In an era where many like the shiny red toy, Shaun Alexander was more than just that; he was reliable, consistent and durable.
The No. 19 pick in the 2000 by the Seattle Seahawks out of the Alabama, Alexander put up megastats quick.
The Kentucky native and three-time NFL Pro Bowler was First-team All Pro, NFL Most Valuable Player, Bert Bell Award winner, NFL rushing yards leader NFL touchdowns leader all in 2005.
A member of the Seattle Seahawks’ 35th Anniversary team, Alexander was also the NFL’s touchdowns leader in 2001 and part of the NFL’s 2000s decade team.
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.
“He’s a quiet individual who went out there and didn’t talk about how great he was,” former Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Nate Burleson told me on the Scoop B Radio Podcast.
“He’d rather do it on the field.”
Also an NFL Network analyst, CBS Sports analyst and New York entertainment correspondent on Extra, Nate Burleson and Shaun Alexander were once Seattle Seahawks teammates. Burleson surely insists that Alexander wasn’t overlooked during his playing career, but in fact, the runningback just wanted to do his job, draw the least amount of attention and go home to his wife and kids.
“And also I believe because it was a small window of time where that he was the BEST running back in football,” he said.
“It’s like I always say man, ‘Football is like fast food. People will appreciate while they’re eating it, but they’re always are looking forward to the next meal’. So it’s fast food football. People did appreciate that window of time where Shaun was cookin’, but he was also sandwiched between guys that were dominating; Curtis Martin [Jets] before him and LaDainian Tomlison [Chargers, Jets] after him. So when you’re sandwiched in between guys that are as impactful, even more within their organization, you’ll constantly get overshadowed.”
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. Nate Burleson.
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.