. I only played ten but you look at his stats and he rushed for 1,500 yards one year and next year he rushes for 1,700; the year I was talking about he rushed for 1,800 and beat me by a couple of yards. He was just a man and like, that 3-year span was good of a player that there was in the National Football League. But then, I think he became a victim of two things: one, the wear, because he missed a couple of games and two, because of his contract. Because so much of his contract was incentive tied, that they didn’t want him to hit his incentives. And if you ask him about it they were trying to screw him out of his incentives. So yeah, I do think he’s underappreciated for how good he was. Even though he didn’t end up rushing for 10,000 yards because he ended up leaving and going to Washington and he only played a couple of games down there…but yeah, for a three or four year period, he was a good as a player as there was in the NFL.”